Sixty-three high-powered semi-automatic guns disappeared from a truck two weekends ago, according to an internal law enforcement memo obtained exclusively by CBS News.
A shipment of AR-15 Colt Law Enforcement Carbines left Hartford, Conn., home of Colt Manufacturing, on a truck headed south, but some of the guns on board the truck were missing when the truck was inspected in its final destination of Shreveport, La.
The AR-15 is a highly customizable, lightweight and easy-to-use rifle. They can be accessorized with extra scopes, larger clips and can fire as fast as a shooter can pull the trigger. AR-15 style weapons were used in the Sandy Hook and Aurora Theater shootings.
"Designed specifically for lightweight mobility, speed of target acquisition, and potent firepower capability - the Colt Law Enforcement Carbine delivers," Colt advertises on its website. "This specially designed law enforcement weapon system features many of the combat proven advantages of the military Colt M4."
The memo from the Caddo Parish Sherriff's Office says the weapons were among a shipment of five pallets traveling between Connecticut and Louisiana, one of which disappeared along the way. According to the memo, the shipment left Connecticut on Wednesday, October 9th, and checked in at terminals along the way in New York, Maryland, Virginia and Tennessee before arriving at its final destination in Shreveport, La., on October 12th.
Officials from Conway, the shipping company that misplaced the weapons, told law enforcement that the pallets were scanned as a group, not individually, at each checkpoint. Two days later, employees noticed there were only four pallets, not five.
"We've been involved in the investigation with the Sherriff's Office since day one," said Senior Special Agent Austin Banks of the ATF New Orleans Field Division. The Sherriff's Office in Shreveport refused to comment on the ongoing investigation. Law enforcement has the serial numbers of all missing weapons, which could be used to track guns that turn up on the market, or in criminal incidents.
AR-15's are popular and widely available, and most models retail for around $900 to $1,250. The local Wal-Mart in Shreveport began stocking their first AR-15 as recently as two months ago, priced at $907.
Officials from Conway Inc. and Colt Manufacturing were unavailable for comment.