Prosecutors: He Called for Backup. Then His Ruse Fell Apart

Antione Tuckson charged with impersonating US deputy marshal
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2022 4:10 PM CDT
Prosecutors: He Called for Backup. Then His Ruse Fell Apart
   (Getty Images / Stelsone)

(Newser) – It sounds believable enough: Two women had an issue with their tab at a restaurant in Maryland's Prince George’s County. A law enforcement officer with a patrol dog who was working there as a security guard stepped in; they ignored him and left, so he called county police for backup. Except prosecutors say the man—who identified himself as a Deputy US Marshal—wasn't a law enforcement officer at all. In fact, they allege Antione Tuckson has a history of impersonating law enforcement dating to 2006. The Washington Post and New York Daily News detail some of the lengths Tuckson, 38, allegedly went to in order to seem legitimate: During the March 6 restaurant encounter, he had a Glock 9mm pistol, Taser, and handcuffs on him, and the dog was clad in a police-style vest, per a court filing.

Per the filing, he also had a "fake US Marshals identification card [that] had an embedded computer chip to resemble" a genuine one. His home was searched, and flashing blue-and-red lights were allegedly found. But there were slip-ups, say prosecutors, starting with the fact that Tuckson allegedly separated from his dog while pursuing the women. "An on-duty canine never leaves the assigned officer’s side," prosecutors wrote, which tipped the responding officers off. He then allegedly called a friend, Nijea Nicole Rich, who prosecutors claim played the role of his supervisor.

Per court documents, she arrived at the scene "wearing tan tactical pants, was armed with a handgun, and carried two sets of handcuffs, a radio, and what appeared to be an expandable baton." The officers claim she admonished them, "You locked up a US Marshal?" Tuckson has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of impersonating a US government officer and possessing a firearm illegally; he also faces state charges. Rich has been charged with impersonating a federal officer and conspiracy to impersonate a federal officer. (Read more impersonating an officer stories.)

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