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Sailor needs help !

Discussion in 'US Navy Forum' started by glkdawg45, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. glkdawg45


    Sep 17, 2003
    I haven't been on GT in some time, this area is new. So I'm posting this here for starters.
    Everyone needs to check this link out, Military corruption .com and read the article about James Praefke.

    I've know this guy for 25+ years, and he is being railroaded by some individiuals in the Navy and his supposed wife.

    Also go to Kitsapsun, it is a local paper for the Oak Harbor, Wa area. You will have to sign up to read the articles, BUT IT IS FREE search the name Praefke, and you can read them.

    All that I ask is that you read the information, and come to your own judgements.

    All I am trying to do is get this story out in the open.

  2. glkdawg45


    Sep 17, 2003
    NCIS finally made it back to my house tonight, to see if my friend has trird to get in touch with me, since his escape.

  3. glkdawg45


    Sep 17, 2003
  4. glockoroni


    Jan 17, 2006
    Right Here
    He escaped from custody, that's another violation of the UCMJ! No matter how you paint him, he is an escapee, wanted by the law. You should know this, being a marine.
  5. glkdawg45


    Sep 17, 2003
    Yes, he is an escapee, and we are hoping he will turn himself in, before someone decides to "shoot first and ask questions later".

    When he escaped, all he did was disapear. He did not attack the chaser, or use any violence.

    If he is so pro-militia, anti-government, why spend 19 yrs of your life in the military ? He had about a year to go til retirement, why flush it over something so stupid ?

    The problem I have is with the facts that the Navy believed every word his wife said, and took them at face value. Not to mention all the conlicting information from the trial.

    From the statement he sent out :

    8. The C-4 explosive that was in my storage locker - who had access to my storage? I and my ex-wife [KP] are the only people, to my knowledge. Why were there no fingerprints or DNA evidence taken off the C-4? The only thing they - NCIS - checked was to verify that it was "similar to C-4" (crime lab report). Where does an aviation electrician like me get C-4? My ex-wife's phone records revealed several calls to EODMU 11. Is that another "coincidence," or does she or [TA] know someone who as a bomb disposal expert would have access to military explosives? Why would [KP] be calling someone there? Why are there things that were in my storage locker that contained firearms and military gear moved to family storage locker as described in the NCIS reports? Someone had to move them, but [KP] claimed she never entered the firearms storage locker? [Then, who did?]

    9. Who was responsible for the [following] false official statements on the NCIS "wanted" flyer? "Convicted sex offender . . . armed and dangerous . .. anti-law enforcement . . . militia , , , bomb-making." Where is their evidence these statements are fact? What was their motivation to place anything other than I was convicted of illegally possessing, storing, transporting munitions, making false statements and I escaped from the brig? Why would they try and create a situation that could cause any contact I have with law enforcement to become a "deadly" encounter? Is their goal to get me killed? Making false official statements is a UCMJ violation, not a [death-penalty] offense. What's their excuse for taking such actions?

    All I want is a full investagation of the matter.
  6. glkdawg45


    Sep 17, 2003
    Here is the latest from :


    (c) 2006

    "Honey, I can't wait for you to get home," cooed Navy PO1 Jim Praefke's wife into the telephone as the veteran petty officer called Oak Harbor, Wash. from a refueling stop enroute back to the United States after seven hard months of duty in Afghanistan. "Here's the kids," she sweetly said, as they each took turns telling "Daddy" how much they looked forward to his return.

    "And, Jim. I've got a big surprise waiting for you when you get here."

    She sure did! "Sex abuse charges" and maxed-out credit cards, as well as wild accusations to the media that her husband was a dangerous "terrorist." Praefke was immediately taken into custody by salivating NCIS agents, eager to add another notch to their "politically-correct" arrest scoresheet.

    The Navy had to know there were serious problems with the wife's accusations and her credibility, but since when did that stop the prosecution of an enlisted man with a clean record? "Let the games begin!" as Caligula used to shout in the Roman Colliseum


    Hard-charging, super-aggressive JAG LT Jodi Bell tried her best to paint Praefke as an evil "child molester" at court-martial, but failed. The petty officer was acquited on all sex charges.

