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Duquesne man fined, sentenced in false credentials case

| Thursday, May 2, 2013, 2:31 a.m.

A Duquesne man pleaded guilty and was sentenced in federal court on a charge of possessing imitation credentials of the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton announced on Wednesday evening.

Dwight R. Spaulding, 44, of 166 Overland Ave., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone.

Spaulding immediately was sentenced to one year of probation and a fine of $1,000.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on April 15, 2010, Homeland Security Investigations agents interviewed Spaulding at his home concerning a package he had received the previous day.

The agents suspected the package contained false identification documents. Spaulding showed the agents his wallet, which contained a false National Security Agency badge, a false Drug Enforcement Administration badge, and false U.S. Marshals Service credentials.

Each of the false documents contained the name and photograph of Spaulding, together with other identifying information, and identified him as an agent or deputy.

Spaulding told the agents he had ordered the NSA and DEA credentials and they were in the package he received the previous day.

Spaulding told the agents that he produced the U.S. Marshals Service credentials on his home computer, and he used photo software to move his photograph and other identifying information onto the template for the credentials.

Agents made a mirror image of the hard drive of Spaulding's computer and discovered the file in which Spaulding had created the false Marshals Service credentials.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret E. Picking told the court that the Marshals Service credentials were an exact likeness of genuine Marshals Service credentials and that Spaulding was not a deputy U.S. Marshal and did not have the authority to possess Marshals Service credentials. Cercone was told there was no evidence that Spaulding had ever used the false credentials.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation that led to Spaulding's prosecution.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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