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Thu., Oct. 8
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Former Drum soldier extradited on weapon charges


A former Fort Drum soldier who was extradited from South Carolina Friday is jailed in Watertown under $20,000 bail for his alleged theft of five guns, including an assault rifle, about a year ago.

Kenneth Dykes, 22, of Honea Path, S.C., is facing five felony charges and a misdemeanor in connection with the theft of guns belonging to another soldier and the latter’s father, who is in Virginia. He was arraigned before town of Watertown Justice Andrew N. Capone and is being held in the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building awaiting grand jury action on three counts of criminal possession of stolen property, and single counts of third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal sale of a firearm, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a firearm.

Detective Ben K. Timerman of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said all of the guns have been recovered and Mr. Dykes’ location was determined through an 11-month investigation involving the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Department in Virginia and the sheriff’s departments of Anderson, Greenville and Abbeville counties in South Carolina. It was in Abbeville County where Mr. Dykes was located on about Nov. 12 and was held for extradition.

The guns owner, David M. O’Connor, a since transfered soldier who was living in Theresa, notified the sheriff’s office in January that Mr. Dykes had possessed the weapons since October 2011, when they were both using the weapons at the Watertown Sportsmen’s Club, County Route 155 in the town of Watertown, according to documents filed in town of Watertown Court. He never returned the guns - the assault rifle, three other rifles and a pistol, Mr. O’Connor reported. The pistol is actually owned by his father, John.

The investigation revealed that Mr. Dykes traded the pistol to a soldier at a Fort Drum barracks for a compound bow sometime between Nov. 10 and Nov. 30, 2011, according to the court file. The pistol was then sold to another soldier, who, after learning it was stolen, mailed it to the proper owner in Virginia, Mr. Timerman said.

No charges are anticipated against any of the other parties in the investigation, he said.

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