Man pretended to be Homeland Security agent, feds say


Authorities recovered objects inside a person’s bag that recommended he was a U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent and a Navy SEAL, prosecutors mentioned. The man was sentenced to jail on expenses of impersonating a federal officer and illegally possessing firearms.

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota

A 53-year-old man pretended to be an agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to hundreds of his TikTok followers, federal officers mentioned.

Reyel Devon Simmons was sentenced to 6 years in jail on expenses of impersonating a federal officer and illegally possessing firearms as a felon, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota mentioned in a June 3 information launch.

Simmons is accused of posing as a federal agent to his almost 10,000 TikTok followers by posting pictures of himself in gear that recommended he was an agent from January 2021 till September 2021, prosecutors mentioned in his plea settlement and sentencing stipulations paperwork.

He advised investigators he posed as an agent to realize consideration from ladies and particularly for one lady he had been courting for eight months, in keeping with the grievance.

That lady, whom he met by way of his TikTok profile, found he was not an agent and reported him to the FBI, in keeping with a grievance.

An legal professional for Simmons didn’t instantly reply to McClatchy News’ request for remark.

He wore regulation enforcement clothes, together with physique armor and a DHS badge whereas additionally holding firearms in his TikTok posts, in keeping with courtroom paperwork.

Outside the social media platform, he wore a T-shirt with a DHS emblem and carried a backpack that he referred to as a “go bag” — a bag regulation enforcement retains in case of emergencies, courtroom paperwork present.

Simmons additionally mentioned he was a U.S. Navy SEAL for years regardless of by no means being within the navy, prosecutors mentioned in courtroom paperwork.

And he despatched a photograph to a girl in 2017 posing as an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, prosecutors mentioned.

In addition to 6 years in jail, Simmons was ordered to a few years of supervised launch.

Helena Wegner is a McClatchy National Real-Time Reporter masking the state of Washington and the western area. She’s a journalism graduate from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She’s based mostly in Phoenix.

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