Trial starts in Gitmo photographer passport case

By CURT ANDERSON | July 12, 2011 | 3:59 AM EDT

MIAMI (AP) — A military photographer who served in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay is standing trial in Miami on charges of making a false statement while applying for a U.S. passport.

Prosecutors say 26-year-old Elisha Dawkins is a citizen of the Bahamas who took elaborate steps to pose as a U.S. citizen. They say he committed the crime in 2006. The trial will begin Tuesday.

Dawkins served in the Army reserves in Iraq as a photographer until 2007. Then he switched in 2008 to the Navy reserves and took photos at the Guantanamo terrorist detention center. Dawkins had a secret-level clearance there.

Dawkins has hundreds of supporters and political backers who say he's an honorable military man who should not be prosecuted. The charge carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.