Man pleads guilty over stolen National Guard weapons
By Chris Eger
A South Carolina man entered a guilty plea on Monday for his connection to a bag full of hot military weapons that included machine guns and a 40mm grenade launcher.
Brandon Shane Polston, 32, of Lancaster, changed his plea this week on a host of weapon charges relating to possession of National Firearms Act items without the proper paperwork and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Polston’s plea bargain followed in the footsteps of his two fellow co-conspirators, Austin Lee Ritter, 23, and Kimberly Denise Cannon, 40, as noted by a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
According to court documents, the trio’s plot unraveled after a series of almost comically inept circumstances.
Authorities were drawn to Polston and company just after midnight on the Sunday morning of last Thanksgiving weekend when a Lancaster Police officer on patrol saw Cannon driving a Saturn Vue compact SUV with a bag of food on the roof, blowing litter along South Carolina Hwy 9. Conducting a traffic stop, the officer found that Cannon had the wrong tag on her Saturn, an open container in the center console, and no insurance– even before the lawman noticed what turned out to be an FN M249 Squad Automatic Weapon,