    He did plead guilty - on advice of legal counsel - despite his stated innocence, to specious charges he "stole ammunition, illegally stored explosives (a dummy grenade)" and made "false official statements."

    That was enough to destroy his military career, send him to the brig and make him ponder the irony of that old phony claim: "The Navy takes care of its own."

    Strange how the Navy's turned a blind eye to LT Bell's "false official statement" she knowingly and maliciously inserted into the record, whereby PO1 Praefke's NCIS "wanted bulletin" contained false and extremely defamatory information that could have led to his death, if apprehended.


    Look on our home page or "click on" the "related stories box" at the end of this article.

    It's "circle the wagons" time, as the Navy PAO refuses to even return MCC's phone calls. We've complained to the Pentagon and been assured we would at least be given the courtesy of a response, but apparently the tactic decided upon by "the powers that be" is to "stonewall" us and other media, hoping the scandal of a JAG breaking the law blows over without any damage to her "career."

    We've got news for them. calls for a formal investigation into LT Bell's misconduct and we'll be glad to provide the Navy with copies of her e-mails, which - in her own words - prove her intent to perpetuate a lie and a deliberate canard. "Political correctness" or gender favoritism should have nothing to do with whether or not a JAG officer is held to the same standard of the law as anyone else. If not, the whole system breaks down.

    One has to wonder, if LT Bell would engage in such dishonest conduct as we reported in this space in our previous story, then, is it any stretch of the imagination to wonder if she might do other things illegal in her fervor to send PO1 Praefke to the slammer? Perhaps the entire court-martial was tainted by unfairness, which would put things in a very different light if the petty officer were to voluntarily return to Navy custody, as we have urged him to do.

    [MCC is appealing to Praefke to give himself up peacefully to famed defense attorney and former Navy CDR John "Bull Dog" Wells. The retired officer has asked NCIS not to harm the Navy petty officer as long as he contacts Wells ( telephone: 1-800-817-5123; e-mail: ) and offers to return to custody. In our initial story (see "related stories" box below), we told NCIS what the "ground rules" were for Praefke's safe return to Navy control. Getting an escaped prisoner back without bloodshed should be the goal of everyone concerned.]


    While the Navy has so far succeeded in keeping the Praefke court-martial transcripts away from the media, they didn't count on us getting hold of a copy of the paperwork on the Article 32 (preliminary hearing). There's enough in there to make one blanch at the decision to take this case any further. Was it the unsubstantiated "sex abuse charges" leveled at the petty officer by his "loving" wife that forced prosecution, regardless of the facts?

    We have studied the documents closely, and with the help of former Navy LTCDR and Naval Academy graduate Walt Fitzpatrick, come up with many reasons to suspect Jim Praefke was railroaded and framed.

    Take for example, the serious charge of smuggling a grenade - albeit an inert and "dummy" one - in from Afghanistan to the United States. When Praefke was questioned by Customs officials upon arrival back in this country he was specifically asked if he had any weapons or ammunition in his baggage. He said "no." That was because he didn't! So, how did it get there?

    Well, first of all, if you read the sworn testimony of Carolyn Lockhart, the Customs and Border Protection Officer, Port of Anacortes, Wash., she says the grenade "was in a weird-looking box that was inside another box" in Praefke's marked bag.

    But then, just five pages more into the transcript and you find Government witness Boatswains Mate First Class Matthew Broderson, from the EODMU 11 Detachment Northwest, Whidbey Island, testifying: " . . . the master-at-arms took me into the hanger bay and pointed to where there were a number of integrated storage containers holding the crew's gear and equipment. He pointed to an unzipped bag containing the hand grenade which I saw as plain as day. The grenade was in plain view. I took a picture of it, then unzipped the bag the rest of the way."

