You can always tell when the picture was taken in the Collin County Jail - They all have towels wrapped around their neck in the mug shots. No one has ever been able to tell me why, for sure

Lewisville man accused of impersonating federal officer | Northeast Tarrant |

Lewisville man accused of impersonating federal officer

For a couple of months, at least, a former Grapevine High School student starred in his own version of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Catch Me If You Can.

On Monday, authorities did. But not before Daniel Lee Morley, 27, had convinced officials at several North Texas police agencies that he was one of their own.

"This was movie-quality stuff," Flower Mound Assistant Police Chief Byron Lake said Thursday. "He was dead-on."

Morley, of Lewisville, was arrested at the Collin County Sheriff’s Department after deputies received an alert from Dallas police about a man impersonating a federal agent.

He was in the Collin County Jail on Thursday with bail set at $130,000. He faces charges of impersonating a public servant, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and failure to identify. He faces the same charges in Grapevine, Dallas and Flower Mound, authorities said Thursday.

In Catch Me If You Can, DiCaprio played real-life con artist Frank Abagnale Jr., who posed as a pilot, doctor and prosecutor.

Morley is accused of posing as an agent with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security. Police say he used a fake name, flashed a badge and carried a handgun. He even rode along on patrol with Flower Mound and Grapevine police.

"Generally, fake cops or law enforcement officers try to stay away from the real officers," Lake said. "But he didn’t. He really played the role of a federal officer."

Collin County authorities have said that his credentials were "very realistic" and that his shirt may have been an actual customs issue, albeit an older version.

Grapevine police Lt. Todd Dearing said his agency first came into contact with Morley on July 2, when Morley identified himself as a federal agent who had been threatened by another man at Uncle Buck’s Brewery in Grapevine.

About three weeks later, Morley appeared at the Grapevine police station and was granted permission to ride along with an officer.

After that, Morley did a ride-along with Flower Mound police and then moved on to Dallas, authorities said.

Dallas police became suspicious because Morley said he was working alone even though it was early in the morning, a dangerous time for police. They checked his background and couldn’t find anyone who knew him, but he was gone before they could detain him.

At 11 a.m. Monday, Morley is accused of walking into the Collin County Sheriff’s Department and identifying himself as Jonathan Roberts, a Homeland Security agent, authorities said. He said he had just been transferred from Washington, D.C., and wanted to get to know the local agencies, authorities said.

A few minutes later, he was in custody. Investigators had not determined a motive.

Morley has a criminal history, including an arrest on accusations of impersonating a public servant in the Austin area in 2000.

He was on probation at the time of his arrest Monday, records show.

DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR., 817-390-7763