An Oregon man tricked a woman into thinking she was training to be a DEA agent for a year, officials say.
Authorities accused him of keeping fake badges, tactical vests, and a rifle that was actually a BB gun.
When caught, the man told agents he and his "trainee" were "into cosplay."
A woman in Oregon who believed that she was training to be a Drug Enforcement Administration agent realized she had been tricked for a year by a man pretending to be her supervisor, according to a criminal complaint seen by Insider.
Robert Edward Golden, 41, is accused by Portland officials of impersonating a DEA special agent, using false credentials to gain information from residents and installing red-and-blue emergency lighting in his car to navigate traffic.
He also kept a tactical vest affixed with "DEA Police" patches, two body-armor-plate carriers, handcuffs, badges, and an AR-15 style rifle which turned out to be a BB gun, an affidavit from a DEA special agent, Morgan T. Barr, said.
Authorities discovered and detained the pair on February 1, after a police sergeant noticed one of the vests in the open trunk of Golden's car and approached them.
The officer asked Golden if he was a sworn federal agent, and Golden said that he and his "trainee" were both "Feds" working in Portland. Golden then told the woman to show the officer her fake badge, according to the complaint.
The pair were transferred that night to DEA investigators, and Golden then admitted the credentials were fake, according to the affidavit. This time, he claimed he and the woman were "into cosplay" and had the equipment and badges because it provided them with "protection," officials said.
Golden also said he had previously helped break up a fight by shouting, "Police!" and holding up his badge like an officer, per the document.
According to the affidavit, the unidentified "trainee," who wasn't charged, told authorities that Golden had given her a DEA badge and photo ID and said she'd been in training for a year while attending school for criminal justice.
She said Golden had taken her on night surveillance "ride-alongs." She said he also took her practice shooting and often mentioned four other supposed DEA agents by name — "agent Anderson, agent Luis, agent Garcia, and Ms. Bennett." The DEA agent who filed the complaint said there weren't any agents on the force by those names and that the agency doesn't provide "ride-alongs."
The complaint did not mention Golden's possible motivation for tricking the woman into believing she was a DEA agent.
If found guilty, Golden faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, The Oregonian reported, citing Assistant US Attorney Greg Nyhus.
Read the original article on Insider