Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Find a Mini-14 Rifle? Oregon Prison Wants it Back!

A lot of crazy things go missing in a prison and nobody ever notices. One would think, however, that someone would have immediately noticed that a semi-automatic .223-caliber Ruger Mini-14 rifle was missing from the prison's arsenal. Apparently not at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF) in Wilsonville, Oregon.

Although CCCF guards do not routinely carry Mini-14 rifles, they are trained to use them. That's where CCCF's problems began.

On July 18, 2011, someone checked out a Mini-14 from CCCF's arsenal for a day of range training, according to Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) spokeswoman Jennifer Black. However, that gun was apparently never returned to the arsenal.

Black said that incomplete paperwork suggests that the weapon had actually been
checked back into the arsenal, but "we don't know who checked it in and what happened to it."

Worse yet, nobody noticed that it was missing for four months. The weapon's absence was not discovered because staff failed to conduct mandated monthly arsenal inventories in August, September and October of 2011, according to Black. It wasn't until a November 11, 2011 inventory that staff realized the gun was gone.

Black admits that she cannot rule out the possibility that the gun was returned to CCCF, but said ODOC believes that it was inadvertently left at a Wilsonville gun range.

CCCF officials contacted the range, as well as a vendor who performs maintenance on the prison's weapons and other prisons that might have ended up with the gun by mistake. Nobody has seen the nomadic rifle. Repeated searches of the prison also failed to locate the weapon, and CCCF Superintendent Nancy Howton is weighing possible disciplinary measures.

ODOC assures us that there is "no immediate threat to the safety or security of staff or inmates and inmates did not have access to the weapon that is now missing." Yet, prison officials are desperate to locate the missing gun. Anyone with information is asked to call ODOC's Inspector General's office at (877) 678-4222.

Source: The Oregonian

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login