The feds say the man pretended to be an internal security agent


Authorities found items in the man’s bag that believed he was an agent of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a naval seal, prosecutors said. The man was sentenced to prison on charges of impersonating a federal officer and illegal possession of a firearm.

U.S. Attorney’s Office for Minnesota County

The 53-year-old man posed as an agent of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in front of thousands of his TikTok followers, federal officials said.

Rayle Devon Simmons was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of pretending to be a federal officer and illegal possession of firearms as a criminal, the Minnesota County Attorney’s Office said in a June 3 press release.

Simmons is accused of posing as a federal agent for his nearly 10,000 TikTok followers by posting photos of himself in gear who believed he was an agent from January 2021 to September 2021, according to the plea agreement and extradition documents. sentence.

He told investigators he pretended to be an agent to get women’s attention, and specifically for one woman he had been dating for eight months, the complaint said.

The woman he met through her TikTok profile discovered he was not an agent and reported him to the FBI, according to the complaint.

Simmons ‘attorney did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment.

According to court documents, he wore law enforcement clothing, including body armor and a DHS badge, and also held a firearm in his TikTok reports.

Outside the social media platform, he wore a T-shirt with the DHS logo and carried a backpack, which he called a “travel bag” – a bag that law enforcement keeps in case of emergencies, court documents show.

Simmons also said he was a U.S. Navy serviceman for many years, despite never serving in the military, court documents said.

And he sent a photo to a woman in 2017 who pretended to be a U.S. Immigration and Customs Officer, prosecutors said.

In addition to six years in prison, Simmons was sentenced to three years in custody.

Helena Wegner is a McClatchy National Real-Time Reporter who covers Washington State and the Western Region. She graduated in journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Arizona. She is in Phoenix.

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