Skip to main content

Guard member charged with ID theft deemed flight risk; release denied

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A federal magistrate ruled Monday that Keith Novak will remain in custody while the Minnesota National Guard member awaits trial on charges that he planned to steal the identities of hundreds of U.S. soldiers.

The Star Tribune reports Magistrate Judge Franklin Noel deemed Novak a flight risk and rejected a defense attorney's request to release him. Noel noted FBI testimony that Novak had resisted arrest and threatened to kill anyone who arrested him, the Star Tribune says.

The 25-year-old Novak, who is from Maplewood, was charged with fraud last week for allegedly stealing the social security numbers and security clearance information of 400 members of his former Army unit in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. According to the criminal complaint against him, Novak stole the information in order to make fake IDs for members of a militia he leads, 44th Spatha Libertas or "Sword of Freedom."

The Associated Press reports his lawyer argued Novak's statements to authorities were nothing more than boasting and said it's not illegal to be in a militia. But the AP also reports an FBI agent testified at Monday's hearing that Novak spoke to a source about blowing up a National Security Agency facility and told undercover employees he had a "target package" on billionaire Warren Buffett.

The meaning of the phrase "target package" was not explained, the AP says, though the FBI also claimed to have found a list of people Novak was creating target packages for.

The case against Novak is being referred to a grand jury and no date has been set for his next court hearing.

Next Up

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man shot in both feet after interrupting vehicle break-in in St. Paul

The incident happened just before 10 p.m. Saturday.

79177901-AURORA+6776_CC

Cook County — The cure for cabin fever

Come bask in the quiet of this peaceful winter getaway.

Screen Shot 2023-01-29 at 1.54.31 PM

Missing: Minnesota man last seen in Sioux Falls area

Aaron Pearson, 41, was reported missing on Thursday.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Protest for Tyre Nichols to be held outside MN Governor’s Mansion

Activists groups say they’ll call on Gov. Tim Walz and the Legislature to implement police reforms.

Pool

Minnesota pool contractor banned from industry, must pay $2 million-plus

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed suit against Charles Workman and his company, MN Crete Pools, LLC, in August.

Minneapolis police

St. Paul man identified as victim of north Minneapolis homicide

The shooting occurred on the 2200 block of Emerson Avenue North on Wednesday.

ambulance

Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Related