Baltimore, Maryland – Renul Forbes a/k/a “Michael Renul,”, age 32, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to false personation of a U.S. Marshal, an officer of the United States.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division.
According to his guilty plea, from January 2019 to September 26, 2020, Forbes falsely posed as a “Supervisory Deputy” of the United States Marshals Service and possessed a fraudulent seal of the United States Marshals Service.
As detailed in his plea agreement, on September 26, 2020, an Anne Arundel County police officer witnessed Forbes arrive at a Glen Burnie retail store in a vehicle equipped with police lights. Forbes was carrying a firearm on his hip.
Shortly after Forbes exited his vehicle, Forbes approached the AAPD officer and asked whether he worked in the Northern District of the Anne Arundel County Police Department and if Forbes knew a particular police officer, who Forbes identified by name.
While Forbes entered the store, the AAPD officer determined that the rear tag affixed to Forbes’s vehicle belonged to a different vehicle, the windows were tinted, and the vehicle lacked a front tag. The AAPD officer subsequently asked Forbes to identify himself. At that time, Forbes provided a false name and refused to present an official driver’s license as Forbes deemed the officer to be “unqualified” to request his credentials. Forbes not only possessed a fraudulent U.S. Marshals badge pinned on his shoulder, but also possessed a magazine and handcuff carrier.
Forbes attempted to avoid identification by claiming to be a U.S. Marshal working out of Greenbelt and provided the name and contact information of a purported U.S. Marshals Service supervisor. The individual Forbes claimed to be a supervisor was not a supervisor of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Officers later contacted a legitimate U.S. Marshals Service Supervisory Deputy who confirmed Forbes was, in fact, not employed with the U.S. Marshals in any capacity and confirmed the badge that Forbes possessed was fraudulent.
A search of Forbes’s person revealed that he carried three loaded magazines, with several rounds each, and a black Glock-style airsoft gun. Additionally, Forbes’s vehicle was equipped with three USB powered red and blue police lights that were controlled by a control panel on the driver’s seat visor. Within a brown backpack located in the vehicle, authorities discovered loose ammunition and a handgun that was not registered to Forbes. Furthermore, a search of the vehicle’s VIN number was determined to be associated with a New Jersey tag.
Officers subsequently contacted the registered owner of the handgun and discovered the owner met with Forbes on several occasions. The registered handgun owner believed Forbes was a legitimate U.S. Marshal as he openly carried a firearm and a U.S. Marshals badge.
The plea agreement further states that Forbes fraudulently posed as a U.S. Marshal to another Anne Arundel County police officer within a text message and in person in the effort to obtain information about police responses at his apartment complex and general Anne Arundel Police Department business. In order to learn law enforcement rules, regulations, policy and discipline procedures, Forbes falsely claimed to be a U.S. Marshal to a Metropolitan police officer.
Forbes faces a maximum of three years in prison and followed by one year of supervised release for impersonating an officer of the United States. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has not scheduled a sentencing hearing at this time.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the ATF, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Anne Arundel Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary W. Setzer who is prosecuting the case.
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