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An Army vet killed himself after prison inmates allegedly targeted him in a sextortion scam
The parents of an Army veteran who committed suicide in September 2018 believe he took his life immediately after he was targeted by inmates in a South Carolina prison as part of a sprawling sextortion ring, The Greenville News reports.
Jared Johns, who served a tour in Afghanistan in 2013, with the Regimental Engineer Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, was found dead on Sept. 11, 2018 after recording a short video in which he stated he "made some stupid mistakes."
His parents, Kathy Bowling and Kevin Johns, told the Greenville News that he was ensnared by inmates at the at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina who posed as the parents of an underage girl who allegedly sent him sexually explicit photographs.
Text messages provided to the Greenville News indicate that that on Sept. 10, the "parents" requested $1,189 from Johns to cover "easy disconnection and price of phone." The next day, the girl's "father" told Johns that his wife "is going to the police and you are going to jail."
The Greenville County Coroner's Office has estimated Jared John's time of death as noon on Sept. 11, per the Greenville Times, shortly after he received the threat of police involvement.
The following November, Naval Criminal Investigative Service officials announced that South Carolina inmates had blackmailed some 442 U.S. service members out of more than $560,000 as part of a sprawling sextortion ring uncovered as part of a multi-year investigation dubbed 'Operation Surprise Party.'
Five inmates and 10 outside accomplice were indicted by a federal grand jury last fall; According to NCIS, more than 250 people, mostly inmates throughout the South Carolina Department of Corrections, "are being investigated and face potential future prosecution."
Johns's parents told the Greenville News that their son suffered from depression stemming from post-traumatic stress disorder following an injury downrange.
"They had convinced him that he had done something bad," his father told the Greenville News. "I feel like they're the ones who shot him."
Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
In the wake of a heartwarming viral video that was featured everywhere from Good Morning America to the Daily Mail comes a disheartening revelation: The 84-year-old self-described Army nurse cranking out push-ups in her crisp Vietnam-era uniform might not be who she said she was.
Maggie DeSanti, allegedly a retired Army lieutenant colonel who rappeled out of helicopters in Vietnam, was captured in a video challenging a TSA agent to a push-up competition ahead of a flight to Washington, D.C., with the Arizona chapter of the organization Honor Flight on Oct. 16. The video soon was everywhere, and many who shared it, including Honor Flight, hailed DeSanti's toughness and spirit.
‘Nice girls don't join the military': New commander of Air Force refueling squadron proves her critics wrong
The summer before sixth grade, Cindy Dawson went to an air show with her father and was enamored by the flight maneuvers the pilots performed.
"I just thought that would be the coolest thing that anybody could ever do," she said, especially having already heard stories about her grandfather flying bombers during World War II with the Army Air Corps.
So by the first day of school, she had already decided what she wanted to be when she grew up.
We salute the 93-year-old WWII veteran who refuses to retire, and opened up a 'boozy bakery' instead
Peach schnapps, sex on the beach, and piña colada may be familiar drinks to anyone who's spent an afternoon (or a whole day) getting plastered on an ocean-side boardwalk, but they're also specialty desserts at Ray's Boozy Cupcakes, Etc, a bakery in Voorhees, New Jersey run by a 93-year-old World War II veteran named Ray Boutwell.
A former senior Coast Guard official has been accused of shoplifting from a Philadelphia sex shop.
Rear Adm. Francis "Stash" Pelkowski (Ret.) was accused of stealing a tester item from Kink Shoppe on Oct. 8, according to an Instagram post by the store that appeared online two days later. In the post, which included apparent security camera footage of the incident, a man can be seen looking at products on a counter before picking up an item and placing it in his pocket before turning and walking away.
The Instagram post identified the man as Pelkowski, and said it wished him "all the best in his retirement, a sincere thank you for your service, and extreme and utter disappointment in his personal morals."
SAN DIEGO —The Marines say changes in the way they train recruits and their notoriously hard-nosed drill instructors have led to fewer incidents of drill instructor misconduct, officials told the Union-Tribune.
Their statement about training followed an Oct. 5 Washington Post report revealing that more than 20 Marines at the San Diego boot camp have been disciplined for misconduct since 2017, including cases of physical attacks and racist and homophobic slurs. The story also was published in the Union-Tribune.