A man from Texas was arrested in Puerto Rico after he fled charges in Texas for impersonating a wounded Navy SEAL officer according to a report by ABC.
Carlos Felipe Luna-Gonzalez of Granbury may be extradited to Texas where he is facing theft charges, as well as tampering with a government document and presenting a fraudulent or fictitious military record. The Texas Department of Public Safety along with deputies with the Parker and Hood counties’ sheriff departments arrested the 29-year-old in a sting operation.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler was clearly upset when speaking about the arrest Monday.
“This fool is walking around trying to reap the benefits off of something that he had absolutely nothing to do with, [something] he could never qualify for. I think I’ll just leave that right there,” said Sheriff Fowler.
According to the affidavit, after befriending several members of the Hood County law enforcement community, Luna-Gonzalez told them he was an active-duty Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade. He continued to say he was a member of the elite SEALs team, and a Purple Heart recipient, which he supposedly earned in Africa after being shot during a SEAL operation.
An investigation confirmed Luna-Gonzalez was none of the things he claimed and he actually had been given an early general discharge from the Navy as an enlisted seaman apprentice.
Luna-Gonzalez was tricked into thinking he was going to be honored by the owner of Lone Star Guns, Gallery & Gear, who has a history of involvement in Wounded Warriors Project, and would present him with a rifle as recognition for his service.
The fraudulent hero arrived at the store Saturday dressed in a blue Navy dress uniform with the SEAL Trident, jump wings, and a Purple Heart pinned to his chest. He was then presented with the LWRC Assault Rifle and posed for a picture before he filled out the ATF paperwork in order to accept a firearm. He was quickly arrested for Stolen Valor as soon as he accepted the rifle.
Investigators discovered a Navy identification card with the rank and expiration dates altered to show him as a Lieutenant Junior Grade and still being in the service in his wallet.
“To dress yourself up in a lieutenant JG’s uniform with a Trident, jump wings, Purple Heart and all that, you’re way beyond the pale. Way beyond,” Sheriff Fowler said.
“And this idiot was fool enough to come to Parker County, Texas, and try to pull this nonsense? He got a ride to the jail. And I got his uniform,” Fowler said.
Luna-Gonzalez was stripped of his uniform by officers and was forced to change into the uniform worn by inmates of the Parker County jail.
“He definitely had an appearance of disappointment on his face at the time he was confronted,” said Joey Blanton of Lone Star Guns, a war veteran and retired law enforcement officer.
Luna-Gonzalez was released over the weekend after posting bail and according to a person who answered his door when NBC 5 reached out to him, he has been out of touch since the arrest.