Retired coastie and wife, identity thieves, and KGB officers?

| July 28, 2022

Walter Primrose and Gwynnn Morrison

ninja sends in this wild story. It should make a great movie some day. What you see is retired Coast Guardsman Walter Primrose and his wife Gwynn Morrison. The two stand accused of stealing the identities of two dead infants and living under the names (with Primrose’s entire military career under the false name). Primrose continues to hold a security clearance and works for an unnamed defense contractor. There are hints that the two are also associated with Russian intelligence, including pictures of them in KGB uniforms.

The Daily Beast has the scoop;

A Texas man spent 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard using a dead baby’s stolen identity, obtaining a secret-level security clearance and baffling investigators who later uncovered information that the man and his wife—who also lived under an assumed name—may have had ties to Russian intelligence, according to court filings reviewed by The Daily Beast.

Walter Glenn Primrose, 67, and Gwynn Darle Morrison, also 67, are accused of carrying out a mysterious scheme in which they masqueraded under pilfered personas for decades. Primrose, who retired from the Coast Guard as an avionics technician in 2016, then went on to work as a cleared defense contractor at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point in Hawaii.

He continues to hold a government-issued security clearance, which investigators say he has had for more than two decades. Last year, a Russian spy ship was observed lurking off the coast of Hawaii for several days. In 2021, a Russian vessel was tracked near Hawaiian waters, in an incident one expert said echoed the activities of the Cold War era.

Way more at the source.

 

Category: Coast Guard, Crime, WTF?

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HT3

“So, Yuri is real.”

‘No way out’ – Kevin Costner
The film was released in…1987 which is the same year their scheme began. Coincidence?

jeff LPH 3 63-66

Looks like Primrose was walking a dangerous lane

AW1Ed

Right down the primrose path?

ninja

So now the question comes.

How DID they obtain the Birth Certificates in 1987 of the two deceased infants?

According to the article that Mason shared:

“Jan Neumann, a former FSB counterintelligence officer who defected to the U.S. in 2008, told The Daily Beast that successfully co-opting another person’s identity takes “a special skill.”

“What inspired them to do so?” Neumann asked. “What was the trigger? Who taught
them how to do it right? And why?”

“In 1987, when Primrose and Morrison allegedly launched the bizarre scheme, there were “no computers, no Google, no nothing,” Neumann continued. “1987 compared to now is like the Stone Age. To develop the legends, to create the legends, that’s a special skill.”

Did they get help from the Russians?

The investigator in the official report shared that “imposters often search cemeteries for infants with dates of death close to their own birthdates to more easily assume their identities.”

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ninja

Check out what Gwynn Darle Morrison’s Attorney said reference the KGB uniforms the couple posed in for a Polaroid shoot and about them being Spies:

“A close associate” said Morrison lived in Romania while it was a Soviet bloc country, Muehleck said. Morrison’s attorney said her client never lived in Romania and that she and Primrose had tried on the KGB uniforms as a joke and posed for photos in it. Even if the couple used new identities, attorney Megan Kau said they have lived law-abiding lives for three decades. “She wants everyone to know she’s not a spy,”
Kau said. “This has all been blown way out of proportion. It’s government overreaching.”

https://meaww.com/hawaii-couple-who-stole-dead-babies-identities-have-ties-to-russian-intelligence

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poetrooper

Ol’ Poe is of the opinion that, if anything, the posing for pics in KGB uniforms could be construed as evidence of their innocence as far as the espionage charges.

Surely no trained agents would be so colossally stupid as to create that kind of evidence and then leave it lying around where it could be so easily discovered and used against them. 🤔 

Last edited 4 months ago by Poetrooper
ninja

Good point, Poetrooper!!

Hack Stone

Was there a US Naval Intelligence guy who was made an Officer in Israeli Intelligence who kept a souvenir uniform in his closet? The guy was sent away for a long, long time, so of course, President Obama commuted his sentence and released him.

