Here's my latest candidate for the "Dumb Crook Of The Month" club:
Weapons case leads to federal charges
Posted: Sunday, Aug 20, 2006 - 0713 am PDT
By CHERY SABOL
The Daily Inter Lake
A man who allegedly produced a homemade badge from the “United States Constitutional Law Enforcement Agency” faces federal charges of impersonating an officer and possessing illegal gun silencers.
Joey Eugene Lemieux was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation before his trial in federal court in Missoula.
According to a criminal complaint, the story began on June 18 with the discovery of 11 buckets and three plastic containers hidden in the brush about 50 feet from the Rock Lake trailhead in the Kootenai National Forest in Lincoln County.
They were discovered by U.S. Forest Service officer Dave Helmrick, according to a deposition by Jonathan Herrick, special agent in charge of the Forest Service Northern Region.
Two days later, Helmrick and a trail crew went to the Rock Lake campsite and found an abandoned tent and gear. Helmrick seized the items, including clothing which seemed to match clothing found in the containers near the trailhead. Helmrick took everything back to the Troy Ranger Station, where it was secured as evidence.
The next day, he opened one of the 55-gallon barrels. Helmrick found what he believes is a homemade silencer for a weapon, along with other materials. He notified the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The same day, a man who identified himself as a U.S. marshal reported his property had been stolen. He was told that the property had been impounded.
Later, a woman contacted Helmrick on Lemieux’s behalf. She said Lemieux wanted to set up a meeting to get back his property. She said Lemieux is paranoid, doesn’t like to deal with the government, and was homeless and living in the mountains
On June 22, Lemieux went to the Troy Ranger Station. He said the Rock Creek cache and camp were his, and that he was an “agent” and everyone was out to kill him.
Helmrick said Lemieux would be cited for leaving his camp unattended. He retrieved Lemieux’s camp gear and drove up to Lemieux’s truck to transfer it.
Lemieux was in the back of the truck, attempting to unfold a tarp and becoming agitated. Helmrick asked him to come down from the truck and do some paperwork. Lemieux continued to flap the tarp. When he flapped it over his head, Helmrick saw what could have been a weapon on Lemieux’s waistband. He ordered Lemieux down from the truck and felt an object like a magazine carrier for a handgun under Lemieux’s shirt.
Helmrick demanded identification and Lemieux said he was working as an agent. Finally, Lemieux raised his sweatshirt, exposing a silver shield that Helmrick didn’t recognize. At the same time, Lemieux reached toward his waistband.
Helmrick drew his gun and told Lemieux to stop.
Lemieux started screaming, “I knew it was a setup.”
A detective from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office arrived. He and Helmrick forced Lemieux to the ground and handcuffed him.
They found a loaded 9-millimeter automatic pistol and several loaded magazines on Lemieux. He also had a homemade badge from the “United States Constitutional Law Enforcement Agency” and a tape recorder he had been using to record his exchange with Helmrick.
He was arrested on a warrant for impersonating an officer and also faces charges of possessing unregistered silencers, possessing silencers with no serial numbers and interstate transportation of an unregistered silencer.
His case is in the court of Chief U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula.