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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sandy Springs Man Sentenced to Prison for Impersonating a U.S. Marshal

ATLANTA - John Letcher Edens has been sentenced to one year in federal prison for impersonating a United States Marshal.

“Edens misrepresented that he was a U.S. Marshal to gain sensitive personal information to use in his skip tracing business,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn.  “He abused the trust that is placed in law enforcement to make exigent requests for phone location data.  Instead of using the data to rescue kidnapped children, he used it to repossess cars.”

“When someone fraudulently represents themselves as a deputy U.S. Marshal – or any law enforcement officer – the consequences can be serious. Eden was able to gain access to non-public information, which allowed him to harass one victim. His crimes had the potential to damage the trust that the U.S. Marshals Service has worked long and hard to establish with the public, private companies and fellow law enforcement agencies”, said U.S. Marshal Beverly Harvard.

According to U.S. Attorney John Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: In October and November, 2014, Edens falsely claimed to be a Deputy U.S. Marshal and submitted exigent request forms to a cellular phone provider in order to obtain location information about private citizens. Edens then used that private location information for his business as a skip tracer, in which he located individuals for the purpose of repossessing their vehicles.  Precise location information is provided by cellular phone companies to law enforcement with a search warrant, or when exigent circumstances require the disclosure of such information before a search warrant may be obtained.  

When submitting the exigent request forms, Edens fraudulently represented that children had been kidnapped and were in immediate danger in order to trick the cellular provider into providing private citizens’ location information without a search warrant.  In one instance, Edens even harassed a victim. 

On May 6, 2015, a grand jury charged Edens, 56, of Sandy Springs, Georgia, with seven counts of false impersonation of a U.S. Officer.  Edens pleaded guilty to six of the seven counts on September 24, 2015.  On February 10, 2016, U.S. District Judge Eleanor L. Ross Sentenced Edens to one year and one day, and ordered him to serve three years of supervised release and pay a special assessment of $600.

This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service.

Assistant United States Attorney Jolee Porter prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is

Public Corruption
Updated February 11, 2016