A former US marine who was dishonorably discharged a decade ago for "serious offenses" was busted last week for posing as a member of President Trump's security team in a bid to get near Marine One - the president's helicopter.
37-year-old Brandon M. Magnan of Naples, FL - a registered sex offender - was driving a Honda Pilot with an unidentified male passenger around 3pm on January 5, when he bluffed his way through two security checkpoints using falsified credentials bearing the seals of the Marines and the Marine Corps Executive Flight Detachment, according to the New York Times.
Magnan was attempting to breach protective zone established around Atlantic Aviation - which provides hangar space, jet fuel and flight support services - ahead of President Trump's planned departure from Palm Beach to Washington.
It wasn’t clear why Mr. Magnan was trying to get near the helicopter. Marine One, which is piloted and protected by the Marine Corps unit known as HMX-1, is used to transport the president for shorter trips, the Secret Service said.
Magnan was charged January 6 for impersonating an officer or employee of the United States, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Secret Service. The former marine - who was dishonorably discharged after being convicted at a court-martial for "serious offenses" - was spotted by a Sheriff's deputy who noticed that he was not wearing a Marine Corps uniform, as is standard during presidential travel.
The deputy contacted Trump's actual security detail, who identified Magnan's credentials as fake. When he was confronted by law enforcement, he said that he was a retired member of HMX-1, the official designation for Marine One.
Mr. Magnan is listed in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sex Offender registry for convictions in 2010 in military court related to abusive sexual conduct and sodomy.
In one case, a lance corporal testified that he fell asleep in a hotel room with Mr. Magnan after the Marine Corps ball and awoke to find Mr. Magnan’s hand in his pants and over his boxer shorts, according to military court records.
Mr. Magnan was released on a $100,000 bond, according to court records. -NYT
If convicted for the security breach, Magnan faces a maximum of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000 as well as a year of supervised release. A hearing is scheduled for January 27.