HONOLULU (KHON2) — The woman accused of stealing the identity of a dead infant said she is not a spy and that the government is blowing the case out of proportion. Prosecutors said her husband was able to join the Coast Guard, also using a fake identity.
Walter Primrose and Gwynn Morrison remain in custody at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center accused of conspiracy, aggravated ID theft and lying to get passports. Neighbors said the couple has been living in this quiet neighborhood in Kapolei for about 15 years and pretty much kept to themselves.
“Me and my daughter we were kind of like shaking, thinking they were nice neighbors,” said neighbor Hope Carnate.
The feds released an old picture of the couple wearing what prosecutors said are KGB uniforms. But Morrison’s attorney said the jacket actually belonged to a friend. And both are wearing the same jacket in the pictures.
“For whatever reason her friend had this jacket. So they got dressed up and took pictures. That’s all it is, and she just wants everyone to know that,” said Megan Kau, Morrison’s attorney.
Prosecutors said Morrison and her husband Walter Primrose lived under fake identities for three decades. And that Primrose retired from the U.S. Coast Guard after 20 years, then received secret clearance working for the Department of Defense.
The couple also owned the house next-door which is being rented out by a family for the past three years they’re still there and they’re not sure what’s gonna happen to them. Neighbors said they always rented the place out to military families. As to why the couple allegedly faked their identity, Kau said she can’t talk about that yet.
“I can’t address that at all, my client just wants everyone to know that she is not a Russian spy and this has been blown way out of proportion,” said Kau.
An expert on military intelligence who works for Pacific Forum said someone with the level of clearance Primrose had would be in a position to do some damage.
“Coast Guard of course does a lot of surveillance. They do the missile radar work and all of that in Hawaii, so there are a lot of things that he could’ve learned,” said Ralph Cossa.
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The detention hearing for both defendants has been rescheduled to Tuesday, August 2.