In a move that made virtually no headlines last year because Democrats kept it quiet, a staffer to Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois was fired for impersonating an FBI agent and he is now on his way to federal prison.
Following his arrest, Sterling Devion Carter pleaded guilty to stealing public funds, the Daily Beast reported.
According to reporter José Pagliery, Carter was a fugitive for months before the authorities finally caught up with him.
“A young congressional staffer for Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) was quietly fired last year after he faked being an FBI agent and led cops on a chase through the capital, resulting in a weeks-long nationwide manhunt,” Pagliery reported. “It took four different law enforcement agencies three months to eventually catch up with the staffer 500 miles away. And it was only after a Secret Service agent managed to track down the online shops that sold the staffer mock ‘federal agent’ gear and a bogus license plate for his fake police car — decked out with a siren and flashing lights — that authorities were able to arrest him.”
There were a couple of things that gave this congressional staffer pretending to be an FBI agent away, including having his pistol magazines in pouches clipped behind his gun and an odd license plate.https://t.co/LT1CMnNbFC
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) August 4, 2022
Carter has ostensibly “admitted in court to openly carrying a firearm illegally.” Federal prosecutors “dropped the law enforcement impersonation charge” against the former leftist staffer but not a charge of stealing public funds.
“Carter’s misadventure, which has never been reported until now, started on Saturday, November 14, 2020,” Pagliery wrote. “Two plain-clothes officers with the Secret Service were busy dealing with angry, post-election MAGA protests in Washington when they spotted what looked like a police car with an odd license plate; the font seemed taller and bolder than it should be. But the rest of it looked authentic. To the untrained eye, the blue Ford Taurus would easily pass as an unmarked police cruiser. According to D.C. court documents, Carter had tricked out the otherwise boring sedan with blue emergency lights, a laptop computer mount on the front dashboard, a spotlight near the driver’s side view mirror, and even a barrier separating the front half from the back half — ready to transport detainees.”
Carter was decked out in a black T-shirt that read “federal agent,” a police duty belt, a Glock pistol, extra ammunition, handcuffs, a radio, and an earpiece according to court records.
Or a motion picture
— 🗽FL Empire 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@CloudAtlas_47) August 4, 2022
Schneider was reelected in 2020. But Carter was a blemish on his record and the whole incident was suppressed and swept under the rug until now. The staffer’s rookie mistakes in late 2020 stirred suspicions that he was impersonating an FBI agent and more.
“For one, he put his pistol magazines in pouches clipped behind his gun, making it practically impossible to reload the pistol in a firefight with his free hand,” Pagliery pointed out. “It was a rookie mistake and someone actually trained to shoot with a handgun would notice it, according to a person familiar with the investigation… The subsequent investigation became a joint effort by the Capitol Police, FBI, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, and the Secret Service.”
— CRB1079 (@CRB1079) August 4, 2022
The Secret Service then “discovered that Carter was an actively credentialed congressional staffer with security access across the Capitol Building — while simultaneously being a wanted fugitive.”
“His neighbors told federal agents they’d seen Carter dress up like law enforcement before, openly carrying his firearm — which is illegal in the District of Columbia for anyone other than police — and they remembered Carter referring to his fake police car as his ‘work vehicle,'” Pagliery recounted.
“Secret Service agents with a search warrant broke into Carter’s home on New Year’s Day 2021, where an affidavit says they found his Glock 19 pistol, the extra magazines, ammunition, and even the receipt for the police car siren. He was arrested weeks later in Georgia, his parent’s home state. He then spent 81 days in jails across Georgia, Oklahoma and the District of Columbia,” the Daily Beast author stated.
The stealing funds charge comes into play when Carter was still working for Schneider in 2019. An FBI affidavit contends that Carer was guilty of “routinely filling out payroll authorization forms and faking the signature of Schneider’s chief of staff to bump up his monthly salary.”
I especially liked the part where he gave himself an $80,000 pay rise by forging his boss’s name. Did he think he was never going to get caught?
Also kudos 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼to the officer who recognized the T-shirt manufacturer. Good eye for detail.
— 🌻𝔏𝔞𝔲𝔯𝔞 𝔚𝔢𝔞𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔰𝔭𝔬𝔬𝔫📚 (@LauraJanespoon) August 4, 2022
In late July, U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols sentenced Carter to nine months in prison for stealing public funds after he pleaded guilty to the charge.
“Carter, who could not be reached for comment on this story, appears to have gone dark online,” Pagliery continued. “He made his last public Facebook post during the violent attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Friends who knew he worked in Congress wished him well and asked him to stay safe. Carter, who was still on the run at the time, thanked the same law enforcement agencies that were at that very moment trying to hunt him down.”
On Facebook that day, Carter posted, “I want to thank Capitol Police, Secret Service, MPD, and all the other law enforcement agencies for keeping my colleagues safe! WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS!”
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