- Special Sections
- Public Notices
A Radcliff man who is not enlisted in the military faces federal charges after FBI investigators say he used a U.S. Army uniform to solicit money and enter Fort Knox.
Jonathan W. Short, 23, is charged with wire fraud, false personation of an officer or employee of the United States, entering or attempting to enter property owned by the U.S. under false or fraudulent pretenses to commit a felony and false statement or representation/obstruction of justice.
Short also faces charges in Hardin Circuit Court for impersonating a peace officer and second-degree burglary.
According to a complaint filed Monday by an FBI agent in a Louisville federal court, Short repeatedly solicited money between Oct. 6 and Nov. 16 while claiming he was a soldier in the Army who needed money to care for his sick child.
Investigators allege Short claimed the money would go toward his critically ill son’s medical treatment at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville and his trips there, according to the complaint.
“In fact, Short was not employed by the United States Army nor did he have a gravely ill son in need of medical treatment at Kosair or any other hospital,” the complaint reads.
On Oct. 11, the FBI alleges Short entered Fort Knox while wearing a non-commissioned officer uniform. While allegedly acting as an officer, Short witnessed an argument and called emergency personnel to the scene, according to the complaint.
During the investigation of that incident, Short identified himself verbally and in writing as a sergeant with the Second Ranger Battalion, the federal complaint says.
When questioned by military police, the FBI said Short allegedly admitted he was not a soldier and told investigators he had been wearing the uniform for two weeks and received no benefits.
In January, Short was indicted in Hardin County on charges stemming from a Nov. 17 report at an East Memorial Drive apartment.
According to an arrest warrant executed Nov. 29, Short entered an apartment where an argument was under way. Police said Short claimed to be a law enforcement officer and threatened to make an arrest.
During an interview with Elizabethtown police, Short told investigators he went to the same apartment on “three to four occasions” and “acted as a ‘cop,’” according to the warrant. He also consented to a search of his Darlene Court residence in Radcliff, police said.
“Once inside of the residence, Short took (the officer) to the basement and showed (him) where he had a handheld radio, a Louisville Metro Department of Corrections uniform shirt, ‘MP’ patches, (sergeant) insignia patches and a name patch with ‘Short,’” the warrant reads. “Short is not and has never been a police officer, constable, corrections officer or a soldier.”
A search of Hardin County court records shows Short was found guilty in 2010 of impersonating a public servant, which is a Class A misdemeanor.
In that same year, he also was convicted of second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree cruelty to animals, harassment and operating on a suspended license, according to records. All offenses are misdemeanors.
Short has been released on a partially secured $5,000 bond since Nov. 30. He is scheduled to appear March 26 for a pre-trial conference in Hardin Circuit Court.
At this time, Short has been charged but not indicted on the federal allegations.
Stephanie Collins, public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Kentucky, said the federal charges will be prosecuted by the assistant U.S. attorney assigned to Fort Knox.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or email@example.com.