|By Jamie Satterfield, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Kenpetch Manasmontri learned that lesson the hard way, according to court records, as he is now headed to federal prison for 30 days for trying to glean a break on traffic tickets by posing as a soldier.
Greeneville U.S. Magistrate
Manasmontri's woes began in
Federal court records state Manasmontri tried to curry favor with Coleman by saying he was headed "to the police academy so he could work for the
Coleman, however, had learned Manasmontri's driver's license had been suspended.
"She told him that the most important thing he could do would be to work toward getting his driver's license reinstated," a plea agreement stated.
Coleman issued Manasmontri three traffic citations, which were to be handled in federal court because the violations occurred in a national park. After repeatedly delaying his court appearance, Manasmontri finally appeared in
"On that date, he appeared dressed in camouflage military battle dress uniform ... (with a) cloth tab with his last named sewed on it (attached with Velcro) on his uniform," Assistant U.S. Attorney
Lampe "thanked him for his service" and asked Manasmontri if he would "lose rank if he went to jail for the driving while suspended or revoked charge," the document stated. "Manasmontri said he thought he would."
Lampe was sympathetic, talking to the uniform-clad Manasmontri about the difficulties of integrating back into civilian society.
"(Manasmontri) then went on to say that he had seen terrible things during his deployment," Lampe wrote.
As it turned out, someone else was watching the exchange between the two men.
"(Manasmontri) seemed surprised and replied that it must have happened in the dryer and hurried to change it," the document stated.
It was too late, though. With just a few more queries, King determined Manasmontri was no soldier.
"(Manasmontri) admits that he pretended to be a soldier in an attempt to receive a more favorable outcome in his case," Lampe wrote.
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