Indian American Pleads Guilty to Falsely Impersonating Federal Agent
During an examination of his luggage, CBP officers discovered a silver object in the shape of a badge that bore the likeness of an ICE Special Agent badge with a Department of Homeland Security seal at its center.
A 41-year-old man has pleaded guilty in federal court on Oct. 11 for falsely impersonating a federal agent during a July cruise to the Bahamas while he was a passenger.
Gopaul Parmanand, who is of Indian origin and lives in Palm Beach County, pleaded guilty of impersonating an ICE Special Agent by fraudulently claiming to be a federal agent and by carrying and displaying a fraudulent badge.
According to a statement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the guilty plea came from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Professional Responsibility (ICE-OPR), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
According to court documents, Paramanand is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robin R. Rosenberg on Dec. 20, 2018, in West Palm Beach. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to three years in prison.
“Special Agents assigned to ICE-OPR responded to the Port of Palm Beach July 31 after receiving a call from CBP officers regarding cruise ship passenger Gopaul Parmanand. Parmanand was returning from a two-day voyage that originated at the Port of Palm Beach, with a stop in Freeport, Bahamas,” the document said.
According to U.S. ICE statement, on July 29, 2018, while on the cruise ship Grand Celebration, Parmanand cut in front of other passengers to approach the shore excursion desk and asked how he could connect to the internet because he had to check his work emails. He then displayed a silver badge and stated that he was “Police ICE.” Cruise ship staff told investigating officers that Parmanand claimed to be a federal agent at other times during the voyage and also did so to Bahamian border authorities.
During an examination of Parmanand’s luggage, pursuant to an inbound Custom’s inspection at the U.S. Point of Entry, law enforcement officers discovered a silver color money clip in the shape of a badge that bore the exact likeness of an ICE Special Agent’s badge with the seal of the Department of Homeland Security at its center.
The U.S. ICE said in its statement that Parmanand has never been employed by the Department of Homeland Security in general, or ICE in particular, in any capacity.