Archive for Thursday, August 3, 2006

Soldier impersonating officer faces charges in federal court

Crime alleged to have occurred at Fort Leavenworth

August 3, 2006

Federal authorities have charged a former soldier with falsely claiming he was an Army officer.

According to a federal indictment handed up late last month, Roderick C. Wright II, 32, Lenexa, falsely represented to personnel on July 18 at Fort Leavenworth that he was entitled to a card identifying him as an officer and, after obtaining the card, demanded to receive the pay to which that rank would entitle him.

Charges were filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan. Wright is being prosecuted by James Cross, the U.S. Attorney for Kansas.

In the criminal complaint, Special Agent Michael Parker of the Army's Criminal Investigation Division said Wright first contacted the Fort Leavenworth Adjutant General's Office on July 13, seeking help in getting paid after his graduation from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga.

Wright told an aide in the Fort Leavenworth office that after his graduation he had encountered multiple problems with the Fort Benning finance office and decided to report early to his next post, Fort Sill, Okla.

"Mr. Wright said when he attempted to have the finance office there assist him, they called CID officers who escorted him off post for impersonating an officer and said he would be banned from the post," Parker wrote in the complaint.

The aide in the Fort Leavenworth Adjutant General's Office told Wright there may have been a problem with the Army's records, so he asked Wright to come to the office.

On July 18, the complaint said, Wright appeared at the Adjutant General's Office and presented a certificate showing his discharge from active duty. The form indicated he had completed Officer Candidate School, finished being an enlisted soldier on Jan. 18, 2006, and accepted a commission in the Army. The office aide accessed an Army computer database that showed Wright was a second lieutenant, then took him to get a new identification card. The office aide told Wright to return after getting his ID so that he could get a date for him to report to Officer Basic Course.

Instead, the complaint said, Wright got his new ID card and went to the finance officer and requested he be paid. The officer accessed another database and learned that Wright had been discharged on Feb. 10, 2006. She called military police.

After military police arrived, Wright waived his rights and provided a sworn, written statement in which he acknowledged he had not graduated from Officer Candidate School and had been discharged on Feb. 10 because of allegations of misconduct.

A search of Wright's car by Fort Leavenworth military police turned up letters related to Wright's discharge for misconduct, including allegations that he was stalking a female officer candidate from Kansas City, Kan.

"At this time I believe the DD Form 214 (Army discharge form) showing his successful completion of OCS and transition to 2LT was either fraudulently made, or was a version made in anticipation of his successful completion of OCS which he fraudulently obtained," Parker wrote.

Wright, who is being detained by the U.S. Marshal Service, faces an arraignment and detention hearing on Aug. 22 before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Waxse in Kansas City, Kan.

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