Camp Casey soldier gets 17 months for credit-card theft
October 27, 2006
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — A Camp Casey soldier was sentenced to 17 months in prison Tuesday after admitting he used another soldier’s credit card in a Dongducheon shopping spree.
Sgt. Jeffrey Mitchell of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 15th Field Artillery, Battery B pleaded guilty to multiple larcenies and signature forgeries, making a false official statement and wrongfully disposing of property.
Military Judge Col. Gregory Gross also sentenced Mitchell to reduction to pay grade E-1, forfeiture of all pay and a bad conduct discharge during Tuesday’s general court-martial at Camp Casey.
Mitchell is the second Army sergeant jailed this week on theft charges. On Monday, Sgt. Jeffrey A. Minnick of the 2nd ID’s 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery pleaded guilty to charges of theft, attempted theft and property destruction. He was sentenced to four months in jail, reduced to the lowest rank of E-1 and given a bad conduct discharge for stealing fellow soldiers’ debit cards from the battalion’s mail.
Mitchell was working as a bus monitor Oct. 14, 2005, at Camp Casey, when he found a wallet on a bus seat at the end of the night. Bus monitor duty is an extra duty shifted among soldiers to oversee others returning from a night on the town in Dongducheon.
“[Mitchell] took the credit cards out and pitched the wallet out the window,” said prosecutor Capt. Charles Halverson.
The next morning, Mitchell began making purchases with the wallet owner’s Military Star and USAA credit cards, Halverson said.
He first purchased a phone card at the SSRT booth outside the Camp Casey PX with one of the cards, according to court documents.
He then went outside Camp Casey’s main gate and purchased phone cards, purses and clothing. He ended his day at an off-post restaurant, where he charged a sandwich, according to court documents.
Mitchell then made his big purchases on post. He bought a 27-inch television and a home theater system before throwing the cards in the trash near the Camp Hovey Chapel, the documents stated.
The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command caught up with Mitchell in March, when a worker at the SSRT booth gave detectives a fresh lead.
“She remembered Sgt. Mitchell, although she didn’t remember what rank of sergeant he was,” Halverson said.
Detectives put together a photo lineup of all the Sgt. Mitchells in Area I before narrowing it down to the right one, who later confessed.
After his sentencing, Mitchell was taken to the Camp Humphreys jail.