Explo official changes plea Tuesday

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A former official of a company that abandoned tons of potentially explosive artillery propellant in Louisiana is pleading guilty.

Koons pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to one count of making a false statement to the military’s Joint Munitions Command.

Lionel Koons was inventory control manager for Explo Systems when it went bankrupt in 2013, leaving 7,800 tons (7,100 metric tons) of M6 propellant on land leased from the Louisiana National Guard.

Koons remains free and is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 30. He faces up to five years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine and three years of probation.

He was indicted on 31 counts.

Explo co-owner David Alan Smith, 62, of Kentucky, pleaded guilty in December to one count of criminal conspiracy and one count of making a false statement.

Koons and Hornsby are two of six company officials indicted on federal charges in August 2016. Others include co-owner David Fincher, 69, of Tennessee and managers William Wright, 63, of Bossier City, Kenneth Lampkin, 65, and Charles Callihan, 67, of Shreveport on one count of criminal conspiracy, multiple counts of making false statements to federal officials and wire fraud in an alleged scheme to defraud the U.S. Army regarding the storage and disposition of M-6 propellant at Camp Minden.

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