VALDOSTA, Ga. - A former member of the U.S. Air Force could face years of prison for impersonating a federal agent multiple times in Georgia.
At a hearing on Tuesday, 23-year-old Marlon De'Adrain Priest pleaded guilty to two counts of impersonating an officer and an employee of the United States.
According to the Department of Justice, Priest would appear at crime scenes in Valdosta, Georgia representing himself as a member of the Office of Special Investigations. In one case, officials say Priest arrived at a scene wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying an AR-15 rifle.
In addition, officials say Priest pulled over a woman while driving a car with police lights and used a PA system to give her orders while identifying himself as an undercover federal agent.
In October of 2020, Priest allegedly told a fraud victim he was an FBI agent and could help her start a case if she gave him $85. After being paid, Priest returns and accused the woman of lying to him and threatened "to press charges against her for her ‘criminal intent and fraudulent misconduct.’"
"Impersonating a federal officer for any reason puts the public and law enforcement officers at risk, especially when a firearm is used," said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. "The FBI is committed to keeping the public safe from scam artists like Priest, who undermine legitimate police encounters that happen every day."
Priest, who had been discharged from the Air Force in 2019 for misusing a military credit card, faces a maximum of three years in prison with one year of supervised release afterward and a fine of up to $250,000 per count.