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NRA revokes instructor credentials of FWC brass thieves

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    NRA revokes instructor credentials of FWC brass thieves

    EXCLUSIVE: NRA revokes instructor credentials of FWC brass thieves


    John Weatherholt gestures to the camera and reporter after hearing his sentence in the stolen ammunition brass case at the Charlotte County Justice Center last week. June 2, 2106 in Punta Gorda. Mr. Weatherholt received 5 years probation and must pay $15,000 in restitution, $3,960 in court costs and $5,000 to the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Inspector General. ( Pool Photo / Herald Tribune )

    Lee’s note: I just wrote this for the paper.

    by Lee Williams

    The National Rifle Association took the unusual step of revoking the training credentials of the two former state officials involved in a theft ring uncovered by a Herald-Tribune investigation, just one day after the pair were sentenced to five years of probation and restitution.

    John Weatherholt — who previously oversaw the Cecil M. Webb Shooting Range and two others for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission — had only one question for a judge last week during his sentencing: could he continue working as an NRA-certified firearms instructor?

    Because Weatherholt and his former employee Glen Nickell were sentenced to five years of probation and a $5,000 fine with their adjudication on a felony charge withheld by Circuit Judge George Richards as part of a plea deal with state prosecutors, the judge said he could not prohibit Weatherholt from working in his profession.

    Weatherholt and Nickell, who had been the chief range safety officer at the Webb range, had faced one count of grand theft and one count of organized fraud, both third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison, for pocketing thousands of dollars from sales of the recycled brass at the range that had been destined for youth hunting programs.

    Weatherholt’s question and a feeling among NRA administrators that the sentence imposed by Richards was too light sent the organization

    Glen Nickell listens to the judge read his sentence in the stolen brass ammunition case at the Charlotte County Justice Center last week, June 2, 2106 in Punta Gorda. Mr. Nickell received 5 years probation and must pay $13,000 in restitution, $3,960 in court costs and $5,000 to the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Inspector General. ( Pool Photo / Herald Tribune )

    into action.

    One day after the hearing, John Howard, the national manager of NRA’s training department, sent certified letters to Nickell and Weatherholt, informing them that their NRA firearms training certifications were revoked, effective immediately.

    “The National rifle Association Training Department received information that you pleaded guilty to organized fraud,” the letter states. “In view of the above, your certifications as an NRA Trainer have been revoked. You may not conduct any part of any NRA course, order restricted training materials, issue any certificate that bears the NRA name, or claim to be an NRA trainer.”

    Howard also notified the Florida Department of Agriculture’s Division of Licensing — which regulates concealed-carry licensing in the state — that Nickell and Weatherholt were no longer certified instructors.

    Marion Hammer — executive director of the state NRA-affiliate, the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, and a past NRA president and a current NRA board member — said she took issue with the pair’s actions, and with the plea deal.

    “It’s a shame that prosecutors merely slapped them on the wrist and chose to whitewash the crime. That’s not what I call cracking down on corruption,” Hammer said. “Their actions are despicable and the NRA moved quickly to revoke their credentials. Stealing from children is not only shameful, it is contemptible.”

    The Herald-Tribune investigation, first published last June, revealed that Nickell and Weatherholt had pocketed thousands of dollars from sales of the recycled brass at the Webb range.

    Signs posted on the firing lines at the range falsely claimed that money from the recycled brass went to promote youth hunting. But the Herald-Tribune’s probe and subsequent evidence collected by state prosecutors show that it instead went into Nickell’s and Weatherholt’s pockets.

    “I’m no mathematician, but it looks to me like stealing from children was profitable for them because they appear to have made thousands of dollars that they are not being required to return,” Hammer said.

    As he was leaving the courtroom last week, Weatherholt made several obscene gestures toward a Herald-Tribune reporter and photographer in the room.

    “The obscene gesture to onlookers in court by Weatherholt tells me he has no remorse and is flipping-off the people who reported him,” Hammer said. “That’s the kind of arrogance one might expect from a man who steals from children and then cheats the system and walks free.”

    Click here to read the rest of the story.
    Pat ------> NRA Endowment Member

    #2
    I've been to that range. It's a bit odd. Lock box at the entrance with suggested prices. IIRC, each individual range is self-policing. I don't remember there being any RO's, or any supervision of any kind. Maybe that's why these guys figured no one would notice what they were doing.
    Steve

    Comment


      #3
      That brass got him some good meals

      Comment


        #4
        No pity for thieves.
        F them.

        Comment


          #5
          What am I missing here? They both adjudicated to Felonies correct? So why would they expect to be able to handle a firearm to begin with?

          Comment


          • crashguy
            crashguy commented
            Editing a comment
            sentenced to five years of probation and a $5,000 fine with their adjudication on a felony charge withheld by Circuit Judge George Richards as part of a plea deal with state prosecutors, 

            FELONY CHARGE WITHHELD

          • bigbore44
            bigbore44 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks...I guess that I missed that "withheld" part. I hate reading stories that large on my phone.

          #6
          Eff em, nice job judge and NRA.

          Comment


            #7
            Geese, how much brass did they take?
            "The devil doesn't come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you've ever wished for.”
            Tucker Max

            Infirmitate Invitat Violentiam
            Finicky Fat Guy

            Comment


              #8
              Anyone else here think, for a fleeting moment, of a LIGC member?
              Exercise the Bill of Rights. It's good for your Constitution.

              Comment


                #9
                Stealing from children. How pathetic.

                I'm glad this worked out the way it did.

                Comment


                  #10
                  Originally posted by Barnslayer View Post
                  Anyone else here think, for a fleeting moment, of a LIGC member?

                  Does his name start with McFertile?
                  Pat ------> NRA Endowment Member

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Fuck them for stealing it...good for the NRA in the revocation move.

                    Comment


                      #12
                      Did they write June 2106.
                      They deserve it
                      let's make america great again

                      Comment


                        #13
                        Pate gets all the stories. Pate u do know u can also watch porn on the computer right
                        let's make america great again

                        Comment

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