SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — A man who allegedly posed as a San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office captain was arrested Wednesday, according to the agency.
During an investigation, the sheriff’s office said Merle Neufield is married to a current employee of the agency and had been using that person’s department-issued access card for several months.
The sheriff’s office said deputies arrested Neufield after he entered the office’s private lot Wednesday night.
Neufield’s spouse has been placed on administrative leave, pending an ongoing internal investigation, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office said it was first aware of the alleged impersonation with multiple videos posted on social media on Tuesday. Those videos show an unknown man accessing secure areas within the agency’s office, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office said that man was later identified as Nuefield, who identified as a captain in those videos. Deputies said Nuefield doesn’t have any law enforcement experience and has never been employed by the agency.
Neufield is currently facing charges of impersonating a peace officer and trespassing/loitering with the intent to commit a crime.
The sheriff’s office said the investigation is ongoing.
“We at the sheriff’s office take the security of our facilities very seriously and are reviewing our security policies and procedures to prevent breaches like this from occurring in the future,” the sheriff’s office said on its Facebook page.