A con man in Maryland was recently arrested for impersonating a U.S. marshal and other federal law enforcement officers for over a decade, the Department of Justice announced.
Antione William Tuckson, 37, was indicted on federal charges of the false impersonation of an officer and employee of the United States. Evidence recovered following his arrest included a fake U.S. marshal badge, identification card, two firearms, a handgun and a Taser. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland has also charged Tuckson, a former felon who served time, with illegal possession of a firearm, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
According to a detention memo, Tuckson has been conning the public as a fake law enforcement officer for a long time.
“Evidence shows that Mr. Tuckson has been impersonating a law enforcement officer for more than fifteen years and has not stopped despite his lengthy criminal record and multiple prison sentences,” the memo read.
Prosecutors said that Tuckson’s impersonation abilities have become more “sophisticated” and “brazen” over recent years, including registering multiple vehicles under the trademark “USMS Special Services” and outfitting them with red and blue police lights.
According to the memo, Tuckson posed as a deputy U.S. marshal to acquire a job at a Prince George’s County restaurant this year, and even used his faux authority to try to detain two women over a bill dispute at the restaurant.
Prosecutors said that at the time of the incident, the fake U.S. marshal was “carrying a firearm, handcuffs, a taser, and other police gear and was accompanied by a dog wearing a police-style vest.” He even pursued the women when they left the restaurant and called for backup from Prince George County police.
“When interviewed by the officers who arrived on the scene, Tuckson displayed his fake badge and falsely identified himself as a Deputy United States Marshal,” court documents said.
However, Tuckson made a crucial mistake that alerted the suspicion of responding deputies — he left his dog at the restaurant. Trained, on-duty K-9s never leave their handlers’ sides, police noted.
When confronted over his false identity, Tuckson had an acquaintance, Nijea Nicole Rich, 40, pose as his supervisor.
Rich arrived at the scene wearing tactical pants and equipped with a handgun, expandable baton and two sets of handcuffs. She claimed that the dog was Tuckson’s patrol K-9 and also her emotional support animal.
“You locked up a U.S. marshal?” she allegedly said to the police officers who arrested Tuckson.
While searching Tuckson’s home, police recovered a 9mm semiautomatic handgun, a shotgun, an AR-style rifle, body armor and a printer for ID cards.
“Mr. Tuckson’s sophisticated scheme, his willingness to use force against others under color of law, and his brazen lies to law enforcement underscore the danger he poses to the community and the risk of future nonappearance,” prosecutors said.
Tuckson is currently awaiting trial and could face up to 17 years in prison, while Rich was charged with impersonating a federal officer and conspiracy to impersonate a federal officer.