The Camp Minden conspiracy history goes back to the beginning of 1939 in a place called Webster parish, south of US highway. This camp Minden is a part of a large compound called the Louisiana army ammunition plant or LAAP. This compound is just under 15,000 acres. The Louisiana army ammunition plant or LAAP had a couple of different names before which are Louisiana ordinance plant, the shell plant, artillery shell for the entirety of the time since it was fully acquired at the beginning of 39 going to 41 and uncle Sam has owned it. The government uses the concept of eminent domain to acquire the land before the united state entered world war two. This place has been out operated by private contractors. The LAAP was completed in just 11 months under the direction of a contractor name Silas Mason. At the time, this was a middle of nowhere country.
Camp Minden production history
In May 1942, there was a total of eight production line that was opened, and by December 1944, the number of employees hits its peak at just under 11,000, and that was in the month of the battle of the bold, and we needed a lot of this ammunition. The plant was deactivated after the summer in 1945 right with VJ Day. The facility was restored after world war two during Korean conflict under Remington Rand, the company that was there producing ammunition in 1952. The employment at that time went from roughly 0 before 1951 then up to 5000 in 1953. There was an addition of a metal forging and machining plant area, and it was known as the wireline chromatic acid etching facility. This facility manufactured these specific 155-millimeter projectiles; this would have fed an M777 howitzer, which is one of those canon looking things that are on wheels. We see production wax and wane with this global conflict. The plant is again reactivated during the Vietnam conflict, the Vietnam war in September 1961. This time by a different company, Sperry Rand. This contractor held it until 1975. As that conflict was continuing, the plant produces all kind of things such as mines, fuses, shaped charges, bombs, boosters, demolition blocks, projectiles, and all that make humans no longer humans.
Camp Minden production implication
A couple of things went wrong in the facility, a couple of trends, a tragic accidental explosion in 1962 and then again in 1968. Production continues whether there is war or not. Over the next few decades, employment waxed and waned in the facility depending upon the ammunition needs of the military. On August 24, 2006, there’s another explosion during a time where the facility is run by an outfit name Explo system incorporated. They had a site in Minden camp where bombs are disassembled and recycled. In 2012, another huge explosion of 15 million pounds of stuff called M6 propellant took place in camp Minden under the operation of the explo system. This was huge, and it sounded like a nuclear explosion. It shattered windows up to four miles always, and it created a 7000-foot mushroom cloud that ended up contaminating much of the surrounding.
Camp Minden conspiracy
Remember the contractor mentioned earlier, the people doing the work are the private contractors, a panoply of rands, and explo system was one of the most prominent. The explo system incorporated was a private company whose primary business operation was all the demilitarization of military ammunition and reselling or repurposing for mining, demolition of a building, construction in a legitimate way.
This M6 propellant is military grade explosive propellant that is used for triggering, firing off the heavy artillery like that howitzer. The US army employed and paid explo system millions of dollars to take all the unused propellant, store it, and resell it. Explo system ought to document the sale of everything, they need to certify it compliance with federal law and submit an official certificate to the army, but they did not, not once, not never. Explo was in $8.6 million contract fund to demilitarize 1.35 million propellant, but they refuse to do that.
They entered a real-life conspiracy. The management of explo system didn’t even attempt reselling any of these explosive. Instead, they hoarded, airy unsafely these bags containing M6 opened to the air intentionally away from places where they would legally be required to put them because this stockpiles do not exist from January 2010 to November 2012. Explo system ran a con game on the united state of America. They submitted false certificates to the US Army. They transported hazardous waste to facilities where it was illegal to store them. It feels like they wanted to make more money on it. So, the explo officials, including vice president of operations, William Terry makes up these sales. They order lower level employees to not only move these stuff once but to move it multiple times whenever government officials come around to check in on things. Million of pounds of explosives and propellants just continually moving around in this large facility which is highly dangerous.
They have to create more and more false documents to cover up their original lie. They started doing false paperwork for landfills in Louisiana and Arkansas. All of these added up to millions of pounds, that’s 7800 tons of M6 propellant that is just hidden in camp Minden. Eventually, they get discovers because of that enormous explosion
Camp minden conspiracy court charge
This explosion that happens on October 15 made a lot people across three states, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, and hundreds of miles always nervous and scared. The parish sheriff at the time, Gary Sexton said the hazmat experts told him the flashes of light in the sky people saw and multiples of loud booms heard was an underground bunker containing explosives that blew up, but that hasn’t prevented people from saying no to the cover-up story.
In a rare example of corporate injustices, the higher-ups and explore did end up going to court. The individuals involved had a legal consequence. The co-owner of the company, explo system incorporated named David Allen Smith who was 63 years old at the time was sentenced to 55 months in prison because of all this each and also three years of supervised after he was released and was also fined $34 million because he was taking part in that conspiracy. Its failure to do the right thing to protect the people that live in the vicinity of the facility.
David Allen Smith was not the only guy that went to prison, William Terry was sentenced to 16 months in prison, three years of supervised released because he was the VP of operations. He had to pay just $150,000 in restitution for participating in the criminal conspiracy.
Three other big names also had to dive. There’s the director of support technology, a man named Charles Ferris Callahan, who was 69 years old from Shreveport got 24 months in prison and one year of supervised probation, and he had to pay $207,599 in restitution for falsely representing facts in various documents. Kenneth Wayne Lampkin, the demolition program manager, got himself 45 Months in prison and three years of supervised released or probation and he was fined $149,000 in restitution for specifically making false statements.
Last but not the least was the traffic and inventory control manager, Lionel Wing Coons who had to go with 41 months in prison, three years of supervised released and had to pay $92,921 restitution. These people did go to court and were found guilty of the conspiracy.