    Hold on here! What happened to the "weird-looking box within a box?" You can't have it both ways. Or can you? Maybe you can, if you're the Navy and you want to convict somebody, never mind the facts. Does the thought occur to you, dear reader, that the grenade and scattered rounds of ammunition "found" in Praefke's bag might have been "planted" there? The bag was not locked. We know that from Broderson's testimony, that the top was "unzipped."

    Were Praefke's fingerprints or DNA found anywhere on the grenade? The NCIS papers show there was a 3% chance it had Praefke's DNA. Let's see. Do the math. That means there's a 97% chance it wasn't him at all! Hey, gang, that's all we need. Get out the rope. He must be guilty!

    More problems arise from the testimony of NCIS Agent Mark Young who swore under oath that he "received a call [on 2 February 2005] . . . indicating a grenade had been identified in Hanger 12." But the Evidence Custody Document, obtained by MCC, records the grenade was recovered on 2 February from Hanger 5 at 12:20 p.m. Which is it? What hanger, and was it in a box within a box, or out in the open? Serious questions that demand answers.

    According to PO1 Broderson, "Grenades are tracked from the time they're made, to the time they're expended." But we found no evidence that any attempt was made by investigators to trace the grenade's point of origin. Why not? Because it might have come from local stock and therefore could not have been smuggled in from Afghanistan? Whoops! There goes the main charge against Praefke. So what to do now? Ah, how about dispose of the evidence! Yeah, that's the ticket!

    In a stunning development, has learned from an active duty Navy member [name withheld to save him from retaliation], that: "Hell, EOD (Emergency Ordnance Disposal) blew up that grenade the day after they found it. I know, because I saw them do it."

    As for PO1 Praefke, he was arrested upon arrival at Whidbey Island on 1 February, so he was in lockup all day and could not have been in either Hanger 5, Hanger 12 or anywhere else. He denied from the very beginning any knowledge of having such a grenade and we believe him. But the Navy, who couldn't even get it's own story straight, decided to take Praefke to court-martial anyway!

    Later on in this report, we'll explain how and why that material might have gotten there, but first, let's ponder the two widely divergent accounts of how the grenade and ammo were "discovered" in Praefke's bag. It made the much-decorated Navy veteran a "criminal" and destroyed 19 years of unblemished military service.


    Why would someone want to "set up" Praefke? has been told by an active duty member that the petty officer's wife needed him "out of the way." Allegedly, Praefke's "frau" was seeing another sailor while hubby was off fighting in Afghanistan. It wouldn't be the first time that sort of thing happened.

    Our investigators questioned former Navy buddies of the petty officer in Maine who told us that the wife (with the "big surprise") had cheated on her first husband, also a sailor, when he was at the Brunswick Naval Air Station back in the 1990's. She "latched onto" Praefke, we are told, with four kids in tow from the first marriage. "He should have known if she'd do that to her first husband, it could happen to him," said our source. "But, he didn't want to think that, and look what happened."

    Since the wife - we don't reveal her name for legal reasons which should be obvious - made charges that were the linchpin of the Navy's case against PO1 Praefke, one would think her veracity and conduct would be carefully investigated. If it was, it was ignored.

    For example, NCIS gleefully taunted the petty officer by telling him they had found "sex toys" (a vibrator") that had "DNA on it" in his home. Yeah, from the wife, two children, and a man! What the liars and cheats at NCIS didn't tell Praefke was that the DNA was from an "unidentified male" and did NOT match his!

    This means that wifey may well have had a "boyfriend" while husband was gone. Somehow the vibrator was used on wife, kids and the unidentified male. Another sailor, perhaps? Gee, that sounds like a good reason to accuse Jim Praefke of "molesting" his step-kids. Why, he is Superman! He did it all the way from Afghanistan!


    While Praefke was cooling his heels in the brig for months on end before his court-martial began in 2005, he discovered his wife had "maxed out" his credit cards, lost $6,000 gambling, and run up bills of as much as $800 a month for telephone calls.

