A United States Marine veteran received only 22 months in prison for attempting to stage a coup against the very military he once swore to bear true and faithful allegiance to.
Walter Litteral has already served nearly a year in prison while he awaited the conclusion of his trial in North Carolina, according to WSOC-TV. He along with two others were arrested last summer and charged with conspiring to violate federal laws, governing firearms and explosive devices, among others.
The group followed conspiracy theories that a military exercise in Texas called Jade Helm 15, was an attempt by the Obama administration to institute martial law and do everything from taking people’s guns to putting people in FEMA camps. But the two-month training took place without incident.
The three men planned bombs and exploding tennis balls and had more than one stash of high-powered weapons, the Charlotte Observer reports. They were also were accused of financing their operation by selling drugs, the Gaston Gazette reports. Litteral received approximately 240 hydrocodone and 90 oxycodone pills each month for pain. He sold more than half of those to his co-conspirator, the FBI’s indictments read.
Two of the men are already serving their sentences. While Litteral pled guilty, at his sentencing hearing, his attorney made a plea that he was an honorable military servant and thus deserved a lesser sentence. He received a Bronze Star when he led two gun groups during the first Gulf War. His attorney told the court that he now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of his service.
“You truly are an American hero,” Chief U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney said before sentencing Litteral. “But just because you’re an American hero doesn’t mean you’re excused from the laws of the land.”
As a soldier, Litteral was required to take the military service oath which reads in part “I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”