Utah man pleads guilty to unlawful solicitation

February 22, 2014 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former Army sergeant who was stationed [auth] in New Mexico has pleaded guilty to soliciting gifts and property under false pretenses.

Prosecutors say 42-year-old Michael Vernon Rupert entered his plea Friday in federal court in Las Cruces. His sentencing hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet.

At the time of the offenses, he was living in Hondo.

Rupert was arrested last October in Utah on a criminal complaint charging him with three counts of unlawful solicitation and use of gifts.

Rupert was accused of solicited about $35,000 worth of military and law enforcement type clothing and shooting gear from three manufacturers between July 2012 and May 2013.

Authorities say he falsely claimed they were for use by the U.S. Army.

Utah authorities searched Rupert’s trailer and found some of the solicited merchandise.

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