Baltimore woman and Waldorf man charged with impersonating federal officers, state authorities say – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging a Waldorf man and a Baltimore woman with federal charges after they allegedly claimed to work for the US Marshals Service, according to the US District Attorney’s Office of Maryland.

Antione William Tuckson, 37, of Waldorf, Maryland, faces federal charges of falsely impersonating a United States officer and employee and being a felon in possession of a firearm, have announced the authorities.

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The indictment against Tuckson was released on May 12 and unsealed upon his arrest on May 20.

The day before she was unsealed, a federal criminal complaint was filed charging Nijea Nicole Rich, 40, of Baltimore, Maryland, as a co-conspirator, authorities say.

Rich allegedly impersonated a federal officer and she faces charges of conspiring to impersonate a federal officer, authorities said. Rich was also arrested on May 20.

According to the two-count indictment, affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, and other court documents, Tuckson and Rich claimed to be and identified themselves as a Deputy United States Marshal. .

The indictment alleges that Tuckson illegally possessed a 9-millimeter caliber semi-automatic pistol, authorities said.

Court documents and information presented to the court during the initial appearance and detention hearing show that Tuckson allegedly has a history of impersonating law enforcement officers.

Since December 2020, Tuckson has reportedly used the trademark “USMS Special Services” with police-style vehicles equipped with flashing red and blue lights, weapons, fake ID and badge, and other law enforcement gear to impersonate a deputy. U.S. Marshal, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

Most recently, on March 6, while working as an armed security guard with a canine companion at a restaurant in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Tuckson allegedly tried to detain two customers who disputed their bill, documents show. judicial.

The documents allege that Tuckson then falsely presented himself as a Deputy United States Marshal to Prince George’s County Police Department officers in an effort to justify his illegal possession of a firearm.

When confronted by officers about his status as a federal officer, Tuckson allegedly asked Rich to impersonate his supervisor with the United States Marshals Service in communications with the PGPD, authorities said.

Police arrested Tuckson and reportedly recovered a loaded 9mm gun from his hip during the search that preceded his arrest.

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Shortly after Tuckson’s arrest, Rich, wearing police-style clothing, arrived at the scene and told Prince George’s County police that the dog was his emotional support animal and was also a patrol dog. belonging to Tuckson, an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint.

Rich was wearing tan tactical pants, was armed with a handgun and carried two pairs of handcuffs, a radio and what appeared to be an extendable baton, authorities said.

At one point, Rich reportedly told officers, “You locked up a US Marshal? Officers contacted the Prince George’s County Animal Services Division, which took custody of the dog, according to court documents.

Early the next morning, Rich reportedly identified himself as a U.S. Marshal and showed an ID showing the U.S. Marshal to an Animal Services Department employee who was unloading the dog from a pickup truck, authorities said.

Rich allegedly told the Animal Services Department employee that the arrested man was a U.S. Marshal and that the dog was a working dog and belonged to the Marshals Service, authorities said.

According to the affidavit, Rich arrived in a black sedan that looked like a police vehicle and was wearing a black Kevlar vest. The animal services department employee handed the dog over to Rich.

U.S. Marshals Service personnel searched their databases and found no records indicating that Tuckson or Rich are or ever were U.S. Marshals or employees of the U.S. Marshals Service, authorities said.

Law enforcement raided Tuckson’s home on May 20, 2022, and recovered firearms, including an AR-style rifle and a pistol-grip pump-action shotgun, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office of Maryland.

If convicted, Tuckson and Rich each face a maximum sentence of three years in federal prison for impersonating a U.S. Deputy Marshal and Rich faces a maximum of five years in federal prison for conspiracy.

Tuckson also faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Actual sentences for federal crimes are generally lower than the maximum sentences, authorities said.

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

An indictment or criminal complaint is not a verdict of guilty. An individual charged by indictment or criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in subsequent criminal proceedings, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

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Tuckson and Rich had their first appearances late May 20 in Greenbelt U.S. District Court. U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan ordered that Tuckson be held pending trial and ordered that Rich be released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.

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Jennifer R. Strohm