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Police impersonator gets 5 years in prison

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The man who impersonated a federal drug enforcement officer while making arrests in Franklin County was sentenced in federal court today.

As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Bill Jakob faces 5 years in prison on 23 separate counts.

For several months Jakob pretended to be federal agent and a contracting officer for the Army Corps of Engineers in the town of Gerald, Missouri, which has a history of problems with methamphetamine.

Jakob's attorney, Joel Schwartz says some of his client's motives were well intended. "I believe his motive was essentially he wanted to do a good thing and be a police officer and rid some problems that existed. However, as he will readily admit he went about it in the wrong way," Schwartz said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith prosecuted the case against Jakob, who he says illegally participated in close to 20 arrests.

"This wasn't vigilante justice," Goldsmith said. "This was one man, basically running around a small town, basically armed with handguns and shotguns, throwing people down to the ground, handcuffing them, searching their homes without lawful process."

Jakob's cover was blown by a local weekly newspaper and subsequently became the subject of widespread national coverage, including a report CBS's '60 Minutes'.

All of the criminal cases Jakob participated in are being reviewed.


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