Alleged Civilian Found in Fort Bragg Barracks Misses Court Date

Gavel at rest

LILLINGTON — Triston Marquell Chase, who is allegedly the civilian Fort Bragg officials found living in the barracks of 3rd Special Forces Group late last year, did not appear in Harnett County court Tuesday morning on six felony charges.

Chase, 20, was scheduled to appear in Superior Court on charges of financial card theft, identify theft, larceny of a firearm, breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods. His lawyer, Allen Lytch, did not return a request for comment Tuesday morning.

The Harnett County Clerk of Court's Office was unable to determine late Tuesday if a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

An Army official cited the pending Harnett County charges in his investigation into how a civilian was able to live in 3rd Special Forces Group barracks, bolstering his opinion that the civilian is a "con-artist," according to the investigation obtained by The Fayetteville Observer.

According to the Army's investigation, the civilian posed as an explosive ordnance disposal specialist for A Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group. He had never served in the armed forces, but had enough military knowledge to dupe others into believing he was a soldier, according to the investigation.

The investigation didn't name the civilian, citing personal privacy, but Chase's arrest matches circumstances described by the military, according to public arrest records.

The civilian was discovered after a drunken driving arrest on Fort Bragg in December. The civilian — and Chase, according to state court records — has six felony charges from 2014, including identity theft and larceny of a firearm, pending in Harnett County.

In the Harnett County case, Chase is accused of stealing a Citibank credit card, Sig Sauer P-225 handgun and Mossberg 500A shotgun, a large survival knife and electronics from a home on the 100 block of New Castle Lane in Spring Lake, according to court records. He allegedly ordered a pizza with the stolen credit card.

On his detention paperwork, Chase said he was a 2013 Douglas Byrd High School graduate who served with the 20th Engineer Brigade at Fort Bragg.

The Fayetteville address listed on his paperwork appeared abandoned.

In a separate arrest, Chase was charged with drunken driving near Gruber Road and Reilly Street by Fort Bragg military police on Dec. 12. That arrest matches that of the civilian described by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command investigator.

Chase was charged with driving while intoxicated; resisting, delaying or obstructing a police officer; open container; driving while license suspended; and underage consumption of alcohol while driving. Chase will be arraigned on those charges in federal court in Fayetteville on May 4.

In the days following the December arrest, military officials unraveled the story of how the civilian exploited the lack of oversight in the barracks to obtain a room key, access the barracks and live there for months.

The investigation disclosed significant safety and security issues.

The counter-intelligence section of 3rd Special Forces Group is assessing the situation to determine if there are any damages associated with the civilian's access, according to the investigation.

After the discovery of the civilian, locks for 26 rooms in the barracks had to be changed because officials couldn't find the keys, according to the investigation.

The Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office said leadership continues to address security shortfalls identified in the investigation.

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