By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, in the New York Times, October 2, 2009
A Texas soldier has been sentenced to three years in prison and dishonorably discharged for creating a kidnapping hoax to cover his absence without leave. Pfc. James A. Gonzalez was sentenced after he pleaded guilty at a Fort Hood court-martial to charges that included desertion, making false official statements and obstruction of justice. Private Gonzalez had faced a maximum of more than 22 years’ confinement. He told a military judge that he went into Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, in July with no intention of returning to the Army. He said he sent a text message to a soldier demanding $100,000 in ransom, claiming to be a Mexican drug cartel member.
(Webb County Sheriff’s Office/Associated Press)