GRANT COUNTY, Wash.-- Grant County authorities are trying to figure out how an M16 rifle went missing and where they can find it.
“I am enormously concerned about this missing rifle,” said Sheriff Tom Jones. “I am sorry to alarm the public that such a weapon has been lost from our control, and I reassure everyone that we will find the rifle and anybody who is found to be responsible for any malfeasance will be held accountable at the highest level.”
The rifle was unaccounted for during a recent audit and equipment inventory. The rifle was last logged into a secured firearms room at the Grant County Courthouse in Ephrata, but is not accounted for and its whereabouts is unknown.
Immediately after it was discovered missing, the GCSO conducted an internal audit and investigation to try and locate the rifle. When the rifle was not found during the internal investigation, Jones asked the Washington State Patrol to investigate, thus providing a set of eyes from outside investigators.
The missing weapon is an M16, .223-caliber, fully automatic rifle. It does not have a collapsible stock. It is used as a rifle issued to patrol deputies.
For further information, please contact Sheriff Jones at 509-754-2011 ext. 468 during regular business hours.