Cops: Man who walked into jail, impersonated officer had AR-15 in car

EDGAR COUNTY, Ill. -- Police in Illinois say they've arrested a man pretending to be a police officer who walked into the lobby of a county jail, wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a BB gun. Officials later found a loaded AR-15 assault rifle in his car, reports CBS affiliate WCIA.

A deputy told WCIA officials knew right away when he walked into the Edgar County Jail Saturday morning that he posed an immediate threat. 40-year-old Justin Hefner was later arrested and charged with false impersonation of a public official, unlawful use of a weapon, and unlawful use of body armor.

Officials say Hefner walked up to the window and asked sheriff's officials to help him make an arrest in Paris. Though deputies immediately suspected he wasn't a legitimate law enforcement officer, they played along, asking him to come inside and disarm as per their protocol, WCIA reports.

ar.png
The AR-15 rifle police say Justin Hefner had in his car when he allegedly walked in to the Edgar County, Ill. jail Saturday and impersonated an officer WCIA

Hefner reportedly agreed. Officers called the Paris Police Department for backup and Hefner was arrested.

Police say they got a tip that Hefner had made a Facebook threat, saying that if Edgar County law enforcement tried to come after him, he would take them down.

Officials later found the AR-15 in his car. Photos released by the Edgar County Sheriff's office show he was also allegedly carrying ammunition, zip ties, handcuffs, a badge and vest with a nameplate on it.