It seems that these days there are no repercussions for betraying your country. Back in the 50’s you rode the electric lightning (Rosenberg), the 80’s you were sent away for the rest of your life (John Walker), and these days you do a few years, if that, get released, then run for Senate (Bradley Manning), or do zero time and run for President.

timactual

How to create false identities has been public knowledge (for the curious, anyway) and incredibly easy since at least the ’60s. Birth certificates and other records were easy to get. Driver’s licenses and such were easy to forge. The movie “Catch Me If You Can” is based on someone who did it repeatedly and demonstrates some of the techniques. It didn’t take any special training.

I am sure the system has tightened up considerably since then, but I am sure there are still ways to infiltrate the system “unofficially”.

ninja

Thank You, timactual!

To be honest with you, still trying to figure out how in 1987 they obtain the birth certificates. Was the system relaxed in Texas?

You are correct that the system has tightened up…and that there still may br ways to obtain the certificates “unofficially”.

All of this is still disturbing that they were able to get passports, driver’s licenses, new Social Security numbers with cards, etc.

Speaking of SSN:

Primrose and Morrison were born in 1955. They HAD to have had a previous SSN before 1987. Am sure they worked as well (they would have been 32 in 1987).

They were eligible to start drawing 100% Social Security when they turned 66 1/2 (2021). Wonder if they gave up those $$ benefits based on their previous SSN?

Additionally, how does this affect their Taxes with the IRS and Hawaii based on using a stolen identity?

UpNorth

With about half of the county clerks back in those days, one could obtain a birth certificate by walking into the office and asking for duplicate for a son/daughter/brother/sister whose birth certificate was lost and paying the fee. I don’t think anyone had put the words “identity” and “theft” together yet.

poetrooper

Ol’ Poe recalls reading espionage novels during the 70’s and 80’s where authors laid out step-by-step instructions on how to create/assume another’s identity. They always seemed to start with a visit to a cemetery to find an infant death.

Hack Stone

Hack learned that one from watching The Rockford Files.

Atlanticcoast63

Ninja,

When I was a recruiter (89-93), I discovered something kinda by accident – birth certificates and death certificates were rarely, if ever, cross-indexed. All you had to do was find some poor soul born about the same time as you (the gigantic cemetery behind my office had a thoroughly horrifying few acres called ‘Babyland’) and request the BC. Then you had to figure out how to get an SSAN, and once you had that, get a drivers license. After that, it just took a little effort and planning to create a whole new person.

ninja

Atlanticcoast63:

Thank You for sharing this!

One would think that with technology (to include www.) that it would be EASIER to obtain BC…or even MAKE one.

We now can “visit” graves via “Find A Grave”, obtain court records, all while sitting at home (or work..😉) using our PC or Smartphones.

Heck, look how some who never served in the US Military either create a “DD214” or certificates for bogus awards. Embellishers do this as well.

ninja

The Official Criminal Complaint.

25 pages well worth reading.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/22121268-usa-v-primrose-et-al-1_22-mj-01259

ninja

According to the official document, Primrose served in the United States Coast Guard from 1994 to 2016 as an Avionics Tevhnician and retired in 2016.

Does this mean he started drawing retirement pay since 2016, i.e. 6 years worth?

That same year (2016) he started working as a DoD Contractor at the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station at Barbers Point, Hawaii.

He has or had a Government Issued Security Clearance for over 20 years.

Additionally, he became Treasurer of the Hawaiian Islands Chapter of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer’s Association.

Hack Stone

Was Treasurer of the Hawaiian Islands Chapter of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer’s Association an honorary title? Inquiring minds want to know.

rgr769

If one reads pages 5 and 6 of that document, these individuals have left a trail of records of their births in 1955 in the U.S., high school and college records, of their identities as Primrose and Morrison. All before they changed to the identities of the deceased infants in 1987. So, are all those prior records fake? If so, then the KGB was quite skilled at documenting the cover stories of their “illegals.” If they are in fact Russian agents, one has to wonder what prompted them to change their identities to the dead babies, which could easily be verified by death certificates held by the Texas vital statistics agency. So, there is something fishy here if this couple are really spies. If both of them were born here back in 1955, why would the KGB direct them to change their identities? Could it have something to do with his true age which is 12 years older than his fake age and his enlistment in the Coast Guard?

ninja

rgr769:

Yep! You nailed it!

