A Maryland man is accused of impersonating law enforcement for years, most recently posing as a U.S. marshal, complete with handcuffs, a Taser and a handgun, according to the Justice Department.
Antione William Tuckson, 37, was arrested Friday on federal charges of false impersonation of an officer and employee of the United States and for being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.
Tuckson has served time for several felony convictions, according to a detention memo file Friday.
"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 said.
But his impersonations became more "brazen" and "sophisticated" in recent years, prosecutors said.
In 2020, Tuckson registered the trademark “USMS Special Services” and registered multiple vehicles under the trademark, authorities said. Two of the vehicles had red and blue flashing lights. Tuckson also carried a fake identification card and badge, authorities said.
He posed as a deputy U.S. marshal to get a job at a Prince George’s County restaurant this year, according to the detention memo. On March 6, he tried to detain two women at the restaurant over a bill dispute, it said.
At the time, Tuckson was "carrying a firearm, handcuffs, a taser, and other police gear and was accompanied by a dog wearing a police-style vest," prosecutors said.
When the women left the restaurant, Tuckson pursued them and called for backup from Prince George’s 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.
Officers grew suspicious when they realized he had left his dog, purported to be a police dog, at the restaurant, according to charging documents. Trained on-duty canines stay by their assigned officers' sides.
To prove he was an officer, Tuckson had Nijea Nicole Rich, 40, pose as his Marshals Service supervisor, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
She arrived wearing tan tactical pants and armed with a handgun after police had arrested Tuckson. “You locked up a U.S. Marshal?” Rich is alleged to have asked police, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
During a search of his home, police found a handgun, an AR-style rifle with a scope, a shotgun, a printer for identification cards and body armor, the detention memo said.
Photos on his phone showed a revolver that police have not recovered and a spread-out pile of $100 bills, according to the memo.
Another picture shows a man in handcuffs on the sidewalk, the documents said. A witness said Tuckson tackled the man to the ground and detained him after having identified himself as a U.S. marshal.
"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," the memo said.
Tuckson has been detained pending trial. Rich, who is charged with impersonating a federal officer and conspiracy to impersonate a federal officer, was released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.
Attorney information for both was not immediately available.
Tuckson faces up to 17 years in prison if he is convicted.