Navy Seals allegedly killed Green Beret over theft discovery

Sgt. Logan Melgar

Sgt. Logan MelgarMore

An embezzlement scheme provided the motive behind the killing of a U.S. Green Beret sergeant at the hands of two Navy SEALs in Mali earlier this year, the Daily Beast reported late Sunday.

A new Daily Beast report now fills in some blanks, at least, according to members of the specials-ops community who spoke anonymously to the outlet.

And five members of the special-operations community have now said Melgar's death came after he had discovered the SEALs were pocketing money meant to pay local informants.

The Times reported that Melgar was found dead June 4 at the U.S. Embassy housing he shared in Mali with other special operations personnel working in West Africa on training and counterterrorism missions.

The Times reported that one account given was that a SEAL put Melgar in a chokehold, which caused him to pass out. However, things escalated to the point that Melgar ended up losing consciousness and eventually stopped breathing.

But an autopsy reportedly found no drugs or alcohol in his system. The SEALs and another Green Beret then drove to a nearby French clinic seeking help, but he was dead prior to arrival due to asphyxiation.

Authorities nearly immediately suspected foul play and have spent months investigating, The Times said.

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They reportedly claimed that he was drunk while they were engaging in hand-to-hand fighting exercises with him.

Brig. Gen Donald Bolduc, who is the Commander of the Special Ops Command-Africa, was allegedly skeptical of the SEALs stories and the initial reports about Melgar's death, and told commanders in Mali to preserve any evidence.

The jurisdiction for the investigation was transferred from Army investigators to the Navy in September, indicating the two SEALs had become the center of the investigation.

The investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death remained secret until October 29, when the New York Times reported that NCIS took on the probe from AFRICOM on September 25.

He graduated from Texas Tech in 2006, and enlisted in the Army in 2012 as an off-the-street Special Forces recruit.

Melgar, a 34-year-old Texan, deployed to Afghanistan twice.

The two accused Navy SEALs, who have not been identified, were flown out of Mali shortly after the death and placed on administrative leave. In 2016, he completed the Special Forces Qualification course.

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