Sources: Wash. Post employee allegedly impersonated ICE agent; guns found at his Md. home
WASHINGTON (ABC7) — The FBI raided the home of a Maryland man last month after he allegedly impersonated an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent while also attempting to enforce criminal laws, Montgomery County District Court documents state.
According to those court documents, Itai Ozderman, 35, impersonated an ICE officer throughout Falls Church, Virginia, on more than one occasion. During those alleged fantasy world skits, police say the five-foot-seven, 160 pound phony federal agent sported a bulletproof vest with an ICE placard and also touted a Baltimore County Police Department badge.
On February 22 at around 6 a.m., the FBI, Montgomery County Police SWAT Team and Falls Church Police Department raided Ozderman's home along the 100 block of Elmira Lane in Gaithersburg.
With a court issued search warrant in hand, police located 10 weapons, including seven handguns, two M4 style assault rifles and a shotgun. Officers say they also found body armor, tactical vests, weapon magazines, bullets, a silver Baltimore County police badge, a working police radio and other assorted items with police insignia.
Officials with the Department of Homeland Security and Baltimore County Police Departments state Ozderman is not and has never been an officer with either agency. It's unclear how the important pieces of police equipment ended up in his possession.
Court records and law enforcement sources confirm Ozderman has worked as an I.T. engineer at The Washington Post for around two years.
"All we have to share is that we are aware of the story and looking into it," The Washington Post Director of Communications Shani George wrote in an email to ABC7 News on Monday.
After ABC7 News broke the story Monday, The Washington Post did publish an article online about Ozderman's arrest.
Ozderman, who was born in Israel, is married and has a young son. One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, stated that in the past, the 35-year-old has bragged about being a "reserve officer." A handful of other neighbors explained that they witnessed the early morning multi-agency raid, and in the weeks since, rumors have been made their way through the neighborhood.
On Monday, no one answered the front door at Ozderman's home. Moments later, however, a gentleman emerged from the back of the house and entered a silver Honda Civic. When ABC7 News approached the car, it quickly drove away.
Police in Montgomery County have charged Ozderman with impersonating a police officer and transporting a handgun in a vehicle, however, it is likely that the FBI will take over the investigation. Calls to the federal agency were answered initially, but later went unreturned.
If the case does remain in Montgomery County, Ozderman faces up to five years in prison and/or $4,500 in fines. The alleged fraudulent federal agent is due back in Montgomery County District Court on April 13 at 8 a.m.
This story has been updated.