Maryland man pretended to be a police officer for 15 YEARS with fake badge, real gun and trained ‘bite dog’: Ruse fell apart when he tried to detain pair of restaurant patrons over bill dispute
- Antione Tuckson, 37, was arrested on March 6 when he called actual police while attempting to detain two diners at the restaurant where he worked security
- Responding officers noticed that Tuckson, posing as a US Marshal, had left his dog behind at the restaurant – something which K9 officers do not typically do
- Tuckson had a female friend impersonate his superior on the phone, and when that didn’t work, she showed up in person – still in character
- He previously was cited for impersonating an officer in 2006, 2009 and 2018
- Both are now facing charges of impersonating officers with Tuckson also facing a charge of possession of a firearm as a felon
A career criminal was indicted for impersonating a police officer this month – an elaborate ruse that he had kept up for at least 15 years using fake props, a real gun and even a trained dog, federal prosecutors said.
The scheme began to unravel after he attempted to apprehend two women who disputed their bill at a restaurant in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where he worked security.
The incident occurred on March 6, as Antione Tuckson, 37, armed with a bite dog, police vest, Glock handgun and taser, sought to impersonate a member of the US Marshals service.
When the dispute arose with two women, however, it was Tuckson himself who called the Prince George’s County Police Department.
Tuckson flashed a badge to responding officers, who he met close to the restaurant to describe the situation.
Tuckson is a resident of nearby Waldorf, Maryland.
Antione Tuckson pictured with his dog Pearl in 2017. Tuckson spent time in prison for crimes including theft and unlicensed possession of a firearm
Antione Tuckson was indicted for impersonating an officer on May 19 and arrested on May 20. He could face three years in prison alone on charges of possessing firearm as a felon
Tuckson’s dog, Pearl, shown in front of one of the suspect’s vehicles that came equipped with red and blue flashing lights
The feds say that Tuckson created a fake US Marshal’s ID card on a printer they found in his home in Waldorf, Maryland
The cops noticed something was wrong when they realized that Tuckson had left his dog at the eatery – something that law-enforcement canine handlers never do.
According to federal charging documents, Tuckson then tried to have his friend, named in charging documents as Nijea Rich, impersonate his supervisor when the officers demanded further proof of the suspect’s credentials.
When the officers were in the process of arresting Tuckson, Rich arrived at the scene in ‘police-style clothing.’ She told the police that Tuckson’s dog was her emotional support animal and was also a patrol dog.
Besides the bogus uniform, Rich was armed with a handgun, handcuffs, a radio and an expandable baton.
Tuckson has been cited for impersonating an officer on three previous occasions in 2006, 2009 and 2018
These are some of the items retrieved from Tuckson’s home, including an expandable baton
These are some of the weapons that were found at Tuckson’s home, they included an AR15 rifle with a scope
According to documents, Rich asked the arresting officers: ‘You locked up a US Marshal?’
Tuckson and Rich were indicted on May 19 and arrested on May 20 in Maryland.
The dog was placed in the care of the Prince George’s County Animal Services Division.
A day after Tuckson’s arrest, Rich showed up at the animal services center and said that she was a US Marshal. Rich had the dog released to her.
On May 20, a raid of Tuckson’s home saw officers recover an AR-style rifle with scope and a pistol-grip pump-action shotgun.
One image that was retrieved from Tuckson’s cellphone showed a man apparently in handcuffs sitting on a sidewalk
It wasn’t the first time Tuckson was brought in on similar charges – he was accused of the same offense in 2006, 2009 and 2018.
The most brazen of these impersonations occurred in 2018 when Tuckson became involved in a robbery by identifying himself as a US Marshal to a victim and responding officers.
Between 2005 and 2009, Tuckson was arrested multiple times for receiving stolen property.
In 2007, he was also convicted of a carrying a gun without a license, for which he was sentenced to 14 months in prison.
He was then sentenced to 16 months in prison in August 2009 for first degree theft.
In order to further his impersonations, federal charging documents say that Tuckson had his car equipped with police-style red and blue flashing lights. That’s in addition to a fake ID card and other police weaponry.
Tuckson’s rouse was busted in part because cops noticed he left his canine partner behind, something which is not common practice in law enforcement
These patches were also found at Tuckson’s home
Tuckson had also registered the trademark ‘USMS Special Services.’ USMS is a common acronym for the United States Marshal Services.
In addition to the impersonating an officer charges, Tuckson is also accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Tuckson was in possession of a 9mm caliber semi-automatic pistol at the time of the incident.
If convicted on both charges, Tuckson could face a maximum of 13 years in prison.
The person who is accused of impersonating Tuckson’s supervisor was also named in a US Marshal’s press release as Nijea Rich, 40, of Lexington Park, Maryland. If convicted, Rich could face a maximum of five years in prison.
Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Mathew Silverman said in the press release that Tuckson and Rich’s alleged behavior ‘presents a grave risk to the community and undermines all the incredible work done by deputies who have earned the right to wear our badge.’
Christopher Brown, a father of one, was shot dead in DC in August 2020. He was 17 years old. Tuckson described himself as a mentor and father figure to the young man
In August 2020, Tuckson’s 17-year-old cousin Christopher Brown was shot dead during a cookout in Washington DC.
Tuckson told WAMU in an interview that he was like a father figure and mentor to Brown.
Tuckson said in the interview that he talked to his cousin just before his death that Brown had told him that he wanted to do better with his life.
He said: ‘Those were the very last things that he said to me, and I was going to make sure I was there, to be there to help push him and motivate him.’
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