Manasmontri, 33, plead guilty in U.S. District Court to a federal charge of wearing a military uniform without authorization during his hearing in an attempt to curry sympathy from the court.
Manasmontri had been issued the citations in April 2013 by a U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer after he was stopped in the Cherokee National Forest for not wearing his seat belt. During the stop Manasmontri couldn’t produce a valid drivers license or proof of insurance and then tried to win favor with the officer by claiming he was heading to the police academy to work for the Bristol, VA Police Department.
The officer issued Manasmontri 3 citations which were to be answered to in federal court because the violations happened in a national park. After delaying his appearances repeatedly Manasmontri finally appeared in U.S. District Court in Greeneville.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian Lampe‘s notes in the plea agreement, Manasmontri appeared in court dressed to impress:
“On that date, he appeared dressed in camouflage military battle dress uniform … (with a) cloth tab with his last named sewed on it (attached with Velcro) on his uniform. He had unit insignia on his blouse and was wearing matching pants, belt and boots.”
The plea agreement states that Lampe, who seemed sympathetic at the time, “thanked him for his service” and inquired as to whether he would lose rank if he was convicted for driving on a suspended license. The document indicated Manasmontri replied in the affirmative.
“(Manasmontri) then went on to say that he had seen terrible things during his deployment,” Lampe wrote in the plea agreement.
But luck wasn’t with Manasmontri on that day as also in the courtroom was Veterans Affairs Police Officer Ernest King who noticed something unusual about Manasmontri’s uniform: the American flag patch on the right shoulder “was perfectly and solidly affixed upside down,” the plea agreement stated.
“(Manasmontri) seemed surprised and replied that it must have happened in the dryer and hurried to change it,” the plea agreement stated.
King made a call or two and determined that Manasmontri had never been a member of the U.S. armed forces.
Lampe’s final remark in the plea agreement summarized the entire event:
“(Manasmontri) admits that he pretended to be a soldier in an attempt to receive a more favorable outcome in his case.”
UPDATE August 16, 2014
I was curious what had happened to Kenpetch Manasmontri so I logged into facebook and found him there. His timeline leads me to believe he’s still up to his old tricks: