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Two Fairchild Airmen arrested for allegedly stealing ammunition from base

The Federal Courthouse in Spokane.
Wikimedia Commons
The Federal Courthouse in Spokane.

Two airmen from Fairchild Air Force Base have been arrested by a regional counterterrorism task force for allegedly stealing ammunition from the base, and falsifying records to hide the theft.

The FBI and the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations have been looking into Staff Sergeants John A. Sanger and Eric A. Eagleton since last year.

Court documents say Sanger’s social media presence attracted law enforcement attention. He posted about seizing the US Capitol, and wrote “People have to die.”

An agent connected with Sanger over an encrypted chat platform, where Sanger allegedly acknowledged he was racist, encouraged the agent to read a book about a race war and overthrow of the federal government, and told him he was looking to recruit like-minded people.

An undercover agent met with Sanger several times and recorded their meetings, where Sanger again allegedly shared his dislike of Black and Jewish people and his opposition to vaccines. The undercover agent also accompanied Sanger and a group of other people to a shooting range, where he saw government ammunition.

At meeting, Eagleton discussed stealing ammunition from Fairchild Air Force Base, allegedly telling an agent he stole 3,000 rounds in a single day. Sanger also confirmed in text messages to the undercover agent that the ammunition was stolen by Eagleton.

In a statement, US Attorney for the Eastern District Vanessa Waldref commended said her office was prosecuting the two men.

“As the U.S. Attorney, I will not tolerate any abuse of trust by those charged with protecting our great Nation and community,” she said. “So many of those who serve at Fairchild Air Force Base are career public servants who sacrifice their time, energy, and even their lives to keep America safe. When individuals put their own interests ahead of others and abuse the public trust, those individuals dishonor the countless public servants who dedicate their lives to government and military service.”

Donald Voiret, special agent in charge of the FBI Seattle Field Office echoed her statement.

“Members of our nation’s armed forces swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” he said. “There is no exception to set aside this oath to achieve personal goals. The FBI, along with our partners in the Air Force and U.S. Attorney’s Office, are upholding our oaths and ending this criminal conspiracy.”

Both men have been booked into the Spokane County Jail and are facing charges of conspiracy to commit theft of government property.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.