    He obtained copies of the bills, and with the help of friends, painstakingly traced where the calls went to. Someone using wifey's phone made a lot of calls to EOD at the Whidbey Island Naval Base. Wonder why that was? What reason would his loyal wife - or her possible boyfriend - have to talk to them? Maybe to find out how to get hold of a grenade and some ammo to plant in Praefke's baggage? Hmmmm. It was known ahead of time when the petty officer's plane would be landing.

    Retired CW2 Glen Banks, USMC, tells he sent his friend Jim Praefke a check for $500 "to help him out while in the brig." But Banks mailed it to the petty officer's home, thinking it would be automatically forwarded. It wasn't. As he found out when he got a telephone call from the bank saying Praefke's wife had tried to cash the check! "I've got her signature right on the back. I can send you a photocopy," the mad Marine said.

    Between the "sex charges" and weapons "violations" it'd be a good bet that the 6' 3" tall, 220-pound husband would be safely "out of the way" so his estranged wife could "get on" with her life. Or so she may have thought.

    We don't know for sure if Praefke's wife tried to "frame" him or not. But she had to know that folks like NCIS, CID and OSI just chomp at the bit for a chance to go after anyone accused of "sex crimes" with all the subtlety of a pack of wild dogs chasing a bleeding deer across an open field.

    While we have not named Praefke's wife in this account, and thereby cannot be accused of slander, in the spirit of fairness upon which this web site was founded, we are going the extra mile to offer this woman an opportunity to have her say on these pages. That's right, if she disputes anything we have reported, we'll be happy to retract it publicly upon presented proof of error.

    But, let her know, that if she comes forward to give her account, we will avail ourselves of the opportunity to investigate every word she says, and, if she is caught lying, that will be duly reported on these pages as well as passed on to the appropriate authorities.

    As of the moment, the estranged wife has, shall we say, "gone to ground" and cannot be located by us or other media organizations. Maybe she's still "frightened" of her "terrorist" husband. We doubt if he's stalking her. He's probably too intent on avoiding capture right now, after walking away from the Navy Brig at Bangor, Wash. Not that he might be more than a little "upset" at what his wife did to him. And the United States Navy.
  7. glkdawg45


    Sep 17, 2003
    Getting plenty of views, but no comments.

    Haven't heard any new news on this lately.
  8. glkdawg45


    Sep 17, 2003
    This is an e-mail that was sent to the staff of military corruption.


    I spent the years from 1977 to 1984 stationed at Brunswick Naval Air Station. I was also a 1st Class Petty Officer when discharged, and accumulated over 4K hours of flight time as an AW. I say this for context.

    One of the most repulsive things I ever witnessed was the syndrom of "Deployment Widows", These were wives of sialors whose squadron had just deployed overseas. Many times, their husbands had left that very afternoon, and here they came, all dressed up and looking for action, headed into the Enlisted Club. They were unashamed, and very available. It was a disgrace in many many ways.

    I refused to get married while on active duty because of these very things. I saw what happened to husbands when they found out what was going on at home. The impact on morale in the squadrons was very real.

    To my mind, there is no doubt this woman was cheating on her spouse and helped to frame him on these charges. I do not know what I can do to help you, but if there is anything at all, let me know.


    T K
  9. glkdawg45


    Sep 17, 2003
  10. KIDCOP

    KIDCOP Rifle Master Millennium Member

    I agree some wives fit this description, but the percentage was rather small. I spent 20 1/2 years in the canoe club. I hardly think some of the guys going out to sea were always 100% honest either.

    I have known many a Navy wife who were 100% faithful to their husbands in thick and thin. Too bad you did not able find a women with good moral fiber.
  11. Wisby


    Apr 24, 2006
    Bremerton Wa
    I agree some wives fit this description, but the percentage was rather small. I spent 20 1/2 years in the canoe club. I hardly think some of the guys going out to sea were always 100% honest either.

    I have known many a Navy wife who were 100% faithful to their husbands in thick and thin. Too bad you did not able find a women with good moral fiber.

