News and Press Releases

MARSHALL COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MILITARY MEDALS FRAUD AND ILLEGALLY POSSESSING FIREARMS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2010


BIRMINGHAM - A Marshall County man pleaded guilty today in federal court to fraudulently wearing military medals and illegally possessing firearms, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance announced in conjunction with ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Larry Cooper and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent in Charge Thomas Wilkin.
 
DOUGLAS LEE WEAVER, 35, of Arab, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre to the four counts of the indictment returned in March. Count One charges that in September 2009, WEAVER, a convicted felon, possessed a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun. The remaining counts charge that on Nov. 10, 2009, WEAVER knowingly wore the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and the Combat Infantry Badge of U.S. Armed Forces, although he had not been awarded the badges or decorations and was not authorized to wear them.
                       
“It is a criminal act to claim military honor and decoration that one did not earn, and it deserves prosecution and punishment,” Vance said. “The honor of our military personnel, who sacrifice so much to serve and defend our country, must be protected,” Vance said.

She praised the work of the Arab Police Department and special agents of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Army CID, whose collaborative efforts led to charges in the case.
           
According to WEAVER’S plea agreement, Arab Police found the guns at WEAVER’S home when they entered it in September 2009 with a search warrant for property reported stolen in Louisiana that August.

In November 2009, an agent of the defense department’s Office of Inspector General and an Arab Police investigator interviewed WEAVER about his wearing of a military uniform and medals. WEAVER had been wearing a uniform for some time, including to a Veteran’s Day event at an elementary school in Arab in November 2008, the plea agreement said. WEAVER admitted he never had been in combat and had not been awarded any of the medals he wore.

The felon in possession of a firearm charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The two charges for unauthorized wearing of the Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star each  carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. The charge for unauthorized wearing of the Combat Infantry Badge carries a maximum punishment of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David H. Estes is prosecuting the case.

 

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