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Man charged with impersonating federal agents at area businesses

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A Roswell man accused of falsely identifying himself as a federal law enforcement agent at area businesses is charged with several criminal counts.

The Chaves County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday arrested Andrew Kriegel, 50, on four counts of impersonating a peace officer, according to documents filed in Chaves County Magistrate Court.

Kriegel subsequently pleaded not guilty to all four counts Wednesday when he appeared in Magistrate Court.

Roswell police and a sheriff’s deputy responded March 1 at 1:07 p.m. to a call from a business owner in the 1200 block of West Second Street about a suspicious van.

Documents state the owner said Kriegel came into the business with two guns on his hip, flashed a badge and identified himself as an agent with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.

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Police approached the van and spoke with its occupant, later identified as Kriegel, and took away a pepper ball gun he had on his person at the time.

A sheriff’s deputy, who court documents state responded to the call after police left the scene, spoke with Kriegel later that day where he admitted to having spoken with police officers at the 1200 block of West Second Street. However, he denied having identified himself as a DEA agent or showing the business owner a badge. Kriegel said he had just gone to the business to use their WiFi.

In his conversation with the deputy, court documents state that Kriegel did admit to owning a firefighter badge and owning a pepper ball gun.

With Kriegel’s permission, the deputy searched the suspect’s apartment where he found a wallet with a gold Captain Franklin Township badge, a pepper ball handgun, and on Kriegel’s blue van, a law enforcement license plate. All of those items were seized by the deputy.

After speaking with the business owner, the deputy learned that the woman said she had begun noticing a van regularly parked near her vehicle at the business two or three months before.

She added that she observed footage from a security camera on the premises, of the suspect coming onto the property at various hours of the day or night, either in the van or on foot.

The March 1 incident was not the first time the man reportedly posed as a federal agent. According to court documents, the same owner said that on Feb. 15, Kriegel came into her place of business with two guns on his hip, showed a badge and said he was a retired firefighter who was doing “side jobs for the DEA.”

The deputy also learned of another incident that happened the week of Feb. 12 at a 900 block of South Sunset Avenue business, where according to court documents, Kriegel came into that business with a gun on his hip, showed a badge and claimed to be an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Court documents state the owner of the 900 block of South Sunset Avenue business said Kriegel would come around the business “all hours of the day” speaking with employees, using the business’ WiFi, and bringing others with him onto the property.

Judge K.C. Rogers on Wednesday released Kriegel on his own recognizance. Court filings state one of the conditions of his release is that he not represent himself as a first responder.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext, 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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