    I currentlly live in this area and have for about 5 and half years. I have never had such a hard time with females as I have here. I have met MANY MANY Deployment Widows in this town and have even been invited back to Base Houseing on several occasions...
    It's finally got to the point that I'm going to Import from Texas lol... She fly's in May 3rd actually.

    Has for your Buddy I hope it works out for him. Thats about all I can do is wish him luck.
  12. JMyers31


    Jun 2, 2006
    I used to be assigned to navy subbase bangor WA and had base lawyers after me for something I didn't do. Im still in the navy, but i've got some shrapnel left over, and definitely dont ever want to go back there. Im definitly glad to be back on the east coast. I hope everything works out for your friend. Tell me if i can help out your cause because I have little respect left for navy lawyers.
  13. glkdawg45


    Sep 17, 2003
    Here's information one year later...,2403,BSUN_19088_5140071,00.html

    Special Report | Still At Large: Navy Sailor a Fugitive From Justice
    One year after he escaped the brig, Afghanistan war vet James Praefke has kept NCIS guessing.
    By Elaine Helm |
    November 13, 2006


    One year ago today, James T. Praefke vanished.
    The 6-foot-3, 220-pound man, wearing desert camouflage and a leg brace, managed to slip away from his guard and escape from Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. He had been out of the brig on work detail, retrieving food for other prisoners.

    Despite a nationwide search, no one has found the now 38-year-old Praefke, who had spent 18 years in the Navy before being sentenced to three years in prison.

    "They trained him too well," said his mother, Linda James, who last heard her son’s voice when he called her the day after he escaped.
    Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents trying to find him declined to comment for this story. But the case remains open, and Praefke appears on the agency’s most wanted list.

    Information on the NCIS Web site provides a depiction of the wanted man: "He should be considered armed and dangerous," "Has threatened suicide various times," "Possesses an interest in bomb making and improvised explosive devices," and "Has expressed anti-law enforcement and anti-government views."

    But his mother and even Praefke himself, in a letter mailed to his mother and Navy officials two months after his disappearance, have called that characterization into question.

    Pleaded Guilty

    Praefke most recently served as an aviation electrician with Electronic Attack Squadron 133 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. He was arrested Feb. 1, 2005 — the day he returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan — on sexual assault charges.

    The next day, according to investigators, a customs officer found ammunition and a grenade in his bag, which had been sealed inside a metal security container during the trip back from Afghanistan. Praefke himself had been responsible for inspecting all the baggage from his unit and sealing it in the containers.

    During a search in January, Praefke’s now ex-wife had led investigators to C-4 plastic explosives in a storage unit where he also kept guns and survival gear.

    In a pre-trial agreement, he pleaded guilty to stealing and transporting the ammunition and grenade, illegally possessing explosives and making a false official statement. His guilty plea was in exchange for a lesser sentence if convicted of child sex abuse charges — charges of which he was acquitted during his court-martial.

    He was sentenced Oct. 4, 2005, to three years in a Navy prison. His mother said she was told he would only serve about 1½ years.
    But before he could be transferred to a prison in California, he fled from the brig at Bangor.

    ‘Serious Mistakes’

    Praefke’s letter, postmarked Jan. 25, 2006, in Long Beach, Calif., provided his explanation for running. He wrote about "conflicting information, serious mistakes and false official statements" allegedly made by Navy investigators, his ex-wife and others in the case against him.

    His mother agreed, saying he had been "set up."
    James said she spent more than $50,000 in attorney’s fees for her son’s defense. But now, more than ever, she regrets that he pleaded guilty to some charges on the advice of his attorney, rather than fighting all the charges.

    "I couldn’t believe that he would do that, that Jim would plead guilty to something he didn’t do," she said.

    The Kitsap Sun has been unable to review copies of records from Praefke’s court-martial requested from the Navy under the Freedom of Information Act. A response letter from the office that holds the records did not provide an estimated delivery date, due to a high volume of such requests and the processing time required to review records for material exempt under the law.

    Praefke’s case automatically was referred to the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, but the court can take years to hear an appeal because of its high case load.

    "The more I think about it now, I can’t blame him for running," his mother said.