Why did they do it? (rhetorical question).

From Fox News:

“Court papers do not indicate why the couple decided to assume the fraudulent identities, but an affidavit does note that the couple lost their Texas home to foreclosure that same year.”

https://www.foxnews.com/us/hawaii-couple-accused-stealing-dead-babies-identities-kgb-spies-prosecutors-say

ninja

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/22121279-primrose-detention-motion

According to the Detention Motion document at the link, Primrose held a SECRET clearance while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard as well as the six years in his employment as a Defense Contractor at Barbers Point.

He made several trips to Canada that he did not report.

Both Primrose and his wife (are they cobsidered LEGALLY married since they used stolen names and identities) are now considered Flight Risk and are eligible gor detention without bail.

rgr769

Of course they are a flight risk. If they could get back to Russia, they would be welcomed as national heroes. They certainly deserve Ruskie awards for being successfully under cover for all these years, assuming they really are KGB/FSB.

rgr769

According to the affidavit attached to the complaint, they were married in their original names long before they assumed the dead baby identities, but they married again using the fake identities.

Mick

“The Americans”!!!

LC

She surely ain’t Keri Russell, though.

ninja

Those Dirtbags also hurt a Father.

So Sad. 😔

“For one family, whose deceased child’s name was stolen, the news on Wednesday, July 29, came as a shock. John Montague, who lost his daughter Julie in 1968 at 3 weeks of age, was stunned to learn someone had been living under her name for so long. According to APNews, 91 year old Montague said “I still can’t believe it happened”. “The odds are like one-in-a-
trillion that they found her and used her name. People stoop to do anything nowadays. Let kids rest in peace.”

https://meaww.com/hawaii-couple-who-stole-dead-babies-identities-have-ties-to-russian-intelligence

ninja
ninja

Here We Go…

“Attorney For Alleged Russian Spy Claims She Posed In KGB Uniform For Fun”

https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2022/07/28/attorney-alleged-russian-spy-claims-she-posed-kgb-uniform-fun/

“Morrison’s attorney, Megan Kau, said her client is “shocked” about what she’s being accused of.”

“She has nothing to do with Russia,” Kau said, after a meeting with Morrison Wednesday.”

“Kau said the government’s motion to have the couple held without bail “vaguely accuses my client of being a Russian spy.”

“That’s in part because of pictures of them wearing a jacket of the KGB.”

“Kau claims the jacket wasn’t theirs.”

“She tried on a uniform that was at a friend’s house one time and they took pictures,” Kau said. “She was born and raised in the United States and she wants the world to know that she is not a spy.”

“Kau added that the pictures appear to show both Morrison and Primrose wearing the same jacket.”

ninja

“Kau also said Morrison didn’t know why the friend had the jacket.”

“The KGB was the intelligence agency of the former Soviet Union and during the 1980s ― when the picture was taken ― it would have been unusual for someone to have an authentic one.”

“The government is trying to have them both held without bond, something Kau called unreasonable given they have no criminal past and the allegations are for non-violent crimes.”

“Tom Simon, a retired FBI agent, has called the allegations against the two “staggering.”

“I can only imagine that internal investigators at the Coast Guard are scrubbing every single record that the defendant ever accessed to do an internal threat assessment. They need to understand what, if anything, is in the hands of the adversaries,” said Simon, of Simon Investigations.”

cobrakai99

Seems strange that their “friend” on the other side of the Iron Curtain had a perfectly fitting male and female uniform for each of them.

David

Looks to be the same jacket judging by the bling.

Martinjmpr

Using “Dead babies” for fake ID has been around since WWII or earlier.

