Pennsylvania man charged with falsifying military service to avoid drug charges in veterans court


A Pennsylvania man allegedly lied to Northumberland County officials about serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in order to be eligible for veterans treatment court, according to District Attorney Tony Matulewicz.

Keith M. Wilkes, 37, is facing a misdemeanor count of unsworn falsification to authorities. The charges were filed in the Sunbury office of District Judge Michael Toomey.

According to probation officials, Wilkes signed and submitted a treatment court document to court officials in October 2018 indicating that he served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2000 to 2006. During a pre-sentence investigation in December 2018, Wilkes verbally told officials he served between 2000 and 2006 in both Japan and Iraq, according to the DA's office.

Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator Kim Sapolis discovered that Wilkes did not serve in the military. In April 2019, Wilkes mailed a letter to Sapolis, confirming he never served in the military, according to the DA's office.

Wilkes was in court for two drug counts, one felony and one misdemeanor. He is scheduled for sentencing on those counts at 9:15 a.m. Monday in front of President Judge Charles Saylor.

The county's veteran treatment court was introduced at the common pleas level in 2011 and at the magistrate level in 2016. Other treatment courts are for drugs, DUI, behavioral health and family.

Treatment court cannot be mandated. Individuals are given the option or can request it themselves. A veterans court is designed specifically for offenders who are veterans. The veteran is paired with a mentor, a veteran in the community who can relate to the defendant's experiences.


©2019 The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pa.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

SEE ALSO: Pennsylvania Man 'Spun A Web Of Lies' About Fake Navy Service To Avoid Jail Time For Drunk Driving

Keith M. Wilkes in a 2013 mugshot
US Marine Corps

Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."

"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Associated Materials. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Associated Materials Incorporated is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.

Associated Materials, a residential and commercial siding and window manufacturer based in Ohio, employs people from a variety of backgrounds. The company gives them an opportunity to work hard and grow within the organization. For Tim Betsinger, Elizabeth Dennis, and Tanika Carroll, all military veterans with wide-ranging experience, Associated Materials has provided a work environment similar to the military and a company culture that feels more like family than work.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.

"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"

Read More Show Less

The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.

"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."

Read More Show Less
U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.

"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."

Read More Show Less