Las Vegas, N.M., Man Sentenced for Falsely Impersonating a Federal Officer
ALBUQUERQUE – Leon Herrera, 37, of Las Vegas, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a year of probation for falsely impersonating a federal officer. Herrera was also ordered to perform 250 hours of community service.
On Oct. 16, 2015, Herrera entered his guilty plea to a felony information charging him with impersonating a Special Agent of the DEA on Dec. 15, 2014, in Colfax County, N.M. In his plea agreement, Herrera admitted that he committed the crime at the behest of a friend who was then employed as a deputy sheriff in Colfax County (friend).
According to Herrera’s plea agreement, on Dec. 15, 2014, Herrera received a call from his friend while the friend was conducting a traffic stop on motorists he believed to be drug traffickers. The friend reported to Herrera that he found approximately $8,000.00 cash in the motorists’ vehicle. The friend then asked Herrera to speak with one of the motorists and tell him that he was a DEA Special Agent and intended to seize the currency as proceeds of criminal activity. Herrera acquiesced to his friend’s request and had a conversation with one of the motorists during which he falsely identified himself as a representative of the DEA and would be seizing the money for law enforcement purposes. The plea agreement states that the friend told him that he intended to keep the currency for his personal use, and offered to give $1,000.00 to Herrera for assisting him.
In his plea agreement, Herrera acknowledges that he later learned that the motorists were undercover law enforcement officers and that the currency seized from their vehicle, $7,500.00, belonged to the FBI.
This case was investigated by the Santa Fe and Albuquerque offices of the FBI and the New Mexico State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean J. Sullivan prosecuted the case.