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02/27/2009

ICE agents seek information on bogus law enforcement badges

LOS ANGELES - Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are seeking information from people who may have received in the mail what appear to be, genuine law enforcement badges and credentials, from a group calling themselves the "International Police Commission (IPC)."

These fraudulent police credentials and badges imply that those who use them are police officers with United Nations and Interpol authorities, according to ICE investigators. The fake items, manufactured in the Philippines, have been mailed out to targeted individuals throughout the southland, and in the Sacramento area over the past three years.

Following the execution of five search warrants in connection to the case, agents seized approximately 40 badges, as well as documents pertaining to a variety of criminal activities including document fraud, smuggling of goods and money laundering.

"These badges, credentials and other documents being sent out by the IPC are false and dangerous," said Joseph Macias, assistant special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Orange County. "These items do not provide the recipient with any legitimate law enforcement credentials, and in the wrong hands, can cause serious harm."

A conviction for impersonating a federal officer is a crime that can result in imprisonment for up to three years, as well as a fine.

ICE is asking that anyone with information on these fraudulent law enforcement items call ICE's toll-free-tip line at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or ICE's Office of Investigations at 949-250-1950.

ICE was assisted in this investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.