Sailor Sent to Jail in Credit Card Scam

From Times Wires Services

A Navy enlisted man who was court-martialed for his role in an illegal credit card scam claimed that the son of former Navy Secretary H. Lawrence Garrett III received special treatment in the case.

"I really didn't get a fair shot," Chad Kelly of San Jose said as he was led away in handcuffs Wednesday after his court-martial at the San Diego Naval Station. He was sentenced by a military judge to two years in jail and given a bad-conduct discharge.

Navy officials said Kelly, along with Henry L. Garrett IV, were involved in a scam in which credit cards were pilfered from the mail and used to spend $10,000 in restaurants, clothing stores and other San Diego businesses.

Kelly's attorney, Lt. Dominick Yacono, contended that Garrett and another sailor pressured Kelly, a postal clerk, to commit the crimes. Kelly admitted stealing eight credit cards and buying goods with them.

But Navy officials who disciplined Garrett's son said he played only a minor role in the scam.

Navy prosecutor Lt. Paula J. Levesque said that Kelly was the one who abused his position. She asked the judge to send the sailor to jail for five years and give him a dishonorable discharge.

Garrett received non-judicial punishment in June. He was given 30 days of restriction, 30 days of extra duty, reduction in rank to seaman apprentice and forfeiture of the equivalent of a month's pay.

The treatment afforded to the younger Garrett incensed some members of Congress who already were angry with the Navy secretary for his handling of the Tailhook sexual abuse scandal.

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