His application for refugee status in Canada was denied. His family is originally from Iowa. Snyder enlisted in the United States. Army in 2004 one year after the war in Iraq had started.
Prior to his deployment to Iraq, he requested a discharge through his chain of command "for medical reasons of manic depression." While on mid-tour leave from Iraq in 2005, Snyder deserted the Army.
On October 31, 2006 PFC Snyder held a press conference prior to turning himself in to the United States Army at Fort Knox. Later, he claims the Army reneged on its promise, and so he deserted again.
On February 23, 2007, Snyder was arrested by local police in the town of Nelson, British Columbia , then released when Citizenship and Immigration Canada informed the police they had no legal basis for arresting him. The decision to arrest came after information from an undisclosed source prompted the Nelson City Police to contact the Canada Border Services Agency who, according to Nelson Police Chief Constable Dan Maluta "said yes, we believe he is illegally in Canada and arrestable under the Immigration Acting".
Maluta acknowledged that the immigration agency was not their "original source" for information on Snyder, and Snyder reported that Josie Perry, the Canadian immigration official who ordered his release, had said that the arrest had been conducted at the behest of officials from the United States. Army.
A witness to the arrest reported that at the time of the arrest, the two officers said they did not have a warrant but could get one if necessary. Maluta confirmed that they did not have a Feeney warrant that would have allowed them into the home. Chief Constable Dan Maluta has said that his police forces" actions will be investigated by the Abbotsford police, whose chief will have the authority to take disciplinary action.
Snyder"s lawyer is James Fennerty of Chicago.