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An analyst with Homeland Security Investigations in Tucson has been indicted on federal charges of lying about his educational background.

Gregg Johnson, a computer forensics analyst with Homeland Security Investigations, is accused of making false statements to the federal government by claiming on job applications that he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in theology, according to an indictment filed Jan. 9 in U.S. District Court in Tucson.

The first of two alleged false statements came in October 2015 when Johnson applied for an internship as an HSI human exploitation rescue operative, which later converted to a position as a computer forensics analyst.

He submitted a fraudulent résumé and college transcript claiming he earned degrees in 2005 and 2013 from Wayland Baptist University in Texas, according to a Dec. 7 criminal complaint.

Johnson said he did not have a degree during a background investigation for a security clearance two months later, according to the complaint, which was filed by a special agent with the Office of Professional Responsibility at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the parent agency of HSI.

The second alleged false statement came in November 2018, when Johnson applied for a position as an HSI Casa Grande technical enforcement officer, the special agent wrote, saying Johnson submitted a fraudulent résumé and transcript. An official at the university confirmed the transcript was forged, the special agent wrote.

The alleged false statements came to light during an investigation of alleged threats Johnson made to his wife, federal prosecutor Jane Westby wrote in a Jan. 2 request for Johnson to remain detained while he awaits trial.

Evidence gathered by law enforcement showed Johnson “threatened to kill his current wife, caused injury to his first wife, carried firearms to search warrants when he was not authorized to do so, and that he had provided false information to his background investigator,” Westby wrote.

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The allegations from Johnson’s wife were “unsubstantiated” and the government “cannot prove Gregg Johnson is a threat to anyone,” court-appointed defense attorney Thomas Hartzell wrote in a Dec. 17 motion to release Johnson from custody.

Magistrate Judge D. Thomas Ferraro ordered Johnson detained on Dec. 19.

Johnson’s trial is tentatively scheduled to start March 5.

Contact reporter Curt Prendergast at 573-4224 or cprendergast@tucson.com or on Twitter @CurtTucsonStar