Actual members of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special response run toward a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter while participating in airborne insertion training Feb. 14, 2017 in Jackson, Mississippi. Mississippi National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann.
A gun-toting New Jersey man who tried to cosplay as a federal cop got busted, prosecutors said.
Wesley Rucker, 34, of Tinton Falls, flashed a fake US Drug Enforcement Administration ID card on Oct. 22 while seeking treatment at a Red Bank, New Jersey, emergency room, according to his federal charge sheet.
When hospital staffers asked him to lock up the 9 mm Glock 19 pistol tucked in his waistband, Rucker allegedly whipped out a DEA ID card. He stowed away the weapon and ammo in the hospital locker, but suspicious staffers rang the Red Bank Police Department.
In the emergency room, Rucker allegedly told the cops he was a “DEA agent” and “an intelligence specialist out of Newark.” He then left the hospital, according to the court documents.
The cops intercepted him in the parking lot, where he allegedly changed his story. Now Rucker claimed he was an ex-DEA agent and the pistol wasn’t even his. A search of his backpack turned up a bogus gold DEA badge and the ID card.
On the back was written, “cosplay collectible use only.”
In reality, Rucker had been convicted in New Jersey in 2014 for possession of a controlled dangerous substance and obstructing the administration of law and was sentenced to three years in prison, according to his charge sheet.
Rucker now faces federal charges for impersonating a federal agent, unlawful transport of firearms, and the use of fake ID cards. The maximum penalty carries a 10-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.
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US Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni set a $50,000 unsecured appearance bond for Rucker’s next hearing on Feb. 28 in Trenton.
Someone hung up when Coffee or Die Magazine contacted a cellphone number listed in Rucker’s name. Rucker’s federal defender didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.
Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children.
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