Tucson Man Indicted for Posing as Air Force Officer to Enter Base

According to the United States Attorney's Office, a Tucson man went to some extraordinary lengths to gain access to an Air Force base earlier this year. Once inside, he bought stuff from the base's commissary in what a U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman tells New Times was "part of a larger scheme" to defraud someone.

Jeffrey Lee Bennett, 46, was indicted on seven felonies yesterday after authorities say he posed as a major general to gain access to the Air Force base at Fort Huachuca.

Bennett, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Robbie Sherwood says, entered the base on March 30 under false pretenses by wearing a United States Air Force uniform with the rank of major general.

Not only isn't Bennett a major general, he's not even in the military -- although, Sherwood says, he was a low-ranking member of the Air Force in the 1980s.

Bennett didn't just dress the part, he also was driving a car that had a fraudulent Department of Defense personal-vehicle-registration sticker with the Defense Department seal when he entered the base.

Further, Bennett presented security personnel at the base with a fake ID that appeared to be a United States Air Force Common Access card.

Sherwood wouldn't elaborate on the details of Bennett's alleged fraud plans, but once inside the base, h
e made "unauthorized purchases at the post exchange and commissary by pretending to be a general officer."

If convicted, Bennett faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King

Latest Stories