SC couple indicted in conspiracy to illegally obtain U.S. passport

SC couple indicted in conspiracy to illegally obtain U.S. passport
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIS) -A South Carolina couple was indicted Friday on charges stemming from their conspiracy to obtain a U.S. passport by falsely claiming they were the parents of a baby from the Philippines and by using false records to apply for a U.S. passport for the baby.

Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon of the District of South Carolina made the announcement.

The indictment alleges that in 2014, Gerald Vincent Locker Jr., 46, a former member of the United States Marine Corps, and Stephanie Jean Locker, 24, both of Huger, South Carolina, were stationed in Japan. While in Japan, the couple attempted to circumvent legal adoption processes by asserting that a baby from the Philippines was their own natural born child.

Presenting a number of falsified documents to a U.S. Consular Officer, Stephanie Jean Locker applied for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and in support of her application for a passport for the child, falsely attested that while in the Philippines on vacation, she learned she was pregnant five days before the baby was born.

The matter was presented to the Grand Jury on July 10. The indictment was returned on July 11, charging both defendants with one count of conspiracy and Stephanie Jean Locker with one count of making false statements in an application for a passport.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating this case. Trial Attorneys Danielle Hickman and Christian Levesque of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean Secor of the District of South Carolina are prosecuting the case.

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