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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Falls Church Man Pleads Guilty To Impersonating A Federal Officer

John Dahlquist Admits To Falsely Claiming To Be A Secret Service Special Agent

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA -- A Falls Church, Va., man entered a plea of guilty this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg to a charge related to his impersonation of a federal law enforcement officer.

John William Dahlquist, 48, of Falls Church, pleaded guilty this morning to one count of impersonating an officer or employee of the United States and, in that pretended character, falsely demanding a thing of value.

“When people falsely claim to be law enforcement officers, they endanger themselves and the people with whom they interact,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “We will do all we can to protect the integrity of the badge and ensure that it is not tarnished by imposters like Mr. Dahlquist.”

According to evidence proffered at today’s guilty plea hearing by Special Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Wright, the defendant admitted that beginning in or around late August 2011 he told a woman who resides near Lynchburg, Va., that he was a Secret Service Special Agent. For several months, Dahlquist carried on a series of interactions with that woman, and other individuals in and around Lynchburg, under the guise of being a Secret Service employee.

In support of his impersonation, Dahlquist purported to carry a firearm in public places and privately, and displayed a purported electronic Secret Service credential. Furthermore, the defendant, while impersonating a federal agent, demanded a thing of value from the victim in asking her to sign ownership of her home to him. Dahlquist did this under the pretense that he could shield the home from creditors in his capacity as an employee of the Secret Service.

At sentencing, the defendant faces a maximum possible penalty of three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service and the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office. Special Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Wright is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated April 14, 2015