GREENBELT, Md. — Antione William Tuckson of Waldorf was charged with impersonating an officer and employee of the United States and being a felon in possession of a firearm after being arrested on May 20, 2022.
The 37-year-old committed these crimes with co-conspirator Nijea Nicole Rich, 40, who was charged with impersonating a federal officer and conspiracy to impersonate a federal officer. Rich was also arrested on May 20, 2022.
The duo identified themselves as Deputy United States Marshals. The indictment alleges that Tuckson illegally possessed a 9mm caliber semi-automatic pistol.
Court documents showed that Tuckson has a history of impersonating law enforcement officers since December 2020. To pose as a Deputy United States Marshal, he had police-style vehicles equipped with red and blue flashing lights, weapons, a fake ID card and other law enforcement gear.
Tuckson worked as an armed security guard at a restaurant with a dog in Prince George's County and tried to detain two customers who disputed their bill. He argued with the Prince George's County Police Department (PGPD) that he was a Marshal, this was to justify his possession of a firearm.
He then allegedly had Rich pose as his supervisor within the United States Marshals Service in communications with PGPD. Police then arrested Tuckson and recovered the firearm from his hip.
Shortly after he was arrested, Rich, wearing police-style clothing, claimed that the canine was her emotional support animal and was also a patrol dog owned by Tuckson.
Rich was also wearing tan tactical pants, was armed with a handgun, carried two sets of handcuffs, a radio and an expandable baton. At one point, Rich says to the officers, "You locked up a U.S. Marshal?"
Officers contacted the Prince George's County Animal Services Division (ASD) who took custody of the canine.
The next morning, Rich presented herself to an ASD employee by displaying an ID card that said U.S. Marshal. This employee was unloading the dog from the van at the time.
She told the employee that the man arrested was a U.S. Marshal and the dog belonged to the Marshals Service. The employee would then release the dog to Rich.
U.S. Marshals Service personnel searched its databases and found no record that Tuckson or Rich were ever U.S. Marshals or employees of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Law enforcement executed a search of Tuckson’s home on May 20, 2022, and recovered firearms, including an AR-style rifle and a pistol-grip pump-action shotgun.
If convicted, Tuckson and Rich each face a maximum sentence of three years in federal prison for impersonating a Deputy U.S. Marshal and Rich faces a maximum of five years in federal prison for the conspiracy.