A convicted Colorado con man wanted in two states has been arrested in Wisconsin after posing as a US Marine.
32-year-old Brandon Blankenship of Colorado was captured in Waukesha County after pretending to be a US Marine Master Sergeant. He reserved twenty apartment units for “Marine housing” using fake documents and checks he’d printed himself, passing them off as official Department of Defense checks.
“He definitely tried to portray himself as being part of the military with different tattoos, with insignia on documents and such,” said Menomonee Falls Assistant Police Chief Mark Waters, whose department conducted the arrest.
According to the criminal complaint, Blankenship promised landlords DoD recompense while scheming to obtain rental deposits from individuals for above-cost. During this time, Blankenship lived in one of the units for nearly a month.
“He was well received by some people here in Wisconsin and he was just about to swindle multiple people,” said Waters.
In addition to his housing racket, Blankenship also purchased furniture, secured a truck from a dealership and had work done on a stolen vehicle, all using his fake military credentials.
A shakedown of Blankenship’s respective properties and storage units by police turned up “a computer, software discs for printers and computers on how to print checks from a personal computer, several pieces of paper that appeared to purportedly be check paper with a Navy Federal Credit Union logo affixed to them,” as well as a t-shirt bearing the US Marine Corps Military Police badge and a name- “MSGT B.A. Blankenship.”
Blankenship has a felony warrant in Pennsylvania for absconding on his probation and a felony warrant from Virginia for defrauding a dealership out of a $35,000 pick-up truck.
Wisconsin, however, appears to be the end of the line for the fake Marine.
According to Waters, Blankenship “was a fraud in Virginia. He was a fraud in Pennsylvania, and here in Wisconsin, and it’s very limited times when a true con man only cons one person.”
WISN reports that Blankenship -who never served in any capacity- is charged with a rare felony: False Statement Regarding Military Service with Intent to Commit a Crime.
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