Recently a South Florida man was accused of falsely impersonating a law enforcement officer for the second time. Jeffery Jean is 30 years old and was awaiting trial on an earlier impersonation case. The suspect had been operating his vehicle as if responding to an emergency by utilizing both flashing lights and sirens. Following arrest, Jean was charged with possession of a weapon and ammunition by a convicted felon, impersonating a police officer, possession of cannabis and reckless driving among other offenses.
On April 17, 2016 officers observed what looked like an unmarked vehicle with full lighting flashings and siren blasting as it was attempting to navigate through heavy traffic that had backed up following a traffic crash. Broward County Sheriff’s officers reported that the vehicle was tailgating other vehicles, cutting from left to right without yielding to the right-of-way of other drivers. The suspects actions forced westbound vehicles off the roadway who were attempting to avoid an accident.
The 2016 black four-door Chevy Malibu did not appear to be a standard police or emergency vehicle, which drew suspicion from police officers who attempted to intervene. Upon observing police officers in his path, suspect Jeffrey Jean immediately turned off all emergency equipment and attempted to steer away from officers in his path.
Upon being stopped, the suspect first claimed to be responding to an emergency call but later admitted that he was just trying to avoid traffic driving home from work. Police officers noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle and pursuant to search located the suspect cannabis. The suspect was decked out in full tactical police gear including a firearm and tazer that were strapped to his belt.
Upon being told that the he was “running code 3”, the suspect responded “no, I was running code 2”.
Upon questioning, Jean admitted that he confiscated drugs from club patrons which were normally kept in his trunk until disposing of them.
See Sun-Sentinel Article: Man trying to dodge traffic posed as police officer – again, investigators say
According to Criminal Lawyer William R. Moore, Florida Law Prohibiting the act of Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer occurs when an individual falsely assumes or pretends to be a police officer and takes it upon him or herself to act as a law enforcement officer. Impersonating a law enforcement officer is a third-degree felony in the state of Florida unless enhanced due to the impersonation taking place during the commission of a felony in which case it becomes a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in a Florida State prison. Where death results as a result of the impersonation, the crime will be charged as a first-degree felony in Florida.
More information on arrests for impersonating a law enforcement officer in Florida may be obtained by contacting criminal defense attorney William R. Moore.