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Criminal Investigation | Dec. 14, 2017

Explo co-owner pleads guilty to conspiracy, false

Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced today that the co-owner of Explo Systems Inc. pleaded guilty to conspiracy and false statements concerning the storage of munitions at Camp Minden that led to an explosion.

Explo co-owner David Alan Smith, 62, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Horsnby to one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of making a false statement. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote.

Explo Systems Inc. is a private company whose primary business operations involved the demilitarization of military munitions and the subsequent resale of the recovered explosive materials for mining operations. According to the guilty plea, the U.S. Army awarded Explo a contract on March 24, 2010 to dispose of 450,000 155 mm artillery propelling charges designated as M119A2 for $2,902,500. The Army and Explo officials later amended the contract on March 6, 2012 to dispose of 1,350,000 charges for $8,617,500. The contract required Explo to properly store and dispose of the demilitarized M6. The contract also required Explo to document the sale of the demilitarized M6 by completing an End User Certificate (EUC). On the EUC, the purchaser of the demilitarized M6 certified the purchase and compliance with applicable federal laws. Once the EUCs were certified, Explo submitted the EUCs to the Army.