Hawaii couple charged with stealing IDs of lifeless Texas youngsters


A U.S. protection contractor and his spouse who federal government say lived for many years beneathneath the identities of lifeless Texas youngsters were charged with identification robbery and conspiracy

HONOLULU — A U.S. protection contractor and his spouse who lived for many years beneathneath the identities of lifeless Texas youngsters were charged with identification robbery and conspiring towards the authorities, in step with federal courtroom docket facts unsealed in Honolulu.

Walter Glenn Primrose and Gwynn Darle Morrison, each of their 60s, who allegedly lived for many years beneathneath the names Bobby Edward Fort and Julie Lyn Montague, respectively, have been arrested Friday in Kapolei at the island of Oahu.

Prosecutors are searching for to have the couple held with out bail, that may suggest the case is set extra than fraudulently acquiring drivers’ licenses, passports and Defense Department credentials.

Those files helped Primrose get mystery safety clearance with the U.S. Coast Guard and as a protection contractor and vintage pics display the couple carrying uniforms of the KGB, the previous Russian secret agent agency, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Muehleck stated in courtroom docket papers. Faded Polaroids of every in uniform have been blanketed withinside the movement to have them held.

A “near associate” stated Morrison lived in Romania at the same time as it changed into a Soviet bloc usa, Muehleck stated.

Morrison’s legal professional stated her purchaser in no way lived in Romania and that she and Primrose attempted the equal jacket on as a funny story and posed for pics in it. Even if the couple used new identities, legal professional Megan Kau informed The Associated Press, they’ve lived law-abiding lives for 3 decades.

“She wishes anybody to understand she’s now no longer a secret agent,” Kau stated. “This has all been blown manner out of proportion. It’s authorities overreaching.”

Prosecutors stated there may be a excessive danger the couple could flee if freed. They additionally advised that Primrose, who changed into an avionics electric technician withinside the Coast Guard, changed into especially professional to speak secretly if released.

The couple is likewise believed to produce other aliases, Muehleck stated.

A legal professional for Primrose declined comment. A bail listening to changed into scheduled for Thursday in U.S. District Court.

The mystery clearance Primrose had offers get right of entry to to records that is “rather precious to our enemies,” stated Kevin O’Grady, a Honolulu protection legal professional now no longer worried withinside the case.

The Coast Guard works carefully with the Army and Navy, enables with counterintelligence and serves because the usa’s maritime border patrol, stated O’Grady, an Army reservist and lieutenant colonel choose advocate.

“The Coast Guard has a completely unique angle on our vulnerabilities,” he stated, inclusive of a way to infiltrate the usa via water ports. Hawaii, a first-rate navy center, “is a high goal for a whole lot of espionage and such,” he stated.

For one own circle of relatives whose deceased kid’s call changed into stolen, the information Wednesday got here as a shock.

John Montague, who misplaced his daughter Julie in 1968 at three weeks of age, changed into bowled over to research a person have been residing beneathneath her call for thus long.

“I nonetheless can’t agree with it passed off,” Montague, 91, informed AP. “The odds are like one-in-a-trillion that they determined her and used her call. People droop to do some thing nowadays. Let youngsters relaxation in peace.”

Primrose and Morrison have been born in 1955 and that they attended excessive college collectively in Port Lavaca, Texas, after which went to Stephen F. Austin University, in step with courtroom docket facts. They married in 1980.

There isn’t anyt any indication in courtroom docket papers why the couple in 1987 assumed the identities of deceased youngsters who could were extra than a decade more youthful than them. But a testimony filed via way of means of Special Agent Dennis Thomas of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service referred to that the couple misplaced their domestic in Nacogdoches, Texas, to foreclosures that year.

They remarried beneathneath their assumed names in 1988, Thomas stated.

Court facts do not offer any records approximately what passed off from the time they assumed their new identities till 1994, whilst Primrose, then approximately 39, enlisted withinside the Coast Guard as Fort, who could were approximately 27.

If there has been an apparent age discrepancy among what Primrose gave the impression of and the start certificates he presented, “that’s an abject failure,” O’Grady stated.

“That’s some thing if they could determine it out now, they need to have stuck it then,” he stated.

Montague stated that “somebody’s now no longer doing their jobs.”

Primrose and Morrison carried out for and obtained a couple of passports beneathneath their assumed names, in step with courtroom docket facts. But in 1999 Primrose additionally carried out for and changed into issued a passport beneathneath his prison call at the same time as additionally preserving a passport in Fort’s call.

Primrose changed into withinside the carrier till 2016, whilst he commenced paintings for an unnamed protection contractor on the U.S. Coast Guard Air station at Barbers Point.

“While he held that mystery clearance with the U.S. Coast Guard, defendant Primrose changed into required to file any overseas travel,” prosecutors wrote. “Investigation has discovered that defendant Primrose did now no longer file numerous journeys to Canada at the same time as he did file different overseas travel.”

The couple lived in a Honolulu suburb in a modest -bed room bungalow below palm trees. They owned a neighboring residence they rented to navy personnel, stated Mai Ly Schara, who lived subsequent door.

She knew them as Bob and Lynn, with Morrison seemingly Julie Lyn Montague’s center call.

Primrose did backyard paintings for Schara for $50 a month, she stated. Morrison took in, fed and spayed and neutered cats. She additionally had numerous rabbits and devoted a room to the pets.

“They saved to themselves, however they have been friendly,” Schara stated. “They simply type of have been, like, a touch nerdy.”

Schara wasn’t positive what Primrose did for a residing, however concept it changed into navy related. Morrison as soon as labored as a parking attendant at a Waikiki lodge however have been tutoring community youngsters.

The FBI created a scene withinside the quiet community once they searched the residence and took pics.

“It changed into simply shocking, like, oh my gosh,” Schara stated. “It changed into quite crazy.”

The State Department declined to touch upon the arrests.

The couple is charged with conspiracy to devote an offense towards the U.S., fake declaration in passport utility and annoyed identification robbery.

Fort, who lived fewer than 3 months, died in October 1967 on the equal medical institution in which Julie Montague handed away approximately 3 months later in January 1968. They are buried 14 miles (23 kilometers) apart.

When Tonda Ferguson discovered from her father that Morrison had used her past due sister’s start certificates to create an alias, she concept of her mother, who died in 2003, and what number of years had long past via way of means of.

“For all of the moms who’re residing and must understand this passed off to their babies, I can’t even start to imagine,” Ferguson stated. “I’m happy my mama’s with the Lord. This could be so annoying for her.”

Ferguson changed into in 8th grade whilst her sister died. She in no way were given to look her little sister or maintain her. She changed into buried in Burnet, Texas, the small metropolis in which they lived on the time out of doors of Austin.

“She got here from an area of love, deep love,” Ferguson stated. “For a person to show round to scouse borrow her identification for evil, it’s tough. It’s hurtful. … I desire they rot.”