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Archive for Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kansas National Guard member pleads guilty to helping Liberian falsely obtain US visa

August 10, 2011

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— A Kansas National Guard member has admitted helping an AWOL Liberian soldier make false statements to obtain a U.S. entry visa.

Spc. William Reed Halvorsen, of Elmdale, pleaded guilty plea Tuesday to a felony charge of aiding and abetting fraudulent statements.

U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Gary Sebelius set sentencing for Nov. 8. Prosecutors are recommending six months' probation.

Halvorsen struck up a friendship with Liberian citizen Devine Togba Pearson in 2010 while serving on a military-to-military mission in the west African country. He returned to Liberia in May as a tourist.

In his plea agreement, Halvorsen admitted knowing Pearson was an active member of the Liberian Armed Forces and lying about it to a consular officer at the U.S. embassy so Pearson could get an entry visa.

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