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Ft. Lewis officer accused in bribe case

TACOMA – An Army captain based at Fort Lewis is facing charges of conspiracy to accept bribes while serving in Iraq, according to a complaint filed against him in U.S. District Court.

Capt. Cedar Lanmon, 30, has also been charged with importing antiquities and laundering bribe money. He made his first appearance in court on Friday and was released on his own recognizance, said assistant U.S. Attorney David Resse Jennings.

Lanmon has not entered a plea and is expected in court Dec. 6 for a preliminary hearing.

Court papers say Lanmon accepted as much as $40,000 in bribes to help Iraqi citizens win U.S. government contracts in Iraq and stole an artifact from an archaeological dig in the city of Ur, reputed to be the home of the biblical figure Abraham.

The officer also was ordered to stay away from his estranged wife while he awaits the outcome of his case. The case against Lanmon began in September, when his wife contacted Army criminal investigators with information about her husband’s alleged bribe-taking in Iraq.

The woman told authorities the couple used the proceeds for home-improvement projects, laser eye surgery for her and investments. She said her husband accepted bribes during his two deployments in Iraq, according to court documents.

Their relationship soured in May 2007, when he returned home from his second tour in Iraq with “one or two handmade area rugs, a necklace valued at approximately $700 and a new girlfriend,” who was pregnant, court records said.

She told investigators her husband told her he married the second woman in Iraq and he wanted them all to live together in a polygamous relationship.