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03/16/2012

Raleigh man sentenced for impersonating federal agent

Greeneville, N.C. – A Raleigh man was sentenced to more than four years in prison for impersonating a federal agent Thursday following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Tommie Rand Pierce, 68, pleaded guilty in December to impersonation of an officer of the United States and the misuse and fraud of visas, permits and other documents.

"By impersonating a federal agent, Mr. Pierce bilked hundreds of people out of their money by selling them false hope," said Brock D. Nicholson, special agent in charge of HSI Atlanta. "Through diligent casework and significant support from the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility and the U.S. Attorney's Office, Mr. Pierce's next role as a federal inmate puts an end to this criminal scheme." Nicholson oversees HSI activities in Georgia and the Carolinas.

According to the criminal complaint, Pierce defrauded an unknown number of aliens and businesses by leading them to believe he was a federal agent with the appropriate authority within ICE to obtain approval of immigration applications for which the applicants were otherwise ineligible to obtain a benefit. In exchange for monetary payments, Pierce prepared and filed fraudulent immigration applications on behalf of illegal aliens. To date, the investigation has revealed more than 265 fraudulent immigration applications filed by Pierce and/or his assistants.