Former Indiana Guard officer charged with bribery

(WTHI Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana National Guard’s former recruitment commander is charged with soliciting kickbacks from a company whose equipment prosecutors say he encouraged state Guard units to buy.

The federal bribery charges filed in Virginia against retired Lt. Col. Wesley Russell allege that he sought and accepted a 15 percent cut of profits from a company that sold recruiting equipment to state National Guard units. Prosecutors say Russell encouraged Guard units to buy the company’s touch-screen video boxes that sold for about $30,000 each.

Prosecutors say the 48-year-old from the Delaware County town of Albany carried out the scheme from September 2012 until March 2013.

Russell declined Friday to comment to The Associated Press about the charges. A message seeking comment was left for an Indiana National Guard spokeswoman. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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