BROWARD (CBSMiami) – A 35-year-old Pembroke Pines man was arrest Sunday, accused of impersonating a law enforcement officer in aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Michael Munoz was taken into custody on Sunday by Pembroke Pines Police on a Monroe County warrant.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said it all stems from an incident in Marathon on October 9th.
According to MCSO, Sgt. Joel Slough, who was off duty that day, was outside his Marathon home with several firefighters.
A blue Chevrolet Tahoe, that authorities said had a driver’s side spot light and a police suspension package, stopped in front of the home.
Investigators said the driver, later identified as Munoz, was wearing a tactical vest that could be seen through the window.
Slough noted a Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement patch on the vest. He said another patch identified Munoz as “Police Tactical Medic.”
Slough said Munoz told him he was in the Keys to assist with Hurricane Irma recovery efforts, and indicated he was assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force run by the FBI out of Miramar.
An MCSO press release states Munoz told Slough he used to work for the city of Marathon Fire Department and that “Cesar” would know who he was. The man Munoz was referring to was Fire Department Lt. Cesar Moreton, who was actually in the sergeant’s house at the time.
Investigators said Munoz got out of the Tahoe to go inside and say hello, which is when Slough saw he was wearing two pistols and had numerous weapon magazines for a rifle and for the handguns. Munoz spoke with Moreton for some time before leaving.
After Munoz left, Moreton told Slough he didn’t think Munoz was really a law enforcement officer, prompting Slough contacted an HSI investigator. The HSI investigator confirmed Munoz was not a current federal agent with any federal agency.
Authorities said a check on Facebook revealed Munoz had two Facebook pages in his name – both of them indicated he is affiliated with federal law enforcement. MCSO said further investigation revealed a number of people who said they’d seen Munoz, dressed as a federal law enforcement officer and driving a vehicle equipped to look like a law enforcement vehicle, around the Marathon area beginning September 22nd.
Munoz, who was in custody at the Broward County Jail, posted his $12,500 bond. He will have to appear in court in Monroe County to face the charges against him.