A soldier who was convicted of organizing a prostitution ring at Fort Hood, Texas, was allowed to become a foster parent after the Army failed to fully share his criminal record with federal authorities.
Gregory McQueen was dishonorably discharged from the Army in March 2015 after pleading guilty to 15 counts, including pandering and conspiracy to solicit prostitution.
The sergeant first class was also sentenced to 24 months of confinement and was reduced to a private, according to Fort Hood officials.
He joined the Army in 1994 — first with the Texas National Guard, then with the Reserve, then on active duty from 2006 to 2017. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 and to Iraq in 2007.
McQueen, who was a sexual abuse prevention officer, explained during his court-martial that he recruited three cash-strapped female soldiers to join the prostitution ring. The judge determined McQueen was guilty of the following:
- Four specifications of attempt to pander.
- Three specifications of conspiracy to patronize or solicit a prostitute.
- Three specifications of failure to obey a lawful order or dereliction of duty.
- Two specifications of cruelty and maltreatment.
- One specification of assault consummated by a battery.
Lighthouse Family Network, a child-placing agency based in Texas, ran the required background check on the McQueens, according to a spokeswoman with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which conducts the background checks for child-placing agencies.
“Our investigators found [Lighthouse Family Network] complied with the minimum standards by running a background check, as required,” spokeswoman Christine Mann told Army Times.
When Lighthouse Family Network learned about his conviction, the organization notified the commission and de-listed the home, according to Mann.
“[His] criminal history bars him from being a foster parent for 20 years from the date of his conviction,” she said.
Army Times reached out to Lighthouse Family Network but did not hear back in time for publication. It’s unknown if a foster child was actually placed in the McQueen home.
Michael Brady, an Army spokesman, told Army Times that although McQueen’s criminal record was uploaded into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, it was not uploaded into the National Crime Information Center database. The first database would prohibit McQueen from buying firearms, but the second database is widely used by employers and workplaces.
“We not only acknowledge this error, but, more importantly, have since updated that record, and are taking corrective action to ensure we fully share information with appropriate law enforcement agencies,” Brady said via email.
The Army is working to determine the root causes and potential corrections to ensure continued compliance, he said. This includes increasing the use of technology, simplifying data transfers and optimizing administrative support requirements.
The entire military is reviewing its potential shortfalls in reporting crimes, as well as making sure records are complete and accurate, in the wake of a November church shooting in Texas that killed 26 people. The gunman in that attack was a former airman who had a criminal record but still was able to buy firearms. Air Force officials have since said the service failed to report Devin Kelley’s domestic violence conviction to the proper authorities.