Two weeks ago, Governor Chris Christie signed a regulation criminalizing stolen valor into New jersey state law. On Veterans Day, a well-known fraudster experienced the harsh bite of justice when he was caught impersonating a serviceman near the base of the 177th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard.
Michael Porter purchased a uniform identical to those worn at the National Guard base and was wearing it on Veterans Day to receive discounts and gratitude from the community. He also possessed a radio capable of picking up police and fire department communications and a pair of handcuffs.
Unfortunately for Porter, his criminal history preceded him. Marine-turned-policeman Gary Brenner recognized Porter from a prior infraction and knew he had never served. Brenner immediately moved in to make the arrest.
“We believe he could possibly have been out trying to get some benefit from the uniform,” Brenner said. “I take a lot of offense to it. There’s men and women, serving today, the veterans — and they’re being recognized for making a sacrifice, and this man didn’t.”
A person convicted of perpetuating stolen valor in New Jersey will receive a mandatory fine of $1,000 and up to five years in jail.