- "He had credentials for just about every branch of the federal government," said police
- Roy Antigua, 52, was in custody and could face up to 20 years behind bars if convicted
- Police say the investigation is in its early stages
A Florida man found with a stash of fake military, law enforcement and medical paraphernalia had apparently developed his trade in counterfeiting for almost two decades before he was arrested and eventually charged with four counts of impersonating an officer, authorities announced Friday.
"He had credentials for just about every branch of the federal government," said New Port Richey Police Chief James Steffens.
Roy Antigua, 52, was in custody and could face up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.
Steffens said the investigation is in its early stages and that Antigua could be charged with additional counts pending results of the probe.
Antigua allegedly told investigators earlier that he "lives in a fantasy world" and had simply pretended to be various officers. His attorney could not be immediately reached for comment Friday.
On three separate occasions, Antigua apparently gained access to the Pasco County Judicial Center in New Port Richey using his fake credentials, police said.
He is also accused of impersonating a Coast Guard lieutenant commander at a memorial service for fallen service members in May.
"I was there," said Steffens. "He introduced himself to me."
Police arrested Antigua in the coastal city August 1 for a traffic offense and parole violation.
An officer noticed that the identification card Antigua provided seemed strange and had plastic where it shouldn't have been. This launched the investigation that led to the stash, Steffens said.
The materials found in Antigua's two homes and Cadillac Escalade included diplomatic license plates and dozens of fake identification cards from the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Defense, CIA and NASA, officials said.
The suspect also had access badges to hospitals around Florida, doctor and nurse scrubs, a respiratory technician badge, police blue lights and access stickers to Coast Guard bases around Florida, Steffens said.
It was unclear whether the badges and access stickers would have allowed Antigua entry into any restricted areas.
During questioning, Antigua admitted that he had fabricated most of the credentials and items that police seized, Steffens said.
The only legitimate identification was a badge identifying Antigua as a member of the Coast Guard auxiliary, a volunteer group.
Antigua has denied any criminal wrongdoing, Steffens said.
"His explanation is that he was remorseful and this is his personal collection, that he lives in a fantasy world and he wishes that he were these people," Steffens said.
"I'm not accepting that it's a fantasy at this point," Steffens said. "I think there's something here. We just have to figure out what it was and deal with it."