WAUKESHA COUNTY — 27-year-old Gavin Snake of Sussex faces one count of impersonating a peace officer and one count of threat to a law enforcement officer.
According to a criminal complaint, on January 26th, a 911 call came in regarding an individual likely smoking marijuana in an apartment in Sussex. The caller noted that Gavin Snake, his friend, is a “member of Homeland Security and confirmed the odor was marijuana, based on his work experience.”
Officials investigated, and made contact with Snake, who “introduced himself as an agent with Homeland Security,” according to the complaint. When asked whether he had any credentials to prove he was a Homeland Security agent, Snake’s fiancee stated: “You should have your card in your wallet,” and Snake provided deputies with a metal badge he had fastened to his belt, labeled “special police.” The complaint says Snake stated that he was a “Homeland Security Milwaukee officer, part of a drug task force.”
An investigation revealed the hat and badge worn by Snake could be ordered off Amazon.
When contact was again made with Snake, investigators discovered he was wearing a radio fastened to his belt and a microphone was connected to the radio. When advised that authorities knew he wasn’t a federal agent, the complaint says Snake admitted he wasn’t an agent with Homeland Security and “he knew that impersonating an officer was wrong.” Snake said he did it because (police) “are a good role model to him.”
Investigators confirmed with the Department of Homeland Security that Snake was not a member.
When taking a look at Snake’s Facebook page, investigators found “numerous photographs of him wearing a Homeland Security uniform in public.”
A friend of Snake’s told investigators Snake “started flashing his badge when they first met several months ago.” Snake said he was an agent with Homeland Security, and said he earned his credentials at Mukwonago High School — working with their police department. This friend said Snake would wear his badge on a necklace “almost every time he was out with them.” He was also able to provide investigators with a business card that Snake had given him, which identified him as an agent with Homeland Security.
According to the complaint, the friend told investigators Snake indicated a Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department deputy had harassed his fiancee, who worked at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, and this deputy had “threatened to put her in a mental hospital.” His friend said Snake said “he was going to kill (the deputy) after persuading him that he was an agent for Homeland Security, because he was abusing his powers.” He advised that Snake keeps a knife on his person and a pistol in his truck.
Snake made his initial appearance in court in this case on Monday, February 6th. A $1,500 signature bond was set, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 16th.