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Press Release

Charleston Man Who Impersonated United States Marshal Pleads Guilty In Federal Court

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W. Va. -  United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that John E. Swain II, 52, of Charleston, West Virginia pleaded guilty today to impersonating a federal law enforcement officer.  On April 14, 2014, Swain chased a Ford Explorer on I-77, while the passenger in Swain’s car waived a badge that appeared to belong to a United States Marshal.  The driver of the Ford Explorer was an undercover Kanawha County Detective.  When the Detective pulled over at the Greenbrier Street exit, Swain sped away.  The Detective followed Swain and directed him to stop.  When the Detective approached the car, Swain asserted that he was a United States Marshal from Richmond, Virginia.  Swain also advised that he asked his passenger to waive the badge because the Detective was driving too fast and Swain wanted him to slow down. The Detective contacted the United States Marshal in Richmond and learned that Swain had never been employed with the federal law enforcement agency.  When confronted, Swain admitted that he had lied to avoid arrest for impersonating a federal officer.  Swain claimed that he bought the fake badge on the internet. 

Swain faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release, when sentenced on February 23, 2015. 

The United States Marshal Service and the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes is responsible for the prosecution.

Updated January 7, 2015