New Mexico faker about to go back to federal prison
Slow news day today, but Stolen Valor, like rust, never sleeps.
Lying about your military career is stupid.
Lying about your military career to puff up your commercial enterprise is both illegal and stupid.
Lying about your career, then starting a business to work with law enforcement, and making videos with you handling guns when you are a convicted felon is stupid on a level I'm not even sure how to quantify.
But, here's Anthony Gambino, the most brazen imbecile in New Mexico:
A 43-year-old local man was arrested last week on allegations he told an undercover agent that he was a former Marine and Purple Heart recipient who could provide combat training to a fictitious Middle Eastern company created as part of a federal sting operation.
The federal government alleges that Anthony Lee Gambino, formerly known as Anthony Lee Martinez, is a convicted felon who was drummed out of the U.S. Marine Corp. when military officials discovered he enlisted using his brother's name, according to a criminal complaint.
Well, there is that "innocent until proven guilty thing" so maybe.....oh wait, he pled guilty yesterday:
A Farmington man has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and claiming he was a combat veteran who earned medals and ribbons, including a Purple Heart.
Anthony Gambino, 44, admitted during Tuesday's hearing that he was in possession of six firearms and ammunition when he was arrested on May 12 and that he fraudulently claimed to be a recipient of a Purple Heart and the Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.
Gambino — formerly known as Anthony Lee Martinez — was charged on May 12 in federal court on the firearms charge and with violating the Stolen Valor Act of 2013 by falsely claiming a decoration or medal to obtain money, property or other tangible benefits, according to the criminal complaint.
Now normally I wouldn't be as excited about one of our phonies going to jail as I am right now, but there's a back story here. There are about 10 different groups that hunt the Stolen Valor perpetrators. And there are literally THOUSANDS each year that get investigated to one degree or another. And probably 300 of them get written about. Now there used to be even more of us doing this, but what happens is that we all get threatened with lawsuits, and most of the guys doing this do it on their own time, and receive no money for it. So when you do something for the good of your fellow veteran, and then you end up getting sued and having to pay thousands of dollars for lawyers on what always turns out to be a meritless case, people lose heart. I don't blame them. If I didn't have such a great employer, I'd have quit a long time ago too.
But Jonn Lilyea has been doing this a LONG time, and he wrote about Gambino last year. And, just like clockwork, in came the threat, in the form of a facebook comment:
As Dave Hardin notes over at This Ain't Hell today:
He did manage to followup with this letter:
This is a letter to inform you that I will be obtaining your information and sueing for Libel. We have already took pictures of your artical ,comments, etc. One must reseach things before printing damaging and false information. KRQE is in the same situation. Gambino Security Corporation was not a fraud and media cost millions of damage. Thank you for your time and i hope in your future your organization is more careful as libel is a crime. Sincerely, Anthony Gambino
Gambino’s lawyer babbled on about this all being some kind of misunderstanding. He claimed that all of this was a result of the Governments right hand not talking to its left hand. We had no idea what that meant then and still don’t now. What we did know was that Gambino got thrown out of the Marine Corps because of a fraudulent enlistment and he had made claims of military awards that he was using to promote himself and his business.
So you'll excuse me if I dance a little jig in my office as Mr. Gambino heads off to his cot and three hot meals. Between this and my Patriots pulling off the unimagineable comeback, this has been quite a week for me. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket.