The former chairman of the Constitution Party of Montana faces newly filed federal charges accusing him of falsely claiming to be a decorated Vietnam War veteran while seeking treatment at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Spokane.
by Bill Morlin
Michael D. Heit, who now lives in Harrington in Lincoln County, is scheduled to appear today in U.S. District Court to enter a plea to a two-count criminal information filed Monday by Assistant U.S. Attorney George Jacobs.
The first count alleges Heit unlawfully used and possessed a "forged or falsely altered certificate of discharge from military service," claiming he had served in Vietnam and had been a prisoner of war.
Heit is accused of using those phony discharge papers on July 20, 2005, when he went to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Spokane seeking medical care, court documents say.
The second count alleges Heit submitted papers to the Military Order of the Purple Heart on Aug. 18, 2005, claiming he had been awarded a Purple Heart and a Silver Star for his service in Vietnam…
Heit once was the chairman of the Constitution Party of Montana and once ran unsuccessfully for the Montana Legislature, according to Internet records that were confirmed by a law enforcement source in Montana.
He also was involved with a group called JAIL – Judicial Accountability Initiative Law – which contends the doctrine of judicial immunity has been greatly abused, according to its Web site.
Earlier this summer, Heit was identified as an "investigator" working with the National UFO Reporting Center, based in Davenport, Wash. The center's director, Peter Davenport, said he was involved in investigating "crop circles" that appeared in a Lincoln County wheat field near Wilbur.
In 2002, when he lived near Kalispell, Mont., Heit was identified as a member of an anti-government militia group, known as Project 7, which had a hit list of law enforcement officials.
During that investigation, authorities raided a trailer belonging to Heit and found a fully automatic machine gun, weapons, ammunition and explosives. He was not charged, but the group's leader, David Burgert, was convicted in Montana of federal firearms charges.
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