A San Jose man has been charged in federal court with impersonating an agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration by wearing a gold-colored badge and pulling drivers over by flashing blue and red emergency lights on his Volkswagen sedan.
Alex Taylor, 49, was arrested outside his home on March 2. He was charged in federal court in San Jose Monday with impersonating a U.S. officer, illegally possessing an official badge and using a counterfeit seal of a U.S. agency.
The investigation resulted in part from two encounters Taylor had with off-duty officers who suspected he wasn’t following normal procedures for a DEA agent.
On Dec. 24, Taylor allegedly pulled over an off-duty U.S. Transportation Department agent on her way to Mass. After she questioned whether DEA agents could make traffic stops and write tickets, Taylor allegedly made a U-turn and drove away, according to an affidavit by FBI Agent Jason Cheng.
On Feb. 12, an off-duty Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputy watched a Volkswagen with flashing lights that didn’t appear to be normal government lights pull over a tow truck driver on state Highway 17. The deputy took down the license plate and allegedly found it was registered to Taylor. The tow truck driver, who was on his way to an accident scene, later said the man who stopped him asked “Do you want to die,” demanded to see his license and eventually drove away. The tow truck driver identified a photograph of Taylor, according to the affidavit. Taylor made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Susan van Keulen in San Jose on Monday and was released on a $20,000 bond. He is due to return to court for an arraignment on March 15.
If convicted of the three counts, Taylor could face a maximum term of eight and one-half years in prison.