The News and Observer reports that a man who posed as an army general to impress a woman has been sentenced to six months in federal prison. Christian Desgroux, of Raliegh, N.C., is an auto mechanic who pretended to be a U.S. Army general and flew a helicopter into the SAS campus to impress a woman, authorities say.
Desgroux was sentenced today after he entered a guilty plea in court in June. He was also sentenced to a year of supervised release. Desgroux is currently 58 years old.
He initially faced up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine after flying the helicopter in to SAS wearing a battle dress uniform and saying he was a general for the Army. He also told employees he was there to pick up a female employee per orders from President Trump.
Desgroux said he was taking the woman to a classified meeting at Fort Bragg and flew away with her for 30 minutes before returning. The woman told an investigator that she assumed Desgroux was trying to impress her, but did not know he would pick her up in a helicopter.
Although Desgroux never served in the Army, he was wearing a uniform with combat patches and stars, and saluted the security officers upon arrival.
The woman he picked up said she had known him about 20 years and she thought he would be picking her up by car to see an attorney to discuss a patent for a prototype he had been developing.
Desgroux actually chartered the helicopter and told the pilot they would go to SAS, and later told him he wanted to go to the Pentagon on a future trip. This was the second trip Desgroux had chartered with the company. Earlier in 2017 he took a helicopter to a Florida campground to meet a woman briefly – all while wearing an Army uniform. Desgroux told that pilot that he flew Apache helicopters in the Gulf War.
Desgroux was born in Chile and became a U.S. citizen in 2016 after emigrating here in 1978. He moved to Raleigh in 1980 and has maintained a legal status during his time in the U.S. Desgroux is a mechanic and works on vehicles in his garage north of Raleigh.
*Photo credit Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS