St. Louis City Man Pleads Guilty to Impersonating a Foreign Diplomat
St. Louis, Missouri – Antuan S. Ward, a/k/a Ari’al Ban Yashar’al, 33, of St. Louis, Missouri, plead guilty to one felony count of impersonating a foreign diplomat. Ward appeared today before U.S. District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig who accepted his plea and sentenced him to time served, approximately 13 months in federal custody, and two years supervised release.
According to court documents, on April 25, 2018, Ward was driving a 1998 Ford pickup truck when he was lawfully stopped by an Ellisville Police Department officer for displaying fictitious temporary tags on the vehicle. During the traffic stop, the officer asked to see Ward's driver's license and proof of insurance. Ward gave the officer a laminated “Lawful Diplomat Sovereign and Self Determination Hebrew Israelite American National Republic Universal Dual National Identification" card that displayed a photograph of Ward and the name "Ari'al Ban Yashar'a1." Ward told the officer that he was not a ward of the state and refused to provide his full legal name. In doing so, Ward pretended to be a diplomatic official of a foreign government duly accredited as such to the United States, and did so with the intent to deceive or defraud the officer in an attempt to avoid receiving a traffic citation from the Ellisville Police Department. At the time of the vehicle stop, Ward was a fugitive from the State of Massachusetts, where he had been released on bond pending felony charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm. Ward has been detained in custody since the time of his April 25, 2018 arrest.
This case was the result of outstanding police work by Officers of the Ellisville Police Department, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of State. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Bateman handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.