VA Guardsman Slips Monitor Sneaks to Iraq For Bomb Cheeseburger
grarpamp at gmail.com
Thu Apr 11 22:56:47 PDT 2019
He could probably use some help...
RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia National Guardsman accused of stealing
an armored military vehicle from Fort Pickett and driving 60 miles to
Richmond last year recently took another trip that he should not have
made, according to investigators.
Court records obtained by CBS 6 showed that Joshua Yabut was able to
fly from Norfolk to Iraq two months ago. The trip violated the
conditions of his bond following his June 2018 joyride.
An employee of the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office called
the Virginia Fusion Center on January 31, to report a suspicious
situation involving Yabut, according to a report in his case file.
Yabut, who has been wearing an electronic ankle device, is being
monitored by the Richmond Circuit Court Mental Health Docket.
On or about January 22, investigators said Yabut used his military ID
to board a plane at Naval Station Norfolk and fly to the naval air
station in Jacksonville, Florida.
Soldier, charged with driving on drugs, appears to have been tweeting
from stolen military vehicle
Court documents showed Yabut later took a commercial flight to
Charlotte, before flying to Toronto, and then on to Keflavik, Iceland.
>From there, Yabut flew to Berlin, and then to Istanbul, before
ultimately ending up in Iraq on January 26.
He flew back to Norfolk two days later, according to investigators.
Crime Insider sources tell CBS 6 that Yabut's ankle monitor was
attached when he boarded the flight to Jacksonville, but at some point
during the trip it was taken off.
Virginia National Guard Soldier Joshua Philip Yabut
“It’s both amazing and concerning,” said Blackstone Mayor Billy
Coleburn, who lives near Fort Pickett. “Not only did he fly, but he
took a military flight…. you would think in the military alone you
should be on a no-fly list.”
Coleburn, who is also the editor of the Courier-Record newspaper,
first learned about Yabut’s trip to Iraq last month.
That was around the time that Nottoway County Commonwealth’s Attorney
Terry Royall filed a motion to revoke Yabut’s bond and put him back
In that motion, Royall referenced the unauthorized trip, and also said
that Yabut’s “recent online activity reveals research into bomb
In addition to pictures posted on Twitter that showed Yabut at an
airport in Iraq, court documents stated that investigators had found
photos that “indicated Yabut had been looking into prices of having
Denatonium Benzoate shipped from China.”
liberated kurdistan pic.twitter.com/0BPvfmxUEQ
— جوش (@movrcx) January 29, 2019
Denatonium Benzoate is a bitter substance commonly found in household
cleaners and automotive products.
One court document also stated that Yabut’s Twitter page featured
postings and information related to Open Source Jihad and Al Qaeda,
specifically, magazine articles that discuss how to make pressure
cooker bombs and house to construct “train derailment devices.”
"I don't think there's any question to that, he presents a level of
threat," said Col. Matt Bristol, a retired Staff Judge Advocate for
the United States Air Force.
“It's hard to say if he's detached from reality."
Bristol, who is unconnected to the investigation, also expressed
concern about Yabut being able to leave the state, and the country.
“I’m surprised that he was able to board a military aircraft at
Norfolk Naval Air Station, not withstanding he was wearing an ankle
bracelet," Bristol said.
When reached for comment, a spokesman for the United States Air
Mobility Command said that they were aware that Yabut had flown out of
the Norfolk NAS terminal, but said that no investigation was
necessary, because military personnel and their dependents are allowed
to fly on Department of Defense planes that have available space.
CBS 6 also asked whether Yabut's ankle monitor should have been
detected by security before he boarded the flight.
"We don't discuss or disclose security procedures for the protection
of our missions and safety of all passengers," said Capt. Kenneth
Hicks, USAF, the deputy chief of media operations.
Yabut's military ID card was valid at the time of his flight. That is
no longer the case.
"First Lt. Yabut maintained his military identification card in order
to access his benefits to include potential medical care," said A.A.
"Cotton" Puryear, the state public affairs office for the Virginia
National Guard. "His chain of command has since retrieved his military
ID card based on his recently being charged with violating the
conditions of his bond."
Puryear also said that the military won't take disciplinary action
against Yabut until the case has been adjudicated in the state court
"Once those civilian actions are complete, the VNG will determine the
appropriate course of action in regard to his military status," said
Yabut made national headlines in June, when investigators said he
stole an armored personnel carrier from Fort Pickett and drove it more
than 60 miles to Richmond. The chase came to an end on Broad Street
near City Hall. Yabut was taken into custody after climbing out of the
He was later taken to Central State Hospital, where he was held for
more than two months so that his mental condition could be evaluated.
He was released in September.
Yabut is currently locked up in Richmond, where he’s charged with
felony eluding police.
He’s set to go on trial in Nottoway in May for unauthorized use of a
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