Deputies: Man trying to impersonate cop tried to scam undercover detective

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(Photo: Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office)

PUEBLO, Colo. — A 63-year-old man was arrested in Pueblo Monday after sheriff’s deputies said he tried to impersonate a police officer and scam another man who was actually an undercover detective.

The undercover detective works for the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office and was in a wireless store talking with a clerk when he was approached by another man, later identified as Roland Herrera, who claimed to be a police officer, said Sheriff’s spokeswoman Lisa Shorter.

Herrera asked the detective “Why do you have so many phones? Are you a drug dealer?” Shorter said.

“The detective didn’t answer but the man persisted. The man then identified himself as ‘a cop’ and ordered the detective to turn over his drugs to him,” Shorter said.

The detective asked Herrera to show his credentials, but Herrera didn’t and asked again for drugs, deputies said.

That’s when the detective pulled out his credentials and arrested Herrera on a charge of impersonating a peace officer.

Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor said Herrera is a parolee from another state and has a felony history.

Taylor said the incident is a good reminder to the public on how to identify legitimate law enforcement.

“Any law enforcement officer, when requested to, is required to show you credentials,” Taylor said. “To commit the crime of impersonation, a suspect is likely trying to intimidate you or gain compliance from you and if they are successful, it could be dangerous. We want and need your trust so we will always be willing to confirm our position, don’t hesitate to ask.”