MARSHALL COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO 18 MONTHS FOR MILITARY MEDALS FRAUD AND ILLEGALLY POSSESSING FIREARMS
BIRMINGHAM - A federal judge today sentenced a Marshall County man to 18 months in prison for fraudulently wearing military medals and illegally possessing firearms, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance announced in conjunction with ATF Special Agent in Charge Glenn Anderson and U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service Acting Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin.
U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre sentenced DOUGLAS LEE WEAVER, 36, to prison and ordered he serve three years supervised release after completing his prison term.
WEAVER, 36, of Arab, pleaded guilty in May to knowingly wearing the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and the Combat Infantry Badge of U.S. Armed Forces on Nov. 10, 2008, although he had not been awarded the badges or decorations and was not authorized to wear them. He also pleaded guilty to being a convicted felon who, in September 2009, possessed a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun.
“Members of the U.S. Military who earn recognition on the battlefield do so through sacrifice and dedication to their country,” Vance said. “Anyone who cheapens that service by claiming military honor and decoration that he or she did not earn, is committing a criminal act and deserves time in prison. I hope this will deter others from dishonoring those who fight to protect our country.”
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 2008, according to WEAVER’s plea agreement. He admitted he never had been in combat and had not been awarded any of the medals he wore.
The guns WEAVER illegally possessed were found at his home when Arab Police entered it in September 2009 with a search warrant for property reported stolen in Louisiana that August, according to court records.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David H. Estes prosecuted the case.
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The Office of U.S. Attorney
Joyce White Vance
Natural Disaster Fraud Hotline
Members of the public can report fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations through the Hotline, toll free, at (866) 720-5721 or the Disaster Fraud e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the News Release Justice Department Officials Raise Awareness of Disaster Fraud Hotline