Charleston, South Carolina - A Huger, South Carolina couple pleaded guilty Thursday in South Carolina before the U.S. District Judge Brucie H. Hendricks in the District of South Carolina to charges stemming from their conspiracy to obtain a U.S. passport by falsely claiming they were the biological parents of a baby born in the Philippines and by using false birth records to apply for a U.S. passport for the baby.

Gerald Vincent Locker Jr., 46, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, and Stephanie Jean Locker, 43, pleaded to one count of conspiracy and one count of making false statements in an application for passport.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and U.S. Attorney Peter M. McCoy of the District of South Carolina made the announcement.

According to the court record, in 2014, Gerald Locker Jr., a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps, was stationed in Japan with his dependent spouse, Stephanie Jean Locker.  While in Japan, the couple attempted to circumvent legal adoption processes by asserting that a baby from the Philippines was their own natural born child.  Presenting a number of falsified documents (including a false birth certificate) to a U.S. Consular Officer, Stephanie Locker applied for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.   She falsely attested, in support of her application for a passport for the child, that while in the Philippines on vacation she learned she was pregnant five days before the baby was born.  Upon learning they would have to submit to DNA testing, the Lockers ultimately abandoned the baby, leaving the child in the care of a local family in the Philippines. The child was later placed with a foster family in the Philippines.

This case was investigated by Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS).  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Danielle Hickman of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean Secor of the District of South Carolina.