National Guard sergeants indicted


Father, son allegedly embezzled property from USPFO

BUCKHANNON — A father and son who both worked for the West Virginia Army National Guard at the United States Property and Fiscal Office in Buckhannon have been indicted for allegedly taking $80,000 worth of government property and selling or donating it.

Sgt. First Class Shane Morgan, 35, of Buckhannon, and his father, Master Sergeant (retired) Russell Morgan, 61, of Helvetia, have been indicted for conspiracy to embezzle government property and embezzlement of government property, according to a release from U.S. Attorney William Powell’s office. Shane Morgan is additionally being indicted for the unauthorized sale of government property and giving a false written statement.

The charges center around  items of government property worth over $80,000 the men allegedly obtained through their official positions at the USPFO warehouse in Buckhannon between August 2010 and October 2017.

Russell Morgan served as the warehouse supervisor of the USPFO from June 2009 to August 2016 and Shane Morgan was a full-time Title 32 federal technician with the West Virginia Army National Guard, according to a copy of the indictment.

The USPFO receives and repurposes federal government equipment that has come to the end of its administrative life cycle.

The father and son allegedly used some of the stolen property for their personal purposes, sold some and donated other items.

The indictment specifically names the following: in 2013, the Morgans allegedly conveyed six parachute packing tables from the USPFO to the Pickens Volunteer Fire Department. In 2014, Shane Morgan allegedly sold without authority a John Deere Gator from the USPFO to a third party.

On July 20, 2016, Shane Morgan allegedly forged a government form regarding an inflatable bounce house received by the USPFO and embezzled the bounce house. Shane Morgan also allegedly forged the condition code of the turn-in form to say that the inflatable bounce house delivered to the USPFO was unserviceable  instead of serviceable.

Between June 2017 and October 2017, Russell Morgan stored the bounce house at his residence. On Oct. 17, 2017, Russell Morgan falsely claimed he purchased the inflatable bounce house at a flea market, according to the indictment.

If convicted, both men face up to five years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the conspiracy charge and up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the embezzlement charge. Shane Morgan also faces up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the unauthorized sale charge, and up to five years incarceration and a fine of $250,000 fine for the false written statement charge. However, under the federal sentencing guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Cogar is prosecuting the case. The West Virginia Army National Guard and the West Virginia State Police investigated.

In a separate indictment, Marlin E. Beckner, 44, of Buckhannon, was indicted for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, according to a release from Powell’s office. Beckner allegedly possessed crystal methamphetamine in September 2017 in Upshur County.

If convicted, Beckner faces up to 20 years incarceration and a fine of up to $1 million. However, under the federal sentencing guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen D. Warner is prosecuting the case. The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives; Mountain Region Drug & Violent Crime Task Force; Greater Harrison Drug &Violent Crime Task Force; West Virginia State Police; Upshur County Sheriff’s Department; Lewis County Sheriff’s Department; Buckhannon Police Department; and Weston Police Department investigated.

The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program which supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises, according to the release.

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