Civilian pleads not guilty to wearing Navy medals

Civilian pleads not guilty to wearing Navy medals

This is a discussion on Civilian pleads not guilty to wearing Navy medals within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Civilian pleads not guilty to wearing Navy medals - CNN.com Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- A California man faces a federal trial in January because ...

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Thread: Civilian pleads not guilty to wearing Navy medals

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Civilian pleads not guilty to wearing Navy medals

    Civilian pleads not guilty to wearing Navy medals - CNN.com


    Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- A California man faces a federal trial in January because of what he allegedly wore to his 20th high school reunion earlier this year -- a U.S. Marine uniform decorated with some of the nation's highest military medals.

    Steve Burton, 39, never served in any branch of the U.S. military, but he was seen and photographed several times wearing a Marine uniform and various medals, including the Navy Cross, the highest medal awarded exclusively by the U.S. Navy, federal investigators said.

    The Palm Springs, California, bank officer entered a not guilty plea Thursday to a charge of "unauthorized wearing of military medals or decorations." The federal misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of a year in federal prison upon conviction.

    When Burton made his initial appearance in federal court in Riverside, California, a magistrate set his bond at $10,000, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Akrotirianakis. He posted the bond and was released. A trial was set for January 10, 2010, Akrotirianakis said.

    "He has been charged, but these are only allegations," Burton's lawyer, Michael DeFrank, said Wednesday.

    The Marine dress blue uniform with lieutenant colonel insignia on the epaulets and a chest full of colorful ribbons may have impressed some old classmates, but one person at the reunion was suspicious, according to an FBI agent's affidavit.

    Lt. Cmdr. Colleen Salonga, a U.S. Navy supply officer, recognized the Navy Cross and knew how rarely that honor is awarded, the sworn statement said. She posed with Burton for a photo, which she sent to the FBI in June, it said.

    The FBI agent said Internet research showed that Burton had blogged in August 2009 about being a Marine and receiving many commendations and awards. His postings also discussed engaging in combat and serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, the documents said. He said he'd served in Falluja, a city in Iraq's largely Sunni Arab Anbar province where Marines and militants battled for years.

    Burton posted a picture of himself online standing on a beach at Coronado Island, California, wearing a Marine dress uniform, the affidavit said. In the picture, he is wearing the rank of gunnery sergeant and is displaying medals including the Navy Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Navy and Marine Corps medal, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, among others.

    An American flag flew on a pole on the front lawn of Burton's Palm Springs home Wednesday.

    Burton, who was off work because it was Veterans Day, would not come to the door, and a man who came to the door referred CNN to Burton's lawyer, DeFrank. The man said he was Burton's partner for 18 years and retired from the U.S. Air Force.

    A next-door neighbor described Burton as "quiet and nice." She said she saw agents carry away several boxes from the home two weeks ago.

    A search warrant was executed at Burton's home, said Akrotirianakis, who did not divulge what was found there.

    Akrotirianakis also would not say where authorities believe Burton obtained the medals. However, an Internet search showed several medals -- or possibly replicas -- for sale online, despite a law banning their advertisement or sale. Even if a medal is a replica, wearing it still violates federal law, Akrotirianakis said.

    The Navy Cross is the second-highest award a sailor or Marine can be awarded for valor, behind only the Medal of Honor. It is comparable to the Army's Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Force Cross. It is awarded for "extreme gallantry and risk of life, beyond the call of duty, performed in combat with an enemy force," according to the prosecutors' statement.

    The Bronze Star is awarded for "heroic and meritorious achievement or service," while the Purple Heart is awarded "for being wounded or killed in action against an enemy of the United States."
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin


  2. #2
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    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    Well, thats pretty disgusting. And thats about all I can get out right now in keeping with forum rules.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    I hope he gets the max.
    I can no longer keep track of threads as I used to. If you need to contact me, PM me instead of asking me something in the thread. Disclaimer - No legal advice issued anywhere. Take care.

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    Here's another link about it, that includes more and bigger pictures.

    Medals Of Dishonor - November 11, 2009
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for that link C9H13NO3, makes me sick. I don't really care about getting medals, I'll leave that to officers and staff NCOs. But really, what makes a full grown man wanna play dress up like that? Besides, blues and medals aren't cheap.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Unbelievable,for somebody that never served in the military to try to pass off that he is some kind of hero,he needs to be made an example out of
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Pikachu711's Avatar
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    I hope that this idiot gets what is coming to him. What I find amazing is that he thought he would get away with such a blatant scam. Did he think that other vet's wouldn't recognize the level of the medal's he was wearing? But, some people are idiots!
    "Gun control is being able to hit your target."
    Glock 26

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    Ex Member Array Treo's Avatar
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    Some one on another forum said it would be fitting if he were required to enlist for 4 years

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treo View Post
    Some one on another forum said it would be fitting if he were required to enlist for 4 years
    That's just wrong... it is an honor to serve in our country's armed forces.
    Smitty
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  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    Would be more fitting to let him spend 4 hours in an open squad bay full of Marines with no officer supervision.
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Standard answer, I didn't do it. We have pictures. Standard answer, stand there and believe your lying eyes.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonInNY View Post
    Civilian pleads not guilty to wearing Navy medals - CNN.com

    Threads posted in "In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"
    We are getting an increasing number of "off topic" threads posted to the "In the News" forum. So much so that it is beginning to become a general crime story repository that is really not the focus of this forum. If you come across news items that have some real application to concealed carry, open carry, successful (or unsuccessful) armed self defense please feel free to post them, but "general crime" stories, not associated with self defense in any way should be avoided. Likewise for stories of crime in countries other than the US.

    While I appreciate that our members enjoy the forum and want to post items of personal interest regardless of topic, I believe that we are, over time, broadening the focus of the forum too much in including some of these topics. Please help us keep the forums' topics "on topic".
    That was from one of the "stickies" at the top of this sub-forum. While your post is not uninteresting, it really has nothing to do with self defense. I'm not a moderator wannabe (and I realize I've been guilty of the same thing myself), just another member trying to help keep things running according to the rules.
    Smitty
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  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treo View Post
    Some one on another forum said it would be fitting if he were required to enlist for 4 years
    Who the heck would want him????

  14. #14
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    Well, if he want's to be a Marine... let him serve 20 years in the Marine Corps Brig, Quantico!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    So he can get a six month sentence for each appearance in uniform (one year for starters), and an additional one year sentence for wearing the navy cross during each of those appearances (add two more years) - a total three years in prission, that would be sweet. He of course should be fined to the max to help defray his stay in the pen. (18 USC Sec 704)
    I can no longer keep track of threads as I used to. If you need to contact me, PM me instead of asking me something in the thread. Disclaimer - No legal advice issued anywhere. Take care.

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