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Tags: air national guard | russia | ukraine | defection

US Air National Guardsman Defects to Russian Army

By    |   Friday, 05 April 2024 10:42 AM EDT

A former member of the U.S. Air National Guard has allegedly defected to join the Russian military after being charged with possession of child pornography, Military.com reported.

According to the Rhode Island attorney general’s office, Wilmer Puello-Mota, 28, a former security forces technical sergeant with the Massachusetts Air National Guard, allegedly fled the United States after authorities filed charges against him for possession of child pornography. 

Later social media posts indicate that Puello-Mota has since traveled to Russia and joined the country’s armed forces, and some posts suggest that he participated in a battle against Ukrainian forces. Military.com notes that these claims have not been verified, but the Rhode Island attorney general’s office is using them as evidence that Puello-Mota has left the country.

"The state has received photos and videos purporting to be the defendant in Russia and Ukraine, where he is alleged to have joined the Russian military," Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha wrote in a court filing. "While the state cannot verify the authenticity of the videos and photographs, if they are accurate, the defendant is well beyond the jurisdiction of this court and, if false, the defendant is engaged in an elaborate ruse to conceal his whereabouts."

Don Veitch, a spokesperson for the 104th Fighter Wing in Massachusetts, commented on the situation in a statement to Military.com. 

"We are aware Mr. Puello-Mota left the country in response to civil criminal charges filed against him," he said.

He added that the charges Puello-Mota faces are "very serious," and led to his leaving the Air National Guard in 2022.

"Criminal activity is not compatible with our values as an organization and will not be tolerated in our ranks," Veitch said.

Theodore Bunker

Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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A former member of the U.S. Air National Guard has allegedly defected to join the Russian military after being charged with possession of child pornography, Military.com reported. According to the Rhode Island attorney general's office, Wilmer Puello-Mota, 28, a former...
air national guard, russia, ukraine, defection
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2024-42-05
Friday, 05 April 2024 10:42 AM
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