HONOLULU (KHON2) — Federal prosecutors said a Texas man and his wife who moved to Hawaii were accused of stealing the identities of two dead infants and were able to use the fake identities for decades. Prosecutors said the man was even able to join the U.S. Coast Guard.
Walter Glen Primrose and Gwynn Darle Morrison, both 67-years-old, have been charged with Conspiracy and Aggravated Identity Theft.
Court documents said they, “Obtained Texas birth certificate records for deceased American born infants, that they used to unlawfully assume the identities of “Bobby Edward FORT” and “Julie Lyn MONTAGUE.”
Court records said the couple moved to Hawaii in 1994 where Primrose, under the false identity, enlisted with the Coast Guard until he retired in 2016. And then was hired by the Department of Defense as a contractor at the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point.
Both are in custody at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center and are scheduled for a detention hearing on Thursday. Prosecutors have filed a motion for the couple to remain in custody and presented an old picture of them.
The motion said, “Federal agents have also seized photographs from the defendants’ residence that depict the defendants apparently some years ago wearing what have been identified as KGB uniforms.”
Records said Primrose also had secret clearance for six years working with a defense contractor.
“I don’t see how someone can slip through the cracks like that because at least on my end they were very very thorough,” said Nicci Olds, general manager at Staffing Solutions of Hawaii.
Olds also had to get secret clearance to get government contracts, and she said officials did a deep dive on her background.
“They contact your people, you have to have references, there is an interview that takes place with the investigators as well. So it’s a long process,” Olds said.
Legal experts point out that what the defendants are accused of would likely have been easier to get away with in 1987. And from there they were able to get social security cards and passports under the false identity.
“Such that by the time Mr. Primrose was applying to be in the Coast Guard, he clearly had enough identification and was able to satisfy the U.S. government that he was Mr. Primrose when he was not,” said legal expert Doug Chin.
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We’ve reached out to the U.S. Coast Guard and the defense attorneys and they declined to comment.