Agent Impersonator Arrested
MANTECA, CA – Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) Special Agent in Charge (“SAC”) Javier F. Pena and DEA Sacramento District Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge (“ASAC”) Gordon D. Taylor announce today the arrest of John D. COHEN, 37, of Manteca, CA, for impersonating a DEA Special Agent. Agents served a federal search warrant today, without incident at COHEN’s residence in Manteca and seized two handguns, a shotgun, DEA apparel, Oakland Police Department uniform, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) apparel, police department patches, police belt, holster, handcuffs, two ballistic vests, emergency equipment, to include red & blue lights, police scanners/frequencies, forged law enforcement training certificates, law enforcement training manuals and several small baggies of suspected marijuana.
ASAC Taylor stated, “Impersonating a DEA Agent is a very serious offense because it undermines the public trust necessary for DEA agents to safely do their jobs.” Taylor added, “This guy wanted to be on the inside. Well, he’ll get that opportunity when real DEA agents take him to jail and put him behind bars.”
This investigation began on February 27, 2006, when COHEN falsely identified himself to the United States Marshal Service Court Security Officer as a DEA Special Agent and presented a fake DEA badge, while entering the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento, CA. COHEN presented this badge to a Court Security Officer, who happened to be a retired DEA Special Agent. The Court Security Officer became suspicious and contacted the USMS, who subsequently contact the DEA Sacramento District Office for follow-up investigation.
On February 28, 2006, DEA Agents from the Oakland Resident Office learned that during the week of February 19, 2006, COHEN sold a 2000 Ford Crown Victoria to a security firm. The security firm provides security for Coast Guard Island, in Alameda, CA. COHEN identified himself as a DEA Special Agent and presented a fake DEA badge to Coast Guard Island front gate security personnel in order to gain access to the island to sell the car. Agents learned that during the sale of the vehicle COHEN wore a jacket with “DEA” on the back and a fake DEA badge around his neck. Additionally, COHEN activated police lights, including red and blue lights above the steering wheel, in the rear and on the passenger visor for the security firm. At the time of sale, COHEN removed some of the police lights from the vehicle.
This investigation was conducted with the assistance of Coast Guard Investigative Service, Manteca Police Department, San Joaquin County Narcotics Task Force (Metro) and the United States Marshal’s Service.
This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of California. COHEN is scheduled to have his initial appearance in Federal Court in Sacramento on March, 7, 2006. COHEN is charged with violation of Title 18 United States Code Section 912 – Impersonating a Federal Officer, this charge carries a maximum statutory penalty of up to 3 years prison and/or a fine. COHEN is also charged with violation Title 18 United States Code Section 1001 - Making Fraudulent Statements to the United States Government, this charge carries maximum statutory penalty of up to 5 years prison and/or a fine.
The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.