Airman who went AWOL 40 years ago found, charged with desertion

Jeffrey Michels, 64, aka Jeffery Lantz was arrested and charged with desertion on Thursday.

A US Airman who abandoned his post four decades ago is back in USAF custody after he was found living a double life in Florida.

64-year-old Jeffrey Michels is currently being detained by the Air Force after being arrested last Thursday on desertion charges.

Michels failed to report for duty at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota on July 6 of 1977 and had been living under the alias of Jeffrey Lantz in Sanford, Florida.

He had not been seen since he was reported missing by the Air Force until the Facebook group “Veteran Doe: posted a picture of Michels on July 9.

Under his new identity, Michels obtained a business license and owned a construction company called Atlantic Development Corporation. In addition to a new career, he also had a wife and kids.

According to Action News Jax, the deserter will stand trial in a military court because there are no statue of limitations for desertion.

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