Feds Allege that an O.C. man Pretending to be a Federal Agent Pulled Over Motorists, Obtained Guns For Years

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Photo from the Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security has arrested a 34-year-old man in the city of Orange, California and charged him for impersonating a federal agent, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Donovan Nguyen has allegedly been pretending to be a federal agent, pulling over motorists, openly carrying firearms, wearing body armor and purchasing guns with fake Department of Homeland Security credentials for years. Investigators searched several sites and seized long guns, pistols, body armor, silencers and much more. They discovered a Homeland Security letterhead Nguyen was allegedly using to purchase high capacity magazines.

Nguyen once worked as a private security guard near a DHS facility, but has never worked for the agency.

Most recently Nguyen had been working as a security guard at a retirement community in Orange County. In May, agents from the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service showed up at an Orange County retirement community to serve a search warrant. There they met a man in a ballistic vest and a pistol who introduced himself as a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations. That man is believed to have been Nguyen.

His co-workers reported seeing Nguyen with a DHS badge, Homeland Security credentials and tactical gear, according to KTLA5. They also said they saw a blue and red siren on his car.

Nguyen’s fake credentials allowed him to skip taking and paying for firearm safety courses.

Investigators from the Riverside County district attorney’s office tipped federal agents to Nguyen in June. An owner of a gun store had reported a potential criminal case to their office and asked them to work with Nguyen who had purchased guns at the store with his fake credentials. Nguyen introduced himself to investigators as a ” lieutenant” with the Department of Homeland Security.

The investigator’s office left Nguyen several messages about the case on his phone. He finally called them back and said he wasn’t going to take the case. Jeffrey J. Gilgallon, the special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Professional Responsibility in Los Angeles, says that’s when investigators at Riverside realized something didn’t add up.

“His story really didn’t make sense,” Gilgallon told The Los Angeles Times, and the veteran Riverside investigators “called our office and started asking questions.”

No one by the name of Donovan Nguyen worked at that office.

Gilgallon says they have seen an increase in these types of impersonators over the past few years with the increasing visibility of ICE. He says the impersonator’s desire to interact with real law enforcement officials is usually their undoing.

“They have this kind of wannabe mentality,” Gilgallon said in an interview. “Not only do they like impersonating law enforcement officers, they also like to be around them, and that’s usually their downfall.”

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