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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
October 22, 2003

Phony DEA Agents
Two Imposters Arrested in Scam

CHICAGO, IL - A criminal complaint was filed today in the United States District Court of Northern Illinois charging Stephen Colletti, 55, and Patrick G. Needham, 47, both of Chicago Heights, Illinois, with impersonating agents of the DEA. Colletti and Needham posed as federal drug agents offering to clear the federal records of a convicted felon's criminal history for $150.00.

According to the complaint, Arlington Heights police arrested Colletti in 1999 for impersonating a peace officer and in 2001 the Chicago Police Department Colletti for bribery of a public official. The complaint further stated that Colletti allegedly displayed a badge to an employee inside a South Chicago Heights restaurant on Sunday and claimed to be conducting a drug investigation.

Colletti allegedly told a woman at the restaurant that he could erase her son's criminal record from federal law enforcement records in return for $150.00. The mother then contacted the DEA on Tuesday and assisted in the investigation of Colletti and his alleged accomplice Needham. The arrest took place today with a real DEA agent posing as the woman's son meeting Colletti and Needham in the restaurant parking lot, the complaint said. The undercover DEA agent then provided the two phony agents $150.00 in exchange for a bogus promise to delete the criminal records.

A review of DEA records revealed that neither Stephen Colletti nor Patrick Needham ever worked for, or were employed by, the Drug Enforcement Administration. For additional information, please contact DEA Chicago's Office of Public Affairs at (312) 353-7875.

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