Vero Beach Man Pleads Guilty to
JUL 12--Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Miami Field Division, and R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced that defendant Chad Michael Kouns pled guilty in the United States District Court in Fort Pierce, Florida, to a charge of impersonating a DEA agent.
According to evidence summarized for the Court, Kouns had presented himself in July 2004 at the Indian River County Jail reception window. At that time, Kouns identified himself as a DEA agent and presented what appeared to be DEA credentials. Kouns requested to see an inmate being held at the jail. The on-duty Indian River Corrections Officer became suspicious of Kouns' appearance. Kouns had a black eye, a stitched laceration under his eye and was dressed in shorts, flip-flop shoes and had a hospital ID band on his wrist. Kouns was interviewed and under questioning he reiterated he was a DEA agent and asked for a "professional courtesy visit" with an inmate. When advised that DEA would be contacted to verify his identity, Kouns then admitted he was not an agent. DEA agents were notified and responded. Kouns admitted that he manufactured the credentials on his computer and had purchased a DEA pin on the Internet. He claimed he was attempting to visit the inmate because the inmate had assaulted him.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank J. Lynch accepted Kouns' guilty plea and scheduled a sentencing hearing for October 17, 2005. Kouns faces a maximum statutory sentence of three years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release. U.S. Attorney Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the DEA Miami Field Division.