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Once-praised cop admits he bought, sold parts for high-tech guns

A former northwest Indiana cop who won accolades for helping keep millions of dollars of drugs off the street will now spend two years in prison after admitting he illegally bought and sold high-tech gun parts.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen also ordered Edward O. Kabella during his sentencing hearing Wednesday to pay a fine of $6,000 and a restitution to the IRS of $26,115.

Kabella was arrested and pleaded guilty in September 2011 with two other former Lake County Sheriff’s Department officers, Ronald Slusser and Joseph Kumstar, on charges of using their position with the department to buy 74 fully automatic machine guns that only law enforcement and the military can buy. The men then took the guns apart and sold the upper receiver barrel, which is not sold on its own, online. The men did the same with 91 laser sites, using their position with the department to buy and resell the gun parts online.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Benson said the guns are used by all the special operation forces in the U.S. military and are highly desired on the black market. The lasers are top grade as they work at 2,000 meters, or about 1.2 miles, from a target, he said.

“These sights ... are incredibly dangerous,” Benson said.

Police discovered some of the guns during a raid on the West End Gang in Montreal, Canada, and some of the laser sites were found on a Georgia man who got into a shootout with police officers and killed himself.

Kabella, of Crown Point, also pleaded guilty to lying on his tax return about the profit he made from the scheme and other money he earned.

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