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Press Release

Sex Offender Who Used Soldier’s Identification Sentenced

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Vermont

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that David P. Oswald, age 47, was sentenced to 140 months in prison today by Chief Judge Christina Reiss of the U.S. District Court in Rutland, Vermont. Oswald lived in Vermont for six years, from 2006 - 2012, as Bobby Lee Triplett, a U.S. Army Veteran from North Carolina. Oswald adopted the false identification in order to avoid his obligation to register as a sex offender after a 2005 conviction in Washington State for a sex assault on a child.

After Sgt. Triplett’s car was stolen in Washington State with his military identification in it, Oswald acquired the identification documents and moved to Vermont. In late 2006 he obtained from the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles a non-driver’s photo identification card as Triplett, which he then used with other documents to obtain a U.S. Passport identifying him as Triplett. Living as Triplett in Williston, Vermont, Oswald obtained a voter registration card, befriended a retired police officer, purchased 10 firearms, acquired a collection of child pornography over the internet, and joined the Vermont State Guard.

In 2011 Oswald had a heart attack, and again posing as Sgt. Triplett, obtained approximately $50,000 worth of cardiac care at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. The hospital, believing that Oswald was U.S. Army Veteran Triplett, billed the U.S. Veteran’s Affairs. Meanwhile, Sgt. Triplett was on his fourth deployment to the Middle East with the Army. When he returned, he reported to the V.A. in 2012 that he had never been to Vermont. The ensuing investigation by Agent Will Nelson with the V.A.’s Office of Inspector General resulted in Oswald’s September, 2012 arrest in Jonesville, Vermont. Agents found a loaded semi-automatic pistol in his car, along with child pornography and multiple additional firearms in a camper in which he had been staying. When confronted by federal agents and U.S. Marshals, Oswald initially insisted that he was Triplett.

In Court today for sentencing on four federal felonies, Chief Judge Reiss observed that the offenses were particularly aggravated, as Oswald had, among other things, victimized an Army soldier “while he was defending our country” overseas. Chief Judge Reiss imposed a sentence of 140 months in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release. She also ordered over $50,000 in restitution to the V.A. and Fletcher Allen Health Care.

The case was investigated by the V.A. Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The V.A. Police Department in White River Junction, Vermont also assisted. Oswald was represented by Assistant Federal Defender David McColgin of Burlington. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Darrow.

Updated June 22, 2015