Airman convicted, discharged

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Senior Airman Brandon Harris, 354th Maintenance Squadron, was convicted of shoplifting, government travel card abuse and identity theft during a court-martial Oct. 24.

Airman Harris was represented by Capt. Michael Tewalt, Area Defense Counsel, and chose to be sentenced by a military judge alone.

During the special court-martial, Airman Harris pled guilty to all charges and was sentenced to a bad conduct discharge, six months confinement, two-thirds forfeiture of pay per month for six months and a reduction to airman basic by Military Judge Lt. Col. Nancy J. Paul. The government was represented by Capt. Airon Mothershed and Capt. Brian Jones.

The charges in this case stemmed over a three-month period of time spanning from January through March.

Airman Harris testified during the court-martial that in early January, he shoplifted a Sony Playstation Portable from the base exchange. He also declared that from January to March, he continually abused his GTC by placing personal expenses on it when he was not on official government travel orders.

In addition, Airman Harris testified that he received a mis-delivered pre-approved credit card offer in February for another 354th MXS airman who lived in his dorm. He then explained that he opened the pre-approved offer and used it to open a credit card account in the other airman's name.

During the process of opening the credit card account, Airman Harris asked the credit card company to put himself down as an authorized user on the account and asked the company to send the credit cards and all statements to Airman Harris' own address.

Airman Harris stated that after receiving two unauthorized credit cards (one in the airman's name he had opened the account under and one in his own name); he used the one with his name on it to make approximately $1,500 in unauthorized purchases from various merchants.

After pleading guilty to all of the charges, Airman Harris made an unsworn statement to the court. In his statement, Senior Airman Harris apologized to his family, his unit and the Air Force, stating he was very sorry for what he had done. He also said that he had committed the crimes because he continually wanted to buy things and did not have the money to pay for them.