In the pre-internet days it was easy: You just looked for people who had children who were born within a few years of you who then died in infancy (sometimes by literally walking through a graveyard and looking at headstones), then you contact the local hospital and say you are [name of deceased child] and that you lost your birth certificate and need it to get a passport, and they would send you one, no questions asked.

Then you take said BC down and get whatever documents you need. Heck, children didn’t even get social security numbers until they were ready to enter the work force back then (I think I was 15 or 16 when I got mine in the mid 1970’s)

Many books talk about how to do this, I think including Frederick Forsyth’s “Dogs of War.”

Slick Goodlin

Actually , “Day of the Jackal”, and was included as a key scene in the 1973 movie of the same name.

ninja

Thank You, Martinjmpr, for the info!

We were about 14-15 when our parents applied for our SSN along with our siblings. My youngest Brother was about 8-9 when he received his. This was around 1969/1970.

Our kids got theirs right after they were born.

Mike

in 1987, the IRS started requiring SSNs for children over 5 claimed on tax returns as exemptions. Overnight, 7 million children disappeared from the tax rolls. then the age requirement was lowered to 2 years of age. My son, born overseas in a US military hospital was about a month old when the passport and SSN showed up.

ninja

Am confused on this statement.

If Primrose served in the Coast Guard for 20 years and retired wouldn’t he and his “wife” already be enrolled in the DEERS as well as possessing Military ID cards?

“On August 28, 2018, he and Morrison
presented themselves to the DOD ID card office in the Hawaii National Guard building in Kapolei, Hawaii where they conspired together to execute an application for Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) enrollment form. They used Bobby and Julie Lyn’s respective identities.”

https://conandaily.com/2022/07/28/walter-primrose-biography-13-things-about-hawaii-man-who-stole-bobby-edward-forts-identity/

ninja

Primrose fraudulently enlisted in the Coast Guard.

What are the consequences of him doing that?

Will he have to repay his entire Coast Guard salary?

What happens to all the awards and medals he received? (The least of his worries unless he is “attached” emotionally to those decorations).

rgr769

Irrespective of whether either of them is a Ruskie spy, they are both going to be convicted of dozens of counts of false swearing under oath and federal fraud claims in connection with their multiple passports and his Coast Guard service.

Sapper3307

Thank God,  :wpds_unamused:  we had the FBI doing background checks back in in day.

KoB

Joe McCarthy grins…So does Joe Stalin.

Commissar

It appears this investigation started as an investigation into fraudulent passports since it was spearheaded by the DoS.

I suspect this became a counterintelligence investigation in cooperation with the FBI because of their travel activities. Since they were being monitored for a while this must have become a counterintelligence operation pretty early on. If the feds only suspected them of identity theft they likely would have been contacted earlier during the course of the investigation and not monitored for an extended period.

Would love to know which “friend” had the KGB uniform they were wearing and when it was taken. The uniform is from the 70s and 80s. And the fact they used a Polaroid also indicates the picture itself was taken in the late late 70s to the early 80s. A time when authentic KGB uniforms would have been exceedingly difficult to get your hands on.

It wasn’t until the 90s that Russian uniforms were easily acquired, but even then KGB uniforms were a rarity.

ninja

Commissar:

Welcome back!

Thank You for sharing your input on the story.

It is going to be interesting if we ever find out “The Rest Of The Story”.

We are now reading updates where the couple may have taken on other identities. Additionally, when a search was conducted on their home, an invisible ink kit, documents with coded language and maps showing military bases were discovered.

The couple also told people they were dodging legal and financial trouble; Primrose told someone he was a government agent who couldn’t be photographed”.

“Suspected Russian spy from Kapolei held without bail; investigators find coded messages, invisible ink kit”

https://www.staradvertiser.com/2022/07/28/breaking-news/defense-contractor-from-kapolei-held-without-bail-in-id-theft-mystery/

A Proud Infidel®™

“He continues to hold a government-issued security clearance, which investigators say he has had for more than two decades.”

Nice work those Feds do ensuring our security while they sic Feebies, I mean the FBI on Parents who dissent with liberal School Boards.