California man arrested for impersonating DEA agent after pulling over real federal agent: officials

A California man has been arrested after he allegedly impersonated a federal drug agent while pulling over an actual federal official, authorities said Tuesday.

Alex Taylor, 49, was arrested outside his home in San Jose on suspicion of impersonating a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent and conducting unauthorized traffic stops over four months, the DEA said in a statement. Taylor allegedly made the stops using a Volkswagen Jetta with “police type” lighting while wearing a gold badge around his neck.

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Law enforcement first became aware of Taylor last year when he allegedly pulled over an off-duty U.S. Department of Transportation official on her way to church on Christmas Eve, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Taylor allegedly wore a gold DEA badge and identified himself as a DEA agent.

“DEA huh?” the woman asked Taylor, according to court documents. “Since when does DEA make vehicle stops?”

When the driver identified herself as a federal agent, Taylor allegedly retreated to his car and drove off, the report said. The official noted the make the car, but was unable to get its license plate, the Los Angeles Times reported. Federal agents later obtained the license plate number from a Santa Clara Sheriff's deputy and identified Taylor.

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Authorities on March 1 conducted surveillance at Taylor’s home, where they saw him wearing a gold badge and what appeared to be a firearm concealed under his shirt. Federal agents arrested Taylor the following morning and seized the Jetta, two firearms, imitation badges, handcuffs and methamphetamine.

Taylor was charged with impersonating a federal agent, unlawful possession of official badges, identification cards, or other insignia, and use and possession of a counterfeit seal of an agency of the United States, according to officials.

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He could face a maximum of eight-and-a-half years in prison and $500,000 in fines, if found guilty, according to the Mercury News.