HOUSTON, TX. (KTRK) - A Houston couple got more than they bargained for after buying gun storage cases online.
The couple, who did not want to be identified, thought they were buying 100 empty gun storage cases from a military surplus website to resell on eBay.
“It’s just a case, everybody can buy it online,” one of them said.
But when a friend cracked open one of the cases, they found it was far from empty.
The couple found at least a dozen fully automatic M16s designed strictly for military use.
Not sure what to do, they reported it to authorities.
Within hours, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives seized the single box and quickly got a search warrant for the storage unit containing 100 more. Experts were shocked by what they found.
“It’s almost surreal to believe something like that happen nowadays. It’s incredible,” said retired Houston police captain and former Marine Greg Fremin. “It’s unbelievable to think weapons of that grade, military-grade weapons, would be shipped in containers would be shipped across state lines and somebody have access to that. It’s pretty shocking,”
Fremin says the military carefully tracks all its weapons, because any misplaced weapons can be extremely dangerous.
“For these boxes to have M16s in them and being shipped to a public destination, not only is it shocking, it’s a federal crime,” he said.
The ATF confirms it is investigating along with the FBI, but did not say how many weapons have been recovered so far.
The military surplus website says it pulled other gun cases for sale offline after and notified the Department of Defense.
Meanwhile, the couple said they just want the weapons out of their hands, and they’d like to go back to their small business.