Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, announced that Jason P. Paras, 33, of Moore, was sentenced to serve four months in prison for the theft of two grave markers from a Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Intertribal Cemetery.
Paras was charged on the federal court’s Indian country misdemeanor docket on Sept. 20, 2012, and pled guilty on Oct. 18, 2012.
Paras admitted that in June of 2012 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.
The brass grave markers are furnished by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at no cost to the family for deceased military service members. Paras admitted he stole the brass markers to sell to a recycling company in Lawton, Oklahoma, 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. 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. As part of the sentence, Paras will be required to pay to replace the two markers he stole and sold as scrap metal.
The case was investigated by the Comanche Nation Police Department and the Comanche County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Arvo Q. Mikkanen. .