“Dragon Skin” body armor still isn't approved for use by U.S. troops, but a man in Boston got his hands on one vest, thanks to the on-line shopping site: eBay.
Tonight: the government wants that piece of Fresno made body armor back.
When we brought this story to you in February, the U.S. government denied any federal investigation was underway and that any and all tested body armor had been accounted for.
Now, what we assumed back then may be true today.
Evidence shows: a federal investigation tracing that piece of “Dragon Skin” was underway.
"I decided I was also gonna do a nine month tour, started shopping for the normal equipment, a satellite phone, a tough book, and of course body armor,” said Richard Warren.
Leading him to the online marketplace eBay.
That's where Boston resident Richard Warren says he purchased his "Dragon Skin" body armor from a man by the name of David Bronson, who according to Warren had served two tours in Iraq with the United States Army.
“He didn't come clear that he used to, I’m assuming, work for the testing facility," said Warren.
At the time Warren didn't realize that this level four piece of body armor, serial number 57180, was at the center of a federal investigation.
Until his phone rang.
"I received a call from a gentleman with Homeland Security. Initially I thought it was a friend pulling my leg, just trying to get the vest and just kidding around with me," said Warren.
But Warren quickly realized, this was no joke, soon after, receiving a call from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GOA) in Washington, D.C., then a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice, instructing him to turn the vest over the F.B.I.
"They made it clear that they weren't gonna pay me for it, but they wanted me to ship it back without any documentation. At that point, I know something didn't smell right," said Warren.
Pinnacle Armor CEO, Murray Neal tells KSEE 24 News that he is ninety-nine percent sure, this is one of Pinnacle Armor's thirty, level four vests that according to federal authorities, allegedly failed military testing back in May of 2006.
Neal says it should have never been let out of their site, and should be in government custody today.
"The protocol is anytime you have a first article testing, a vest that once its shot up, they're to retain those vests for archival purposes, said Neal.
And shot up is right.
Warren says he was told by the seller that the vest would be in brand new condition when he received it, but says that was far from the truth, adding it had been shot at more than thirty times.
Not one round penetrating the armor.
"Catastrophic failure? The bullet would have actually come all the way through or damaged the plates and as you can see, the back is perfect," said Warren.
Regardless, The Department of Justice still wants their vest back and Warren says next week, the F.B.I. is planning to come and pick it up.
"Do I think the Army is trying to cover up something? Yeah, they clearly said they weren't missing any of the vests and I’ve clearly got one of the vests they said they were missing," said Warren.
Click on the link to watch Preston Phillips’ exclusive report.