Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

March 05, 2019

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

San Jose man charged with impersonating a federal agent


SAN JOSE, Calif. — Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Chris Nielsen announced that Alex Taylor, 49, of San Jose, was arrested on Saturday, March 2, 2019, outside his residence in San Jose, Calif., for impersonating a federal agent. 

The DEA San Jose Resident Office began their investigation in December 2018, when they learned of an individual, later identified as Taylor, conducting unauthorized vehicle stops in a Volkswagen with “police type” lighting while wearing a gold DEA badge and identifying himself as a DEA agent. According to court documents, in December 2018, Taylor allegedly conducted an unauthorized traffic stop in San Jose on an off-duty federal agent. During the encounter, Taylor was allegedly wearing a gold DEA badge and identified himself as a DEA agent. The off-duty federal agent challenged the fact that Taylor could not write a ticket, which Taylor disputed. The off-duty federal agent identified herself as such. Taylor then returned to his vehicle and departed the area.

In February 2019, the DEA learned that in late November 2018, an off-duty Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office deputy was driving on southbound Highway 85 when he observed a Volkswagen Jetta with red/blue lights that did not appear to be law enforcement type of lights. The deputy observed the lights were located on the front grill, windshield,and back window of the vehicle. The deputy noted the license plate of the Jetta. As the deputy merged onto Highway 17 south, he observed the Jetta pulled over to the right shoulder behind a tow truck. The deputy later conducted a query of the Jetta and its registered owner, Alex Taylor, and determined that Taylor was likely the individual he observed getting out of the Jetta.

On Feb. 14, 2019, DEA agents contacted the driver of the tow truck observed by the off-duty deputy. Court documents detail the tow truck driver recalled being pulled over by a dark colored vehicle with police lights. The tow truck driver subsequently identified Taylor as the driver who pulled him over. The tow truck driver requested to see Taylor’s identification at which point Taylor returned to his vehicle and departed the area.          

On Feb. 27 and 28, 2019, the DEA was notified by the CHP of reports of a Volkswagen Jetta driving with the red/blue lights on, attempting to conduct traffic stops in the area of southbound Interstate 280 and southbound Highway 85.

On March 1, 2019, the DEA conducted surveillance at Taylor’s residence. Agents observed Taylor exiting the residence wearing a gold badge around his neck that closely resembles the DEA badge and what appeared to be a firearm on his right hip concealed under his t-shirt. Later that same day the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a federal arrest warrant for Taylor and a federal search warrant for his residence.

On the morning of March 2, 2019, agents from the DEA, FBI, and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives served the warrants. As a result, agents seized the Volkswagen Jetta with police type lighting, two firearms, an imitation DEA badge and a “concealed weapons badge,” a pair of handcuffs and a small amount of methamphetamine.

Taylor has been charged with pretending to be an officer of the United States, unlawful possession of official badges, identification cards, or other insignia, and use and possession of a counterfeit seal of an agency of the United States. Taylor had his initial appearance in San Jose Federal Court on March 4, 2019. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

If anyone has information regarding this investigation please contact 408-282-3442.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and California Highway Patrol, with assistance from the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. 


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