A Maryland man who works in information technology at the Washington Post has been accused of impersonating an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent in Virginia, police say.
Itai Ozderman, 35, was arrested by Montogmery County Police in February, WJLA-TV reports.
Ozderman, of Gaithersburg, impersonated an ICE agent on more than one occasion in the Falls Church area, according to police sources and court documents obtained by WJLA.
Though court records show Ozderman is facing state charges in Maryland, the FBI was also involved in the arrest and it is not clear if he could also be charged in federal court. He was released on bail after his February 22 arrest.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ozderman Went on ‘Patrol’ in a Bulletproof Vest With an ICE Placard & a Baltimore County Police Badge, Prosecutors Say
Itai Ozderman went on “patrol” in the Falls Church, Virginia, area on more than one occasion and tried to enforce criminal laws, WJLA-TV reports.
Ozderman wore a bulletproof vest with an ICE placard and a Baltimore County Police badge, police sources told the news station.
The Baltimore County Police Department said Ozderman was never an employee of the agency. He told detectives he has never been employed by any police department or law enforcement agency.
Susan Finarelli, a spokeswoman for the Falls Church Police Department, told the Washington Post the investigation began late last year. Falls Church investigators determined Ozderman was impersonating an ICE agent and turned over the investigation to the FBI.
2. Police Found 10 Weapons, Including Handguns, Rifles & a Shotgun During a February Raid on His Home
Ozderman’s home on Elmira Lane in Gaithersburg, Maryland, was raided by the Montgomery County Police and FBI agents in tactical gear on February 22, according to WJLA-TV.
Police said they recovered 10 weapons, including handguns, rifles and a shotgun, during the raid. The M4 rifles were found inside his home, according to the Washington Post. A loaded Sig Sauer semiautomatic handgun was found in the Volkwsagen Jetta used by Ozderman, the Post reports.
Ozderman was arrested at the scene, according to Montgomery County Police records.
According to WJLA, police also found a Baltimore County Police badge, body armor, ammunition and a working police radio during the raid. The badge and radio were found in Ozderman’s car.
3. He Works in Information Technology at the Washington Post & Previously Worked for a Software Company
Ozderman works as an IT engineer at the Washington Post, according to court documents.
According to the Washington Post, Ozderman was suspended by the newspaper company on Monday.
“We are aware of it and are looking into it,” Kris Coratti, the Post’s vice president for communications, said.
He has worked at the Post for two years, he said in court documents.
Social media accounts show that Ozderman previously worked for a software company in Maryland.
4. He Is Accused of Having a Handgun in a Vehicle & Impersonating a Police Officer
Ozderman was charged with illegal possession of a handgun in a vehicle and impersonating a police officer, according to arrest records.
Maryland state court records show that Ozderman was released on $10,000 bail on February 22, the same day of his arrest. He is due in court on April 13 in Rockville.
The gun charge is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. The impersonation charge is also a misdemeanor. The maximum sentence for that charge is two years in prison.
His attorney, Thomas Degonia, could not immediately be reached for comment by Heavy.
“At this point, all indications are that the weapons were purchased and possessed legally,” Degonia told the Washington Post. “At this point these are allegations, and he enjoys the presumption of innocence.”
5. He Was Born in Israel & Now Lives in Maryland With His Wife
Ozderman was originally born in Israel, WJLA-TV reports. It is not known when he moved to the United States.
He graduated from Seneca Valley High School in Germantown, Maryland, in 1999.
Ozderman now lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with his wife and young child.