The name of former US Army infantryman Bowe Bergdahl, who left his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for more than four years before finally being dishonorably discharged, has surfaced in the federal prosecution of retired Army Green Beret and Oath Keepers member Jeremy Brown.
Brown faces a 10-count federal indictment alleging that he possessed unregistered weapons, explosives and classified national security documents that federal agents found when they arrested him last year on charges that he was outside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 used to be.
Brown claims federal law enforcement officers planted the explosives and classified documents when they searched his property on Sept. 30, 2021. His indictment includes five counts of possession of classified national security documents, but he has said one of those charges is his own “work product.” “
But until this week it was not known what that so-called work product was. On Wednesday, toward the end of a full day of testimony at his trial in Tampa, Andrew Kundarakis, an investigator with the US Air Force, told the court he received a tip that Brown was in possession of classified information from the US Air Force in 2017. Department of Defense and went to confront Brown about it. He said the information pertained to Bergdahl.
Koundarakis said he met with Brown in front of his home in Tampa on October 17, 2017, and that Brown told him he knew the material he was working on was classified, but it was not in his possession. Koundrakis said he then requested that Brown’s old military locker be searched and that Brown allowed him to do so, but that Brown objected to his home being searched for the missing documents. No additional information has yet been provided on the nature of Brown’s report on Bergdahl.
The tenth indictment in the federal superseding indictment against Brown refers to a “classified travel report” dated Sept. 1, 2011, which was only added to the federal government’s case against Brown last month. His legal team says government agents planted all other classified documents involved during their search.
Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misconduct against the enemy in 2017 after he left his post in Afghanistan in June 2009 and mounted a massive search and rescue operation involving thousands of US troops, according to Military.com. He was captured by the Taliban and held until released in 2014 in a prisoner exchange for five Taliban members held at the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay.
Brown served in the United States Army from 1992 to 2012. He has been held in a Pinellas County jail for more than 14 months since his arrest. He is one of more than 900 people charged with crimes stemming from the January 6 riot at the Capitol, though he never entered the building.
He was initially arrested on two counts of knowingly entering or staying in a restricted building or area without lawful authority, and knowingly and disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or area with the intent to maintain orderliness. interfere with or disrupt the course of government affairs or officials. functions.
However, those are not the charges Brown faces this week in Florida’s Middle District.
There will be no testimony in the trial on Thursday, but the case will resume Friday, when Brown himself is expected to testify.
On Wednesday evening, government lawyers filed a motion to prevent Brown from submitting evidence when he goes to court to justify possession of the “Trip Report.”
The case can go to the jury as early as Friday afternoon.
Editor’s Note: This author’s story Mitch Perry was originally published by the Tallahassee-based non-profit news site Florida Phoenix. Find the original story hereand visit the Florida Phoenix website for more in-depth stories, summaries, and commentary on current events.