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Hampton man, accused of being Army deserter, released from jail

| Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 6:25 p.m.

A Hampton man accused of deserting the Army was released from Allegheny County Jail on Tuesday, but he must answer to the military charge.

Gary Vinicie Naranjo, 49, was arrested on Sunday in his home and taken away without his medicine, his lawyer, Efrem Grail, said in a motion filed on Monday requesting his release from the county jail.

Officials said Naranjo was released when the Army lifted a Department of Defense detainer. He must self-report to Fort Sill, Okla., at a later date.

“Our client, Gary Naranjo, was released from the Allegheny County Jail this morning, and we have therefore withdrawn the federal court motion for relief. The efforts of the Army and its Judge Advocate General Corps, the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the Allegheny County Jail staff led to his release,” Grail said in an email statement.

Naranjo, a 15-year veteran, will travel to Fort Sill to resolve issues concerning his discharge. Naranjo could not be reached.

According to Naranjo's court petition, he served in the Army from 1985 until he was medically discharged in 2000. It's not clear when the Army says Naranjo deserted.

Naranjo has lived in Allegheny County for more than 12 years, working as an Army recruiter until 2000. He then worked from 2000 to 2011 as a recruiter for A.C. Coy, a national technical consulting and recruiting firm with its corporate headquarters in Peters, and has worked as a recruiter for PNC since 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Neither A.C. Coy nor PNC returned calls.

A staff member at the personnel controller office at Fort Sill told Grail that the Army sent a desertion notice to Naranjo's father in 2010, according to the petition. An Army form, included as an exhibit to court filings, says that Naranjo's “time of absence” was Jan. 1, 2011.

A spokesman at Fort Sill said he could not comment.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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