By MARCUS FRANKLIN|
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK- A college student was charged with impersonating a federal agent after a routine traffic stop led police to forged law enforcement paraphernalia and a cache of weapons in his bedroom, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Stephan M. Kishore's masquerade came to an end after a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police officer stopped his minivan Monday afternoon near Kennedy Airport for changing lanes without signaling, prosecutors said.
Kishore's alleged conduct exploited the public's trust in the police and put the lives of officers in jeopardy, prosecutor Richard Brown said in a statement.
The officer said he noticed a large police decal on the minivan's rear door and red and blue strobe lights on the dashboard. There also were two Homeland Security Department parking placards on the dashboard, prosecutors said.
Kishore, 20, who is from Trinidad but lives in the Bronx, then showed the officer a phony Homeland Security ID card and shield, prosecutors said.
The officer became suspicious when he read on the back of the shield: "CopShop.com, Collectible Badge, Not For Official Use." CopShop, based in Florida, calls itself the online mall for sheriff's office badges, state trooper patches, collectible pins and law enforcement apparel.
Kishore admitted he was not a police officer and had made the ID card on his home computer, prosecutors said.
He also admitted he had templates to make insignia and credentials for numerous police agencies and had several federal and local police ID cards, two stun guns, two pellet guns and two starter pistols in his bedroom, prosecutors said.
Bernice Kishore said her nephew had been taking flying lessons at LaGuardia Airport.
"But he isn't political. He would never be a threat like a terrorist," she said, reached at her home in Trinidad. "He's really more of a big kid. He's kind of childish."
He was arraigned Tuesday night on criminal impersonation and forgery charges, District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Kishore, a student at York College in Queens, was being held Wednesday on $50,000 bail. He could face seven years in prison.
Associated Press writer Adam Raney in Trinidad contributed to this report.