Officer may lose career after motorbike charge

A US Air Force officer with an “exemplary service record” may be sent back to America and discharged after he was caught driving a motorbike in Alice Springs just weeks after the court disqualified his driver’s licence.

Pacific Command Sergeant Carlos Alberto Novelo was convicted and fined $1700 in Alice Springs Local Court for driving a motor vehicle while disqualified on Friday. He was also disqualified from driving for a further six months.

The court heard Sgt Novelo was driving a red Honda 125cc when police pulled him over for a random breath test on Barret Drive at 11am on Friday May 27.

He did not return a blood alcohol reading.

He was on his way to deliver a seminar on suicide prevention in the defence force at Commander Major Troy Ruby’s house, according to defence lawyer Murray Preston.

“What has occurred has really put his career at risk,” he said.

“He has spoken to his immediate superiors and it has gone all the way to the top.”

“It affects his whole standing with the Air Force.”

“I would ask your honour to take a course that reflects his excellent behaviour and service out here assisting the Australian people and the American Government.”

Sgt Novelo, 33, has been in the US Air Force since he was 19 years old.

“The Air Force does impose whatever penalties they deem appropriate, which could see him sent back to America and possibly discharged,” Mr Preston said.

The maximum penalty for driving while disqualified is 12 months in prison.