Marine 1st Sgt. Faces Hearing After $1.5M in Razors Stolen at Parris Island

First Sgt. Lascelles Chambers (U.S. Marine Corps Photo)
First Sgt. Lascelles Chambers (U.S. Marine Corps Photo)

A Marine company first sergeant is facing an Article 32 investigative hearing for his alleged involvement in the theft of more than $1.5 million worth of merchandise taken from a warehouse at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina.

First Sgt. Lascelles Chambers is under investigation in connection to the federal indictment of three civilian Defense Department employees accused of stealing high-end Gillette razors and razor blades from Parris Island and selling them across state lines. The case was first reported by the Post and Courier in South Carolina.

Chambers, who is referred to by his initials in the Oct. 10 indictment, allegedly asked Sarah Brutus, a former Parris Island Recruit Store employee, to steal boxes of the razors. Brutus then allegedly introduced the Marine to Orlando Byson and Tommie Harrison Jr., who worked at the store's warehouse.

Harrison and Byson stole boxes of razors from their warehouse weekly, evading and disabling security cameras, according to the indictment. They then delivered the stolen goods to Chambers, the document states.

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Chambers, who's now with the Florida-based 4th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, was previously assigned to Headquarters and Service Battalion at Parris Island, where he served as the service company first sergeant from August 2016 to March 2018.

Maj. Roger Hollenbeck, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Reserve, declined to confirm specifics about Chambers' case, citing the service's ongoing investigation. Chambers will face an Article 32 hearing, which has not yet been scheduled, he said.

"This hearing will determine the Marine Corps' next course of action," Hollenbeck said.

While Chambers was at Parris Island, the boxes of razors were allegedly delivered to him in person. Once he moved to his new unit, he directed Harrison to send the razors across state lines by mail, the indictment states.

Once Chambers received the razors, he sold the merchandise to people in other states including New York, according to the indictment. The first sergeant is then alleged to have shared some of the money he made with Brutus, Harrison and Byson by sending them wire transfers from his Navy Federal Credit Union account.

Five of those wire transfers between Feb. 6 and June 18, which are detailed in the indictment, totaled $4,970.

Brutus, Harrison and Byson are scheduled to be arraigned at the U.S. District Court in Charleston on Oct. 30, the Post and Courier reported. Since they were indicted with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., they could face up to five years in prison, according to the paper.

Byson and Harrison, the two warehouse employees, also face a felony count of theft of government property, the paper added, which could bring the sentence up to 10 years.

Chambers joined the Marine Corps in June 1998. The inspector-instructor has served as a recruiter, substance-abuse control specialist and administrative clerk, according to his personnel records. In 2012, he was named the staff noncommissioned officer in charge for Recruiting Station San Diego.

His awards include four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, six Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and six Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal. Chambers has served in Japan and Bahrain.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ginaaharkins.

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