San Jose Man Charged With Pretending To Be DEA Agent
SAN JOSE, Calif. – A San Jose man was indicted by federal grand jury yesterday, charging him with use and possession of a counterfeit seal of an agency of the United States, pretending to be an officer of the United States, possession of an unlawfully produced identification document and authentication feature, and possession of unlawfully produced official badges and identification card, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
On July 20, 2012, Jonathan Hoang, 47, made his initial appearance in federal court in San Jose before United States Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal. He was ordered temporarily detained pending a hearing, which is scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Hoang is alleged to have:
- submitted in connection with an application to rent a house in San Jose documents containing a fraudulently made, forged and counterfeited seal of the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration, specifically a document that claimed to verify his employment with the DEA and a document that represented that he passed a background investigation;
- while applying to rent this house, falsely stated to the landlord that he was a Special Agent of the DEA and that because of this the landlord could not run a credit check on him; and
- possessed falsely made, forged and counterfeited credentials issued to a Special Agent of the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to an affidavit filed by an agent of the DEA in connection with a criminal complaint filed in the same matter, Hoang was detained by San Jose Police Officers shortly after midnight on July 20, 2012, after he was found parked in a truck near the rental house from which he had recently been evicted. Inside the truck, law enforcement officers found purported DEA badges and other insignia. The truck was equipped with emergency lights and a siren similar to law enforcement equipment. The defendant consented to searches of the truck and the house where additional DEA accessories and firearms were found. The defendant also gave a statement in which he admitted that he had been posing as a DEA agent notwithstanding the fact that he was not an agent.
The maximum statutory penalty for use and possession of a counterfeit seal of an agency of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 506(a)(2) and (3), is five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release. The maximum statutory penalty for pretending to be an officer of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 912, is three years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and one year of supervised release. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant United States Attorney Thomas A. Colthurst and Special Assistant United States Attorney Ann Marie E. Ursini are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Legal Assistant Nina Williams. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the San Jose office of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the San Jose Police Department.
Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Hoang must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.