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Cop impersonator confronts undercover detective

The imposter questioned why the detective had multiple cell phones, then demanded he hand over any drugs

By Anthony A. Mestas and Nick Bonham
The Pueblo Chieftain

PUEBLO, Colo. — An alleged cop impersonator's act dialed up the wrong number in a Pueblo West cellphone store Monday when the man he was trying to bluff was a law enforcement detective himself.

Roland Herrera, 63, of an unnamed town in Texas, was arrested on suspicion of impersonating a peace officer after he allegedly told a detective that he was a cop.

Herrera was being held at the Pueblo County jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.

According to the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, the undercover detective was in the wireless service store speaking to a clerk about his cellphones.

While there he was approached by a man who identified himself as law enforcement.

The report stated that Herrera asked the deputy, "Why do you have so many phones? Are you a drug dealer?"

The detective didn't answer but Herrera persisted.

The report states that Herrera then identified himself as "a cop" and ordered the detective to turn over his drugs to him.

The detective asked the individual to show him his credentials and again the man told the detective to "give him the drugs".

The detective then turned the tables on Herrera.

He showed Herrera his own law enforcement credentials and advised him he was under arrest for impersonation of a peace officer.

Sheriff Kirk Taylor, said although the situation was somewhat humorous, he believes there is an opportunity for a serious lesson in the event as well.

"Any law enforcement officer, when requested to, is required to show you credentials," Taylor said in a press release.
The sheriff said Herrera is a parolee from Texas and has a felony history.

"To commit the crime of impersonation, a suspect is likely trying to intimidate you or gain compliance from you and if they are successful, it could be dangerous," Taylor said. "We want and need your trust so we will always be willing to confirm our position, don't hesitate to ask."

Copyright 2013 The Pueblo Chieftain

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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