The police powers of five D.C. police officers have been revoked pending an investigation into their possible involvement in transporting and hiding some missing government weapons and ammunition, law enforcement officials said yesterday.
The U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria and the D.C. Police Department's internal affairs division are investigating missing government weapons and ammunition that were taken from the Virginia home of a retired D.C. police officer after an explosion there last May.
Police officials have taken the guns and badges of the five officers and assigned them to desk work until the investigation is completed.
Acccording to officials, the officers went to the Woodbridge home of Richard (Hook) Traylor last May 14 following and early morning explosion that blew off the end of his house.
The officers took some rounds of ammunition and weapons from the home that were marked as property of the D.C. Police Department, officials said.
Investigators said they found 15,000 rounds of that ammunition in the Woodbridge home of one of the officers under investigation. One of the missing handguns was found at another officer's home and several missing sniper rifles and ammunition were found at other locations, investigators said. s
Traylor, a firearms specialist, was fired by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration last May 25 after investigators reported finding missing DEA firearms in his home. He had worked as a firearms instructor for DEA.
Investigators reported finding "an arsenal" of 119 firearms and other explosive materials in Traylor's home the day of the explosion. A combination of firearms, gunpowder and solvents caused the explosion, which injured Traylor and his wife.
D.C. Police Chief Burtell M. Jefferson said the department's action against the five officers was taken as a result of the investigation of the explosion.
The officers are Lt. Jerry S. Collins, 38, a 14-year police veteran, who is the department's fleet manager; Sgt. Richard W. Witt, 43, an 18-year veteran, who works in the special operations division; Sgt. Ronald H. King, 40, a 16-year veteran, who works in the 6th District police station; and officers Michael D. Gonzales, 34, and Charles R. Aldridge, 31. Aldridge and Gonzales are both nine-year veterans and work in the special operations division.