Marine, 65, arrested for not going to Vietnam

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A Marine was being held at Camp Lejeune on a charge of desertion for not going to war in Vietnam 40 years ago, a military spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Pvt. Jerry Texiero, 65, was arrested in August in Tarpon Springs, Florida, and brought to Camp Lejeune on December 14, authorities said.

Texiero was charged December 21 with desertion, but no date had been set for preliminary hearings in military court, base spokeswoman Lt. Col Annita Best said.

If he's court-martialed and found guilty of desertion, he could be sentenced to up to three years in the brig at Camp Lejeune and get a dishonorable discharge.

Lawyers for Texiero said they planned to meet Wednesday with Texiero at the brig and then hold a news conference at a motel off the base.

Tod Ensign, an attorney with the advocacy group Citizen Soldier in New York, said Texiero left Camp Pendleton in 1965 because "he decided he wasn't going to be part of it and didn't go."

Texiero sold boats and classic cars in Florida and used the alias Gerome J. Conti. He was convicted in 1998 of fraud, and the Marines found him while matching fingerprints against names of deserters.

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