Man Arrested for Impersonating Soldier Killed in Action

January 24, 2014 Updated Jan 25, 2014 at 12:17 AM EDT

By WKBW News

January 24, 2014 Updated Jan 25, 2014 at 12:17 AM EDT

CHEEKTOWAGA, NY (WKBW-TV) - Police in Cheektowaga arrested 28-year-old Brandon Ashraf for allegedly impersonating a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan back in 2009.

Police say Ashraf used information and photos of Matthew Pucino and even went as far as to set up a meeting from one of the dating sites with a woman in Florida.

Matthew Pucino of Maryland was a member of the United States Army and was killed in Afghanistan November 23rd, 2009. Since that time his sister, Melissa Pucino, had received information that a resident of the Town of Cheektowaga was using her brother’s identity on FACEBOOK and dating websites and contacted the Cheektowaga Police Detective Bureau.

"To exploit a hero is in our opinion one of the lowest things you can do, and we won't stand for it," Capt. James Speyer of the Cheektowaga Police Dept. said.

"There's no respect in that. They have no respect for what Matthew did. To protect the freedom of this country, and that's how you use your freedom? To treat him like that?" Pucino's sister Melissa said in a phone interview Friday.

Ashraf was arraigned by Judge Paul Piotrowski and released on his own recognizance.