A Maryland man who has allegedly been posing as a member of law enforcement for at least 15 years was taken into custody and is facing federal charges. Antione William Tuckson, 37, was arraigned on charges of impersonating an officer and employee of the United States and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Tuckson was nabbed by authorities in Prince George's County after he tried to detain two women who disputed their bill at a restaurant where he worked as a security guard.
When the women tried to leave the restaurant, Tuckson called the local police for backup. When officers arrived, Tuckson told them he was a Deputy United States Marshal and showed them a badge, which appeared to be authentic.
The deputies became suspicious because Tuckson left his dog inside the restaurant during the incident. Police K-9 units are trained to stay by their officers' side at all times. To prove he was a U.S. Marshall, he told the deputies to contact Nijea Nicole Rich, 40, who he claimed was his supervising officer.
When Rich arrived, she found that Tuckson had been taken into custody and demanded his release. Officials searched the U.S. Marshals Service personnel database but found no records that Tuckson or Rich had ever worked for the agency.
Investigators said that Tuckson has a lengthy criminal history and has spent several stints in prison. In addition, he has been accused of impersonating law enforcement officers in the past, with reports dating back at least 15 years. He went to great lengths to keep up his ruse by modifying his vehicle with a siren and red and blue lights. In addition, his fake badge had an embedded computer chip that made it look almost identical to the official badge handed out by the Marshals Service.
"Evidence shows that Mr. Tuckson has been impersonating a law enforcement officer for more than fifteen years and has not stopped despite his lengthy criminal record and multiple prison sentences," prosecutors wrote in a detention memo.
Rich was also taken into custody and charged with impersonating a federal officer and conspiracy to impersonate a federal officer.