    Trained Survivalist

    James remains worried about a violent confrontation if Praefke is found. She said language on her son’s wanted poster about anti-government and anti-law enforcement views are untrue and could lead police to shoot first and ask questions later.

    An earlier version of the wanted poster, which remained on the NCIS Web site more than a week after Praefke’s escape, said he had been convicted of child sex abuse.

    When his attorney complained, the poster was amended to say he had been "investigated for child sex abuse on multiple occasions and other criminal acts including domestic violence." That line also was removed.

    In February this year, local police raided James’ North Port, Fla., home looking for Praefke at the request of a Navy unit charged with tracking down deserters. Six officers came to the house with their guns drawn.

    Police have not visited her home since then and investigators stopped calling her months ago, James said.

    She said she’s not surprised the trail has gone cold. Praefke attended every type of survival training available to him in the military, she said. During exercises where he had to hide from other participants, he was never caught.

    "Jim is prepared for anything and everything," she said.
    She doesn’t know where he’s hiding now, she said. None of her family or friends have heard from him.

    "Some people seem to think he went to Canada," she said. "Maybe he went to Afghanistan. He seemed to like the people. He said after one more tour, he’d be speaking their language."

    James said she’d like to hear from her son to know for sure that he’s all right, but she understands why he doesn’t contact her.
    "Wherever he is, he’s surviving," she said.

    Praefke Timeline

    Feb. 1, 2005: James T. Praefke returns from deployment to Afghanistan and is arrested on sexual assault charges.

    Sept. 26, 2005: Praefke’s court-martial begins.

    Oct. 4, 2005: The court-martial ends. Praefke is sentenced to a three-year prison term after pleading guilty to stealing and transporting ammunition and a grenade, illegally storing explosives and making false official statements.

    Nov. 13, 2005: Praefke eludes his guard while retrieving food for other prisoners at the brig and escapes from Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

    Nov. 14, 2005: NCIS issues its first wanted poster for Praefke to local law enforcement agencies and media outlets. Praefke calls his mother to tell her he has escaped.

    Nov. 24, 2005: Praefke’s name appears on the NCIS most wanted list and the wanted poster is distributed nationwide.

    Dec. 2, 2005: Information referencing the child sex abuses charges is removed from the wanted poster after complaints by Praefke’s attorney that he had been acquitted of the charges.

    Jan. 25, 2006: A letter postmarked in Long Beach, Calif., is mailed to Praefke’s mother and Navy officials. In it, Praefke proclaims his innocence and urges an investigation into improprieties in his court-martial. That was the last time his mother heard from him.

    Feb. 23, 2006: Local police raid the North Port, Fla., home of Praefke’s mother at the request of a Navy unit charged with tracking down deserters.
  14. This sailor needs to find a civilian lawyer that was a JAG in the Armed Forces and use him/her to negotiate a surrender. He also needs to get a Senator and a couple of congress critters involved to help cover his six and make sure that everything is done above board.

    His first mistake was taking on a woman with the kind of baggage she was carrying. I saw a lot of those while I was in, made me decide to wait until I was out before getting married. Had one marry a filipina, and when the 3 years was past she accused him of molesting their little boy. He wasn't very smart either.

    I speak from experience, I have fought false charges and won, and I have been investigated by NIS now NCIS. But I could not do it alone, nor with just JAG for legal counsel. My US Senator made sure that I was not railroaded.

    Good luck to the sailor.
  15. goldshellback


    Mar 16, 2007
    Mayberry, GA
    Just saw this thread..........
    Is there any further info on this?

    I'm a 16 yr. sailor and have seen
    way more "deployment widows" that I ever wanted to, but this is WAY
    wrong. To believe, much less read, that the Navy would "take care of thier own" this way.....? NCIS and the JAG's had to see beyond the wife's accusations and would want to "investigate" the whole of the matter......but I would be/am mistaken

    I have no ties to any of this... but it has captured my complete attention and I will be following these 'events' rather closely now.

    BRAVO ZULU on getting this out!