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Sheriff: Man Who Impersonated Federal Officer Had AR-15, Body Armor

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A man was arrested in central Illinois on Saturday for impersonating a federal officer, and authorities discovered an assault rifle with hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his Hummer.

The Edgar County Sheriff's office said 40-year-old Justin Hefner walked into the lobby of the sheriff's office and county jail in Paris Saturday morning, wearing body armor and a holster with the butt of a pistol showing.

Hefner allegedly told two sheriff's deputies he was an officer with the Defense Department, and needed help arresting some people in Paris, the seat of Edgar County. His bulletproof vest had a badge partially covered with an American flag.

Justin Hefner
Justin Hefner (Credit: Edgar County Sheriff)

According to the sheriff's office, Hefner has a history of impersonating an officer. The deputies he spoke to convinced him they believed he was a federal officer and had him check his gun before coming into the jail. Once inside, they h ad him remove his body armor, and found he was wearing a second bulletproof vest and carrying handcuffs and mace.

After contacting Paris police for assistance, the deputies had him remove his second vest, his mace, and his handcuffs, and took him into custody, the sheriff's office said. Deputies later discovered the first vest had 1/2-inch steel plates inside.

Deputies later searched the white Hummer he drove to the jail, and found another badge, a package of zip ties, duct tape, and an AR-15 assault rifle equipped with optics, a bump stock, quick magazine release, and a bi-pod. They also found a fully-loaded 100-round drum magazine, and several 30-round magazines.

Police said the Hummer also was equipped with flashing lights and a police dashboard camera.

Hefner was charged with impersonating an officer, unlawful use of a weapon, and unlawful possession of body armor, according to the sheriff's office. His bail was set at $20,000.

The sheriff's office said deputies also found Hefner was running a Facebook page called "Constitutional Wounded Warriors," where he claimed to be running a private investigation service that "only answers to the department of defense."

Hefner is listed as the only "team member" for the page, which includes a listing for his investigator service, stating: "I Follow Orders From The Department of Defense, Nobody Else, Deal With It!!! If You Are Not The Department of Defense and Don't Have Security Clearance, DON'T Give Me Orders!"

On the page, Hefner called Edgar County officials "Corrupted Idiot's" (sic) and "Domestic Terrerist" (sic).

The page also contains several posts accusing Edgar County officials of corruption, "cooking the books for false projects," and "fraud paperwork they are trying to pull on the FAA" at the Edgar County airport.

In one post, the page warns Paris Police "ANY of Your Officers that Gets in My Way of Investigation WILL BE ARRESTED With INTEREFING."

The page also includes a photo of what appears to be a private investigator's badge partly covered by an American flag.

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