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Last Camp Minden defendant agrees he owes US $149,000

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — The last defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy and agreed that he owes the federal government $149,000 in a case involving a huge explosion at a Louisiana National Guard-owned site.

William Terry Wright’s plea agreement was described in news release Friday from the U.S. attorney’s office in Shreveport. Wright signed the agreement Thursday before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote.

Wright, 64, was vice president of operations at Explo Systems, which had an Army contract to “demilitarize” artillery charges.

State police began investigating after a 2012 explosion that shattered windows 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) away. The company went bankrupt in 2013, leaving thousands of tons of potentially explosive M6 propellant at Camp Minden.

Wright’s sentencing date was not available Friday in the court’s electronic docket.

Explo co-owner David Alan Smith of Winchester, Kentucky, and three company officials pleaded guilty earlier. Smith, support technology director Charles Ferris Callihan, program manager Kenneth Lampkin and inventory control officer Lionel Koons are scheduled for sentencing Aug. 30. Smith’s sentencing date was changed Friday to match the others.

The second co-owner, David Fincher of Burns, Tennessee, died June 2.

As vice president, Wright oversaw day-to-day demilitarization operations at Explo and sought buyers for the recovered M6 and smokeless igniter.

He was indicted on one count of conspiracy, 23 of making false statements and six of wire fraud.

The conspiracy count to which he pleaded guilty said he and others caused improper and unsafe storage of M6 and hazardous waste, obstructed federal inspections, and faked forms from purported buyers.

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