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Case Number: 1:21-cr-00074-CCB
Judge: Catherine C. Blake
Court: United States District Court for the District of Maryland (Balitmore County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Baltimore, MD: False personation of a U.S. Marshal, an officer of the United States criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant, Renul Forbes a/k/a “Michael Renul,” age 32, of Glen Burnie, Maryland.
From January 2019 to September 26, 2020, Forbes falsely pretended to be a “Supervisory Deputy” of the United States Marshals Service and possessed a fraudulent seal of the United States Marshals Service.
“Members of our Maryland law enforcement community serve a critical role when it comes to public safety and community relations,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner. By impersonating a federal agent, Renul Forbes not only deceived the public, he also undermined the credibility of the many legitimate law enforcement personnel who diligently and bravely serve their communities throughout the state.”
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 whether he 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. Forbes provided a false name and refused to present an official driver’s license telling the officer that he was “not qualified” to ask for Forbes’ credentials. Forbes not only possessed a fraudulent U.S. Marshals badge pinned to his belt next to his firearm, but also possessed two magazines in a magazine carrier on the right side of his waist.
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. In fact, that individual was not a U.S. Marshal. Officers later contacted a legitimate U.S. Marshals Service Supervisory Deputy who confirmed that Forbes was not employed with the U.S. Marshals Service in any capacity and that the badge Forbes possessed was not a legitimate badge or seal of the U.S. Marshals Service.
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, which was located in the trunk of the vehicle.
Officers 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.
As detailed in his plea agreement, it was later determined that Forbes had previously identified himself as a U.S. Marshal to another Anne Arundel County police officer within a text message and in person on multiple occasions, in order to obtain information about police responses to his apartment complex, as well as the Anne Arundel County Police Department in general. Forbes also falsely claimed to be a U.S. Marshal to a Metropolitan police officer in order to learn about rules and regulations, policy and discipline within the police department.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the ATF, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Anne Arundel County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary W. Setzer who prosecuted the case.
18:912 FALSE PERSONATION OF AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES
Outcome: Sentencing as to Renul Barnet Forbes held on 9/3/2021 before Judge Catherine C. Blake.(Court Reporter: Mary Zajac) (kac2s, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 09/03/2021)
Defendant was sentenced to one year and one day in prison.