Feds: Ex-soldier stole military IDs for militia

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm •  Published: December 12, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — 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.

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