A couple seen in photos wearing what appear to be KGB uniforms were accused in federal court of stealing the identities of dead infants in Texas decades ago, according to court documents.
The photos of Walter Glenn Primrose, a defense contractor and former U.S. Coast Guard avionics technician, and his wife, Gwynn Darle Morrison, were included in a motion to detain them without bail filed Monday by federal prosecutors in U.S. District Court in Hawaii.
They are being held on charges of identity theft, conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, and making false statements in the application and use of a passport, a criminal complaint filed July 21 shows.
Their alleged crimes were detailed in an affidavit included in the complaint from a special agent with the Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Megan Kau, a lawyer for Morrison, told The Associated Press that the couple posed in the uniform at a friend's house as a joke.
"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.”
Morrison and Primrose have not been accused of any espionage-related crimes.
They were arrested Friday in Kapolei, on the island of O'ahu, the AP reported.
According to a State Department spokesperson, a former member of the U.S. armed services and his wife, both U.S. citizens, were indicted in the case. The spokesperson did not provide additional comments and said the Diplomatic Security Service does not discuss the details of investigations.
A lawyer for Primrose did not respond to a request for comment.
At a hearing Thursday, Primrose was ordered detained without bail, according to court minutes. A hearing for Morrison is scheduled for Tuesday.
In the motion, which alleges the two pose a flight risk, prosecutors argued that Primrose had failed to report several trips to Canada — even though he has held a secret clearance for six years and was required to report foreign travel.
The motion, which does not provide details about the trips, also alleges that his experience as a “highly skilled” electronics technician could allow him to “communicate surreptitiously” if released.
A person described only as a “close associate” in the document told federal agents that Morrison lived in Romania while the country was part of the Soviet Union — even though she’s never been issued a passport under her true identity that would allow her to travel, the motion says.
Morrison's attorney told the AP that her client never lived in Romania.
The filing adds that letters seized from the couple’s home greet them with names that are different from their real names or their known aliases, Bobby Edward Fort and Julie Lyn Montague.
“Federal agents have also seized photographs from the defendants’ residence that depict the defendants apparently some years ago wearing what have been identified as KGB uniforms,” the motion says.
No additional information about the uniforms was included in the filing and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Hawaii did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the complaint, which was unsealed Friday, the couple attended high school and college together in Texas in the 1970s and were married in Nacogdoches in 1980.
In 1987, they allegedly assumed the identities of two Texas babies born two decades earlier who had died shortly after being born — Bobby Edward Fort, of Dallas, and Julie Lyn Montague, of Burnet, the complaint says.
They were allegedly issued driver's licenses, social security cards and passports using their false identities, the complaint says. They remarried each other in 1988 as Bobby Fort and Julie Montague, the complaint says.
In 1994, Primrose enlisted with the Coast Guard using the false identity, the document says. He remained with the military branch until 2016, when he began working for a Department of Defense contractor, according to the complaint.
The private company is not identified, but the motion says he worked for the contractor at the Coast Guard Air Station at Barbers Point, an O'ahu-based facility that conducts search and rescue operations and provides long-range patrol and logistical support.
The Coast Guard did not immediately respond to a request for comment
Morrison's attorney told the AP that even if the couple assumed false identities, they've lived law-abiding lives for three decades.