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Missing Missile Case Brings Guilty Plea

May 22, 1997| Associated Press

ATLANTA — A truck driver who set off a nationwide search last month after he vanished with a shipment of unarmed Air Force missiles pleaded guilty Wednesday to defrauding his employer.

Ronald Dean Coy, a 42-year-old independent trucker from Middletown, Ohio, squandered his advance on gambling and drink, then wheedled $750 more out of his employers by claiming he needed the money for truck repairs.

After his employers refused another request for money, he dumped the missiles at a Texas lumberyard and contracted for another load.

A search for Coy and the missiles was launched after they failed to arrive at an Air Force base in New Mexico.

He was arrested April 25 in Texas, hours after the $1-million cargo from Duluth, Ga., was found.

Coy could get up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing Aug. 7.

Prosecutors said Coy had no idea what was in the crates. Coy said he did not even realize police were looking for him.

The Air Force said the missiles posed no danger to the public because they had no explosives.

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