Coast Guard veteran held with out bail in ID theft thriller

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HONOLULU — A U.S. protection contractor and his spouse charged with fraudulently residing for many years beneath the stolen identities of two lifeless infants advised household they had been going into the witness safety program earlier than abruptly abandoning their home and leaving Texas about 40 years in the past, a federal prosecutor stated Thursday.

At some level, Walter Glenn Primrose and Gwynn Darle Morrison reemerged with new names and different explanations for lives cloaked in thriller.

These undated photos provided by the United States District Court District of Hawaii show Walter Glenn Primose, also known as Bobby Edward Fort, left, and Gwynn Darle Morrison, aka Julie Lyn Montague, right. (United States District Court District of Hawaii via AP)

The couple advised folks they had been dodging authorized and monetary hassle, Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Myers stated. Primrose advised somebody he was a authorities agent who couldn’t be photographed.

Intriguing particulars that emerged throughout a bail listening to in a Honolulu court docket had been sufficient to get Primrose detained with out bail, however supplied little readability why the couple shed their previous and whether or not the legal case in opposition to them is extra critical than identification theft.

Myers efficiently sought to have Primrose detained as a result of his “life has been a fraud for the final a number of a long time,” together with greater than 20 years within the U.S. Coast Guard the place he earned a secret-level safety clearance. After retiring in 2016, he used the key clearance for his protection job.

A search of the couple’s Hawaii house turned up Polaroids of the couple sporting jackets that seem like genuine Russian KGB uniforms, Myers stated. An professional decided the snapshots had been taken within the Eighties.

This combination of undated photos provided by the United States District Court District of Hawaii shows Walter Glenn Primose, left, also known as Bobby Edward Fort, and his wife Gwynn Darle Morrison, also known as Julie Lyn Montague, purportedly in KGB, the former Russian spy agency, uniforms. (United States District Court District of Hawaii via AP)

The search additionally yielded an invisible ink equipment, paperwork with coded language and maps exhibiting navy bases, Myers stated.

When the couple had been left in a room collectively, they had been recorded saying “issues according to espionage,” Myers stated.

“We suppose the defendant is clearly fairly adept at impersonating different folks, acquiring authorities ID paperwork, fraud, avoiding detection,” Myers stated. “He might — we’re not saying for positive — however he might have some troubling international connections. And if he does, he may have the ability to use these to enlist assist.”

Federal defender Craig Jerome stated the federal government solely supplied “hypothesis and innuendo” that the couple was concerned in one thing extra nefarious than “purely white-collar nonviolent offenses.”

“If it wasn’t for the hypothesis that the federal government’s injected into these proceedings with out offering any actual proof … he will surely be launched,” Jerome stated.

Morrison faces a bail listening to Tuesday.

Her lawyer stated the couple — no matter their names — had lived law-abiding lives. Attorney Megan Kau advised The Associated Press the couple posed for pictures within the purported KGB jacket for enjoyable.

“She desires everybody to know she’s not a spy,” Kau stated. “This has all been blown manner out of proportion. It’s authorities overreaching.”

The couple, who had been arrested Friday, July 22, at their Kapolei house, are charged with conspiracy to commit an offense in opposition to the U.S., false assertion in passport utility and aggravated identification theft. They resist 17 years in jail if convicted of all fees.

Inside their home, investigators found correspondence by which an affiliate believed Primrose had joined the CIA or had develop into a terrorist, Myers stated.

When they left Texas within the early Eighties and claimed they had been protected witnesses, they handed over the keys to their Nacogdoches home and advised members of the family to take something they needed. The home was later foreclosed on.

In 1987, Primrose took on the identification of Bobby Edward Fort, an toddler who died in 1967 in Burnet, Texas. Morrison took the identification of Julie Lyn Montague, who died in 1968 on the similar hospital as Fort. Primrose and Morrison, each born in 1955, had been greater than a decade older than the start dates listed on their new IDs.

“The defendant and his spouse reportedly advised but different associates that they wanted to vary their names due to authorized and monetary causes,” Myers stated. “And that going ahead they are often contacted utilizing their new names, Fort and Montague.”

They remarried beneath their assumed names in 1988, in accordance with court docket data.

Morrison used her actual title to open a submit workplace field, the place she advised household to contact her. When her father died, her household couldn’t attain her and enlisted native regulation enforcement to trace her down.

“Even the defendant’s household can’t discover him when they should,” Myers stated.

Prosecutors feared Primrose would flee if freed. They famous in court docket papers that he was an avionics electrical technician within the Coast Guard and was extremely expert to speak secretly if launched.

The choose stated he primarily based his detention order on the alleged fraud “over a number of events spanning a protracted time frame.”

Melley reported from Los Angeles.

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