Source: US State of California
Indictment Alleges Defendant Carried A Fake Badge, Pulled Over A Vehicle, and Falsely Stated To Driver He Was A DEA Agent
SAN JOSE – A federal grand jury indicted Alexander Taylor on charges of impersonating a federal officer and possession of a counterfeit seal of an agency of the United States, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Chris Nielsen.
The indictment, filed earlier today, describes an incident on Christmas Eve of 2018 during which Taylor, 49, of San Jose, pulled over a driver and falsely stated he was a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent. Taylor allegedly showed the driver a fake DEA badge and stated he intended to issue the driver a traffic citation. Additional documents filed in the case contain allegations that suggest Taylor may be the person behind other bogus traffic stops. For example, an affidavit filed in the case states that in November of 2018, a person fitting Taylor’s description was driving a dark colored Volkswagen Jetta with red and blue lights. The person in the Jetta pulled over a tow truck on Highway 17 in Los Gatos that was on its way to assist the California Highway Patrol to remove a car from the scene of an accident. On that occasion, the person fitting Taylor’s description demanded to see the driver’s license and then asked the driver, “Do you want to die today?” Similarly, on February 27, 2019, someone in a dark-colored Jetta flashed red and blue lights to pull over a driver on Highway 85 near Interstate 280. Soon after the car pulled over, the Jetta veered back into traffic without speaking to the driver. A witness stated that the driver of the Jetta appeared to be laughing.
The indictment filed today charges Taylor with one count of false impersonation of a federal officer, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 912, and one count of possession of a counterfeit seal of an agency of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 506(a)(3). Taylor was arrested on March 2, 2019, and remains in federal custody. Taylor is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on July 12, 2019, at 1:30 p.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Virginia K DeMarchi.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and Taylor, like all defendants, is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted of the impersonation charge, Taylor faces a maximum statutory sentence of 3 years in prison and a fine in the amount of $250,000. If convicted of the impersonation charge, Taylor faces a maximum statutory sentence of 5 years in prison and a fine in the amount of $250,000. The court also may order an additional term of supervised release, fines or other assessments, and restitution, if appropriate. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Backhus is prosecuting the case with assistance from Elise Etter. This prosecution is the result of an investigation by the DEA.