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A former US Air Force airman who showed up to crime scenes with an AR-15 pleaded guilty to impersonating federal agents

Business Insider logo Business Insider 10/21/2021 rpickrell@businessinsider.com (Ryan Pickrell)
Marlon priest, a US Air Force veteran, pleaded guilty to two counts of impersonating a federal law enforcement officer. Getty Images © Getty Images Marlon priest, a US Air Force veteran, pleaded guilty to two counts of impersonating a federal law enforcement officer. Getty Images
  • A 23-year-old Air Force veteran pleaded guilty to two counts of impersonating an officer Tuesday.
  • Marlon Priest impersonated an FBI agent, as well as a Moody Air Force Base Office of Special investigations agent.
  • The Georgia man made a traffic stop, offered to solve a crime, and even showed up at crime scenes.

A 23-year-old US Air Force veteran pleaded guilty Tuesday to impersonating a federal agent after admitting he'd made a traffic stop, offered to solve a crime, and even showed up armed to crime scenes, court documents show.

Marlon De'Adrain Priest from Valdosta, Ga. is guilty of two counts of impersonating an officer and an employee of the United States and is facing up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

A judge will sentence Priest in January.

In April last year, Priest, who had been discharged from the Air Force a little over a year earlier for misuse of a military credit card, made a traffic stop, identifying himself as an undercover federal agent at Moody Air Force Base.

Priest was armed with a Glock pistol, wearing a bullet-proof vest, and driving a vehicle with police lights and a public announcement (PA) system, according to Evan Seago, the individual who Priest pulled over. Priest called the stop into 911, identifying himself as an undercover agent.

In August, he pretended to be a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, though that would not be the last time, his plea agreement, obtained by Insider, states.

In September 2020, the Moody Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations contacted the FBI to let them know about Priest, who had been impersonating an OSI agent. The Remerton Police Department had tipped off the base after seeing Priest at crime scenes on a number of occasions.

One time, Priest, who was driving a white Chevrolet sedan with police lights, showed up at a crime scene of a shooting incident in a bullet-proof vest with an AR-15 rifle, court documents show.

When Remerton Police Department Investigator Carl Dudley met Priest at the scene, he was grateful to have what he thought was another law enforcement officer at what could have been a dangerous crime scene.

Over time, Dudley became suspicious of Priest and decided to check in with the Moody Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations, which reported that Priest was not one of their agents.

In October of last year, Priest told a fraud victim he was an FBI agent and charged her $85 to take her case. Days later, he accused the victim of making false statements, threatened to press charges, and demanded another $150, which the victim paid.

Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, said in a statement that "impersonating a federal officer for any reason puts the public and law enforcement officers at risk, especially when a firearm is used," adding that "the FBI is committed to keeping the public safe from scam artists like Priest, who undermine legitimate police encounters that happen every day."

Acting US Attorney Peter Leary said "Priest created a false appearance of authority and power to scam and intimidate his victims," stressing that "impersonating a federal agent is a serious crime that will not be tolerated."

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