Hillsborough County
Chad Chronister, Sheriff
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    Release Number: 15-418

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • August 13, 2015
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piooffice@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8060

    Man Arrested For Unlawful Use of Military Insignias

    Brown admitted he was never a Navy Officer and never served as a Navy Seal.
    • Friday
    • August 7, 2015
    • Time: 9:30 PM
    • 804 East Bearss Avenue
    • Tampa


    Freemane J. Brown
    400 Bearrs Ave #126
    Tampa FL


    • Unlawful use of uniforms, medals, or insignia. (Felony)

    Stolen Valor:



    On August 7, 2015, at approximately 9:30 pm, a concerned citizen notified HCSO there was an individual wearing a military uniform aggressively soliciting money for veterans at the Wawa Store located at 804 E Bearss Ave in Tampa.

    When deputies arrived on scene, they spotted Freemane Brown on the east side of the store wearing a United States Navy uniform with a rank of Commander and 21 ribbons to include the Navy Cross and Silver Star, along with the Navy Seal Trident and Jump Wings. Deputies observed many of the items on the military uniform were not in compliance to standard military regulations.

    Deputies made contact with the manager of the Wawa store and she advised she gave permission to Brown two days earlier to stand outside the store since she believed Brown was a veteran.

    During questioning, Brown first made statements he was a former member of Seal Team Six and traveling all over the world. After further questioning, Brown admitted he was never a Navy Officer and never served as a Navy Seal.

    Deputies learned Brown purchased all of his military insignias including the Navy uniform at a local  Army/Navy surplus store.  Deputies also noted Brown had a name tag on the uniform, but his name was covered with a small piece of black tape. Brown voluntarily surrendered all of the military insignias at the scene.

    On August 12, 2015, Freemane J. Brown was arrested at his home and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.
  • Sheriff Chad Chronister
    Sheriff Chad Chronister
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