First Responders

Ohio Man Who Kept Impersonating Cops Going to Prison

September 15, 2022Carl Prine
David Scott Scofield, 58, of Lancaster, Ohio, man was sentenced by a federal judge on Sept. 15, 2022, to 18 months in prison for being a felon in possession of firearms. Scofield has been arrested multiple times by Ohio authorities for impersonating a police officer. Coffee or Die Magazine composite.

David Scott Scofield, 58, of Lancaster, Ohio, man was sentenced by a federal judge on Sept. 15, 2022, to 18 months in prison for being a felon in possession of firearms. Scofield has been arrested multiple times by Ohio authorities for impersonating a police officer. Coffee or Die Magazine composite.

An Ohio man who kept impersonating cops is going to prison.

In Columbus on Wednesday, Sept. 14, US District Judge Michael H. Watson sentenced David Scott Scofield to 18 months incarceration, three years of supervised release when he exits a federal penitentiary, and a $15,000 fine for being a felon in possession of firearms.

Although federal sentencing guidelines recommended Scofield spend close to four years behind bars, a plea deal the 58-year-old support technician inked with prosecutors on Nov. 16 capped his prison sentence at two years.

Coffee or Die Magazine’s attempts to reach Scofield weren’t successful. His telephone answering machine’s messages are full and neither he nor his attorney responded to emails seeking comment.

Ohio man

David Scott Scofield, 58, was sentenced to 18 months behind bars by a federal judge on Sept. 14, 2022. The Ohio man’s punishment followed a string of arrests by authorities in Fairfield and Summit counties where he was accused of impersonating police officers, including in the city of Akron. Akron Police Department photo.

Scofield’s problems with the law began with a Feb. 10, 2013, traffic stop in Ohio’s Fairfield County. Although he’d previously filled in as a part-time reserve deputy for sheriffs in Fairfield, Athens, and Vinton counties, his arrest ended all that because he falsely portrayed himself as a Morgan County deputy to avoid the citation.

And it didn’t end there. He was convicted in 2015 of pretending to be a deputy after trying to conduct a traffic stop on a driver who turned out to be a real Akron cop.

Arriving officers frisked him and searched his car, turning up two loaded pistols, a loaded magazine, a rifle, a shotgun, silencers, a bulletproof vest, a SWAT shirt, a fake badge, a police radio and scanner, and blue and red lights.

A police raid on Scofield’s Lancaster home two days later uncovered more than 30 firearms, 15,000 rounds of ammo, more bogus badges, and fake documents indicating he was a sworn officer.

Ohio man

Pickerington Police Officer Mercedes Gavins was sworn in as a full-time officer by Lee Gray, the mayor of the Ohio city, on May 27, 2016. Three years later, she received Franklin County Sheriff’s Office STAR Award for her dedication to law enforcement. Pickerington Police Department photos.

And then on Nov. 4, 2016, Pickerington Police Officer Mercedes Gavins pulled over a maroon Saturn that had been weaving across Hill Road North’s double yellow lane marking.

Scofield was driving his mother’s car and he was wanted in Akron on a pair of arrest warrants he told the cop were “bogus” because he’d been a law enforcement officer for two decades.

He refused to get out of the sedan and barricaded himself inside the car. When Gavins tried to unlock a door, Scofield slapped her hand and rolled up the window, nearly trapping her fingers.

Scofield surrendered after other cops arrived and threatened to bust out the glass with batons to arrest him.

Authorities later discovered a loaded Glock G23 pistol hidden under the front seat and a polymer knife stashed below the steering wheel. In the trunk, they recovered more blades and an SBR AR-15 rifle.

Ohio man

Pickerington Police Officer Mercedes Gavins keeps the peace in her Ohio city on St. Patrick’s Day in 2021. City of Pickerington photo.

Scofield pleaded no contest to improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and was placed on five years of probation, a felony that should’ve barred him from owning guns.

On May 15, 2019, probation officers visited Scofield at his Lancaster home. He’d refused to answer their telephone calls and text messages, but finally relented and opened the door. Inside, they found a large gun safe.

Agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrived and seized a Glock G22 pistol, two Anderson Manufacturing AM-15 5.56-caliber rifles, a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, three suppressors, 6,318 rounds of ammo, 2,009 bullets, 38,974 primers, two canisters of pepper spray, an expandable baton, and a stun gun.

A court filing by Scofield’s criminal defense attorney, Samuel H. Shamansky, suggested that it was all a misunderstanding. Between 1993 and 2019, Scofield was a licensed firearms dealer who operated his own company, Dave’s World, and “struggled with how best to dispose of the firearms,” Shamansky wrote.

“Though he now recognizes it as an unlawful decision, he mistakenly believed at the time that maintaining the firearms in a locked safe that required two-factor authentication, and to which he did not have a key, deprived him of effective possession,” Shamansky continued. “Mr. Scofield now understands that he cannot own or possess any firearms in any manner under any circumstances.” 

Ohio man

On May 15, 2019, US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents confiscated firearms, suppressors, and ammo from the Lancaster, Ohio, home of felon David Scott Scofield. ATF photo.

Shamansky urged Judge Watson to sentence Scofield to probation, with no time behind bars.

But that pitch for leniency boggled federal prosecutors. In a sentencing memorandum, they detailed the long rap sheet Scofield had filled out over the past six years, especially posing as a cop.

“The defendant’s criminal history reveals a man who is consistently deceitful and non-compliant, who has repeatedly and falsely claimed to be a law enforcement officer, and who is often armed with dangerous weapons,” wrote Assistant US Attorneys Brian J. Martinez and Elizabeth A. Geraghty.

They urged the judge to put Scofield away for two years, the most punishment available under his plea deal.

Watson shaved six months off the max but sent him to prison.

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Carl Prine
Carl Prine

Carl Prine is a former senior editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He has worked at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

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