Hawaii Coast Guardsman gets desertion charge - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii Coast Guardsman gets desertion charge

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By AUDREY McAVOY
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - The Coast Guard is charging a Hawaii-based rescue swimmer with desertion after he went missing for three months.

Spokesman Chief Warrant Officer Gene Maestas says Wednesday that Petty Officer 1st Class Russell Matthews faces three other charges including being absent without leave.

The other two charges are wrongful use and possession of a controlled substance and causing the Coast Guard to conduct a search when there was no need to do so.

The 36-year-old showed up at his home in mid-January more than three months after his wife reported him missing.

Police found the guardsman's car abandoned at a remote area of Oahu next to the ocean. At the time, police described him as being emotionally distraught and said his friends and family were concerned for his welfare.

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