RICHMOND – A bill that makes impersonating a federal law enforcement officer illegal in Virginia passed a House subcommittee this morning.
HB1358 would amend the criminal code, which already prohibits pretending to be a sheriff’s deputy, police officer, marshal or other peace officer, to include federal law enforcement officers. A violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
The impetus is a case in Hanover County where officials had trouble prosecuting a man accused of posing as a Drug Enforcement Administration agent because the judge in the case said federal agencies aren’t included in the law, said the bill’s patron, Del. John Cox, R-Hanover County.
The House Criminal Courts Subcommittee amended the bill and reported it to the House Courts of Justice Committee for a vote.
-Kathy Adams, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot