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Pentagon FURIOUS

How Did TMZ

Find Our Missile?

3/16/2011 10:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The U.S. Air Force sent special agents to Vegas yesterday to grill the guys from "Pawn Stars" ... trying to find out how they got ahold of the sophisticated missile equipment the feds read about on TMZ.com.

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Sources connected to the situation tell us ... two members from the U.S. Air Force Special Investigations Unit rolled over to Gold and Silver Pawn yesterday wanting to check out the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile guidance system and missile parts the guys purchased just last week.

We're told the agents wanted to make sure the system was no longer active -- and pulled it apart to ensure it did not contain any important information. 

The agents also inquired about the woman who sold the missile guts to the "Pawn Stars" -- a woman who claims she inherited the stuff from her father.

The seller had maintained that her dad purchased the items at an official military auction during the '80s ... and we're told she had the proper court-approved paperwork specifying she could legally sell the parts.

Here's the best part -- we're told while the agents were inside the shop, they explained how they were initially put on the case after someone from the Pentagon called up wanting to know why they were out of the loop about a missile featured on TMZ.com.

When called for comment, a rep from "Pawn Stars" confirmed agents from the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations did drop by the shop.

However, the rep insisted, "If the Air Force wants the missile back, we will gladly adhere to their request."

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