Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Theft of Native Veterans Grave Markers
Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, announced that Jason P. Paras, 33, of Moore, has been sentenced to serve four months in prison for the theft of two grave markers from a Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Intertribal Cemetery.
Paras pled guilty to two counts of theft on October 18, 2012, admitting that in June of that year he stole several brass grave markers from the Deyo Mission Cemetery, a Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Intertribal Cemetery located on Indian trust land west of Lawton, Oklahoma. He was charged on September 20, 2012.
Paras received four-month prison terms for each count, to serve concurrently. As part of the sentence, he will be required to pay to replace the two markers he stole and sold as scrap metal.
One of the grave markers was that of a Comanche tribal member and Comanche Code Talker from World War II who was admitted to the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in September of 2011, reports the Shawnee News-Star. The Comanche Code Talkers were part of a classified special unit of tribal members that used coded messages in the Comanche language to evade detection by German forces during World War II in Europe.
Another marker belonged to a Comanche tribal member who was a Vietnam veteran.