The brother of a former Massachusetts senator has pleaded guilty to impersonating a police officer in Connecticut and falsifying a military discharge certificate.
Bruce Brown, 47, of Wolcott, was arrested in August after commandeering a boat in Old Lyme, drawing a gun and handcuffing a minor in the victim’s home and lying on a pistol permit application about the conditions of his discharge from the U.S. Coast Guard, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
He has also gone by the names Bruce Browne, Spenser Brown, Spenser Browne, Agent Brice and Detective Brice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Brown pleaded guilty in federal court Monday.
Authorities began investigating after an Old Lyme resident called police Aug. 8, 2013 to report seeing a man with a gun in town wearing military-style clothing. Earlier that day, Brown had identified himself as a U.S. Coast Guard officer and commandeered a boat, then stopped two other boats and a jet ski to ask the operators for their licenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Police searched Brown's blue 2004 Ford Crown Victoria and found a police badge, bulletproof vest, multiple sets of handcuffs, three handguns with loaded magazines and ammunition, a knife and a police baton, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Brown was subsequently arrested and charged with impersonating an officer.
After being released on bond, he threw four other law enforcement badges into the Chestnut Hill Reservoir in Wolcott, according to prosecutors. He later told authorities and a state police dive team recovered the badges Sept. 27, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
In March, Brown went to the home of an acquaintance who thought he was a federal law enforcement officer. Brown allegedly told took the acquaintance’s underage sons up to their rooms, drew his gun and handcuffed one of the minors. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Brown then brought them into the garage, pointed his gun and confiscated a backpack containing what appeared to be marijuana.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Brown was discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard “under other than honorable conditions” in 2002, but altered his discharge paperwork when applying for a pistol permit last February.
He pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of impersonating a federal law enforcement officer and one count of falsifying a military discharge certificate. Brown could serve up to seven years in prison and will be sentenced May 19.
The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General, Coast Guard Investigative Service, Connecticut State Police and local police from Wolcott, Bristol and Southington contributed to the investigation.