We really shouldn’t call him a vet, he doesn’t deserve the honor but Keith Michael Novak, 25, a member of the Minnesota National Guard stole the names, social security numbers and other info from 400 fellow soldiers.
To create fake identities for his militia and also to sell some to expand his radio communications capability. That’s right he was creating a militia in norther Minnesota.
This story is too much to process…
A Minnesota National Guardsman and Iraq War veteran charged with fraud for allegedly stealing personal information of roughly 400 members of his former Army unit had worked in intelligence, where he likely was responsible for analyzing enemy information.
Keith Michael Novak, 25, planned to use the names, Social Security numbers and other information he allegedly stole to create fake identities for members of his militia group. He also wanted to sell the information for money to expand his radio communications capability, according to an affidavit and complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota.
The affidavit said he also took combat gear from his former unit at Fort Bragg, N.C., including flak jackets, and gave them to fellow militia members.
Lt. Col. Alayne Conway, an Army spokeswoman, said in an email that, in general, “appropriate precautionary actions will be taken in this matter.”
Novak, of Maplewood, was in federal custody Thursday and unavailable for comment. The federal defender’s office has the case, but no attorney had been chosen to represent him by Thursday evening.
His father, whose home was searched Wednesday, has an unlisted number. Attempts to reach him Thursday by phone and email were unsuccessful.
According to the affidavit, Novak was an active-duty soldier and intelligence analyst with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg from Feb. 26, 2009, to Sept. 3, 2012, and served in Iraq in 2010. He is currently a human intelligence analyst with the Minnesota National Guard, serving one weekend a month.
When Novak was in the Army, he would have been responsible for giving military personnel information about enemy strengths and weaknesses, and potential battle areas. Other duties typically include assessing incoming information and preparing maps, charts and intelligence reports, according to a job description on the Army’s website.
His part-time job with the Minnesota National Guard is similar, but that job description also includes interrogations and other duties.
Lt. Col. Kevin Olson, a Minnesota National Guard spokesman, said the Guard is cooperating with the FBI investigation and he knows of no disciplinary action on Novak’s Guard record.
According to the affidavit, Novak went to a training camp in Utah in January and met two undercover FBI employees who posed as members of a Utah-based militia.
Novak told the undercover employees that if they came to Minnesota, he would train them on military intelligence-related tasks, including the creation of “target packages.” Novak also said he’d taken classified materials from Fort Bragg and would share the information with them, the document said.
In July, the undercover FBI employees came to Minnesota, where Novak gave them an electronic copy of classified documents and taught them how to encrypt files, the affidavit said.