Heavily-Armed Man Posing As Federal Officer Walks Into Police Station
Paris, IL – An armed man who waltzed into an Illinois sheriff’s office decked out in law enforcement gear to ask for deputies’ help with arresting several citizens was charged for impersonating an officer on Saturday morning.
Edgar County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) deputies were already aware of the potential threat that 40-year-old Justin Hefner posed, due to the posts he had made on his Facebook page, “Constitutional Wounded Warriors,” WCIA reported.
On the group page, Hefner claimed to be an “Army Wounded Warrior,” who provided “Investigation Services and Only Answers To The Department of Defense.”
“You Don't Have The Security Clearance to Ask Me Any Questions Or Give Me Any Orders!!!! I Am Done With The Secret's and I Am Done With The BS!!!! Get Your Shit Together, Because There Is Going To Be A GI Party!!!!” the post read.
Hefner referred to Edgar County personnel as “Corrupted Idiot’s,” and “Domestic Terrerist” on the page, and issued a warning to police, CBS News reported.
“ANY of Your Officers that Gets in My Way of Investigation WILL BE ARRESTED With INTERFING,” the post read.
When Hefner entered the ECSO at 9:51 a.m. and told two deputies that he was a Defense Department officer, they already knew he posed an immediate threat, WCIA reported.
He was wearing body armor, and the deputies saw the grip of a pistol in a holster on his hip, according to CBS News.
He had a badge, which was partially covered by an American flag, and was also carrying handcuffs and mace, Edgar County Sheriff Jeff Wood told The News-Gazette.
Instead of confronting Hefner, who was reported to have impersonated law enforcement in the past, the deputies played along with the ruse, and instructed him to secure his weapon in the department’s gun vault before he entered the jail facility to talk to them about who he needed to go arrest.
With the jail door locked behind him, the deputies convinced Hefner to remove the half-inch steel-plated body armor he was wearing over a ballistic vest.
Hefner removed the protective gear, handed over his handcuffs and mace, and was arrested without incident.
Investigators then conducted a search of the white Hummer that Hefner had driven to the ECSO, and learned that the vehicle was equipped with a dashcam and flashing police lights.
Inside the Hummer, deputies found an unloaded AR-15, optics, a bi-pod, and a bump stock, as well as a fully-loaded 100-round drum magazine and multiple 30-round drum magazines.
Sheriff Wood said that deputies located a second badge, a package of zip ties, and duct tape.
Hefner was charged with impersonating an officer, unlawful use of a weapon, and unlawful possession of body armor, CBS News reported.
His bond was set at $20,000.