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Man arrested after allegedly posing as federal agent, targeting drivers in Jefferson County

Michael Nelson. Credit: JCSO

GOLDEN, Colo. — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says a man has been arrested after allegedly posing as federal agent and pulling drivers over.

Deputies were first alerted about the situation Tuesday morning, when the man pulled over a woman from Golden.

“From the get-go I did tell my son to ‘Pull out your phone and capture this on film’ because I just didn’t have a good feeling about it,” said the woman, who asked FOX31 and Channel 2 to protect her identity.

As she was driving her son to school Tuesday morning, she noticed an erratic driver in front of her. She tried passing him at the Interstate 70/C-470 interchange in Jefferson County.

“In doing so, he flashed his badge at me and motioned for me to pull over,” she said.

The man got out of his vehicle — which is described as a silver, full-sized truck — and started harassing the woman.

Her son captured the incident on his cellphone camera.

“He would take a couple steps back from our vehicle and then come back and re-ask for my license,” the woman said.

The man presented her with a badge, which was later revealed to be a fake. Anyone could buy the same exact one online for about $40.

“It’s disturbing to see,” said Mike Taplin with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

About 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said 50-year-old Michael Nelson had been arrested in the case. He is charged with impersonating a peace officer and false imprisonment.

The sheriff’s office said they identified Nelson as a suspect after receiving tips from FOX31 viewers.

“In the event you find yourself questioning a traffic stop: Call 911 with your location and what is happening. 911 will be able to help determine if the stop is legitimate or not,” the sheriff’s office said.

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