The New York State Police recently announced a significant breakthrough in a month-long investigation targeting the theft and illicit resale of government-owned military equipment. Led by the NYSP Community Stabilization Unit, the operation uncovered a complex web of criminal activity involving multiple suspects across several locations in New York State.

The Investigation Unfolds

The investigation began when the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division flagged suspicious activity on a Facebook Marketplace account linked to James Waleski. Employed as a federal civilian at the 174th Air National Guard Attack Wing in Syracuse, NY, Waleski was allegedly selling military-grade equipment not available to the public. Search warrants executed at Waleski’s residence led to the recovery of tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen military equipment.

Scope of the Operation

Authorities recovered stolen military equipment from various states including Texas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Florida, as well as locally from Taberg and Flushing, NY. Shockingly, investigators intercepted a ballistic vest en route to Russia. During the search, an illegal assault rifle was also seized from Waleski’s residence, unrelated to his federal employment.

The Arrested Individuals

James E. Waleski (50) of Jamesville, NY, faces charges including Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Weapons, and Unlawful Sale of Body Armor. Jennifer Waleski (40), also of Jamesville, is charged with Criminal Possession of an Assault Weapon. Gordon D. Reynolds (44) from Chittenango, NY, is accused of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and Weapons charges. Joriann Garcia-Hernandez (38) of Rome, NY, faces charges related to Petit Larceny.

Involvement of Other Suspects

Further inquiry implicated Gordon Reynolds, a Military Police Officer, and Joriann Garcia-Hernandez, a Unit Supply Specialist, both allegedly involved in theft and subsequently charged accordingly.

Collaboration and Support

The investigation was a collaborative effort involving the NYSP Community Stabilization Unit, Violent Gangs & Narcotics Enforcement Team, Counter Terrorism & Intelligence Unit, FBI Syracuse Office, and local law enforcement agencies. Coordination was closely managed with the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office and military authorities.

Call to Action

Anyone with relevant information or who may have purchased military equipment from James Waleski is urged to contact Investigator Carl Schneider at State Police Headquarters (315) 366-6000.


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The following individuals were arrested and charged in 2021 and several years earlier. Some were convicted and sentenced to prison.

Others accepted plea deals for probation and some cases were still pending.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt