A Minnesota man who pretended to be a federal agent on TikTok has been sentenced to six years in prison.
You know what they say, dress for the job you want unless it leads to a criminal offence.
The Business Insider reports that the man, Reyel Simmons, posed as a Department of Homeland Security agent online, frequently posting videos in a law enforcement uniform showing off badges and firearms under the name ‘Rey Reeves’.
Simmons also ‘explicitly and implicitly’ referred to himself as a federal agent in his social media videos.
Last week, Simmons was sentenced to 72 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release ‘for impersonating a federal officer and illegally possessing firearms as a felon’, according to a media release issued by the United States Department of Justice.
The 53-year-old man had accumulated nearly 10,000 followers on the platform, however, last year faced criminal charges after a complaint about his profile was filed.
The tip was made by a woman he met through social media and dated, meeting up on several occasions between her hometown, Georgia, and Minnesota.
According to the woman’s complaint, Simmons dressed up as a federal officer and usually carried around a ‘Home Security backpack’, which he referred to as his ‘to-go’ bag, which had all of his equipment for his so-called ‘job’.
The man would often wine and dine the woman while telling her he was putting it on the Department of Homeland Security tab.
The woman, however, became suspicious after someone had commented on Simmons' profile, saying that he was impersonating an officer. Shortly after, the faux cop made his profile private.
But the woman continued to conduct her own research before filing a complaint to the authorities.
According to the media release, Simmons has never been employed as a law enforcement officer by any federal, state, or local agencies.
Following the complaint, police paid a visit to Simmons’ home. They seized eight firearms, including handguns, and rifles, along with unregistered gun silencers, a blasting cap and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Earlier in January this year, the man pleaded guilty to one count of impersonating an officer of the United States and one count of possessing firearms illegally due to a previous conviction in Colorado.
Whatever happened to simply dressing up for Halloween or cosplay?Featured Image Credit: Alamy.