Minnesota’s Reyel Simmons sentenced for impersonating federal agent

Placeholder while loading article actions

Over the course of eight months, a woman who dated Reyel Simmons had been charmed by his stories of taking down bad guys as a retired Department of Homeland Security agent and Navy SEAL. She had seen Simmons’ “duffel bag,” badges, and guns; heard stories about his undercover missions; and believed that DHS was paying for their hotel stays – a perk of said secret missions.

But her relationship with Simmons fell apart in August, when she spotted a comment on his TikTok account, where he posted videos about being a federal agent to nearly 10,000 followers. The comment read: ‘stolen value – impersonating a police officer again, oh and can proof be provided!’

His discovery set off a chain of events that ultimately led to Simmons’ arrest and conviction for impersonating a federal officer and illegally possessing firearms as a felon. On On Friday, the 53-year-old man from Minnesota was sentenced to six years in prison which will be followed by three years of probation, according to the justice department.

The woman who was dating Simmons became suspicious of her job as a federal agent after reading the comment about the stolen bravery, so she contacted the TikTok user who posted it, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case. The commenter, identified as “JS” in the complaint, revealed that it was Simmons’ former colleague.

Men posing as DHS employees created potential national security risk, prosecutors say

That’s how the woman discovered that Simmons – who at the time was using the false name “Rey Reeves” – had previously been arrested for impersonating an officer when he was living in Colorado. She then called the FBI to report Simmons.

The FBI found no evidence that Simmons served in the military or law enforcement, according to court records.

Nonetheless, when applying for his current job in Minnesota, Simmons falsely stated that he had been employed by DHS between 1997 and 2000, although he asserted that “assignments cannot be discussed under: Classified #CFR 6AUS06 and #USCS 987USf1310,” according to court documents. .

These regulatory codes and federal laws do not exist, FBI Special Agent Tricia Whitehill wrote in the complaint. The DHS was created in 2002, years after Simmons claimed to have worked there.

In its investigation, Whitehill found that Simmons had been charged in 2004 with two misdemeanor counts of impersonating an officer in Colorado. His record also showed he was convicted of a threatening felony in 2007 – a felony that prohibits him from owning a firearm. Nevertheless, a neighbor reported that Simmons had built a shooting range in his backyard and that gunshots had sounded from the property.

Officers then executed three search warrants: one for Simmons’ truck; one for his house; and another for his workplace in the offices of a photography firm, where he was eventually arrested.

Inside the vehicle – which was equipped with a siren and speaker – they found a gun holster, a stun gun and a “police-style baton”, according to the complaint. At his home, officials said, they seized eight weapons – many of which were found inside a secret bunker with a hidden door.

Officers also recovered a Navy uniform and clothing bearing law enforcement names, according to court records. When they arrested Simmons at the office where he served as security coordinator on September 20, officers found his supposed “travel bag” – along with a handgun and fake name tags and a Navy certificate acknowledging his participation in “operations against hostile enemy forces”. ”

Simmons was charged on October 12 and pleaded guilty on January 21, according to court records.

When reached by The Washington Post early Tuesday, James Becker, Simmons’ court-appointed attorney, forwarded a sentencing memorandum submitted May 20 in which he had requested a two-year prison sentence. In it, Becker wrote that, while misleading, Simmons’ actions were “not instigated by a broader criminal purpose, such as financial enrichment, to gain access to law enforcement systems/investigations, or to further any other type of criminal enterprise”.

“In truth, Mr. Simmons was only disguising himself to impress the people around him and to woo women,” Becker wrote.


Comments are closed.