U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Georgia
(404) 581-6000
June 9, 2015

Felon Pleads Guilty to Impersonating an Armed Federal Agent

ATLANTA—Daniel M. Harbison has pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm when he pulled over an off-duty Doraville police officer while impersonating an armed DEA agent. Harbison had been impersonating a federal agent for several weeks before he was caught.

“By impersonating a federal agent, Harbison risked the safety of unsuspecting citizens and undermined the legitimacy of actual officers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John A. Horn. “Fortunately he pulled over a real Doraville police officer—which quickly led to the end of his charade and his arrest.”

Daniel R. Salter, the Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (“DEA”) Atlanta Field Division said, “These criminal acts are a disgrace to the men and women of law enforcement who not only make great sacrifices to earn their badges, but take a sworn oath to protect and serve. The quick actions of the Doraville Police Department officer who was fraudulently stopped by this perpetrator led to his swift capture. DEA would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Atlanta office and the Doraville Police Department for their hard work which led to the capture of this criminal.”

“Doraville, although a very diverse community, is close knit where an individual preying on its citizens had the misfortune to run in to a law officer,” said John King, Chief of Police, Doraville Police Department. “Harbison attempted to make an unlawful traffic stop on one of our off-duty officers. Doraville Police worked with other agencies that led to rapid apprehension, prosecution and now conviction of a person preying on innocence. Harbison has now pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a gun while impersonating a federal agent. He is no stranger to felonies. We just hope for him and our community, this will be his last.”

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: In the spring of 2015, Harbison began impersonating a DEA officer. Specifically, on April 3, 2015, in Doraville, Georgia, Harbison conducted a traffic stop of a Chevrolet Suburban by engaging green and white flashing light-emitting diode (“LED”) lights. Unbeknownst to Harbison, the vehicle was being driven by an off-duty Corporal with the Doraville Police Department. During the unauthorized traffic stop, Harbison wore a T-shirt printed with the letters “DEA,” carried a .45 caliber handgun in a thigh holster, and possessed an identification card purportedly issued by the DEA. The Doraville Corporal also saw that Harbison possessed a realistic gold and blue badge engraved with the letters “US.”

The Corporal told Harbison that he was a Doraville Police Officer and asked Harbison why his LED lights were green and white (as opposed to the blue and white lights used by genuine police officers). In response to the question, Harbison replied that his LED lights were green and white because he was a federal officer. The Doraville Corporal then stated that other police officers were in route to check the validity of Harbison’s law enforcement credentials. At that point, Harbison returned to his car and fled from the scene.

Doraville and Dunwoody Police Officers then went to Harbison’s residence and ultimately, officers arrested him. From the defendant’s residence, police officers recovered several items, including: (a) a Springfield .45 caliber handgun, (b) a DEA T-shirt, (c) LED lights, (d) an identification card purportedly issued by the DEA, and (e) a gold and blue badge engraved with the letters “US.” Harbison has previously been convicted of a felony and as a result, could not legally possess the gun.

On April 23, 2015, a grand jury charged Harbison, 40, of Dunwoody, Georgia, with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Today, Harbison pleaded guilty to that charge. Harbison will be sentenced on August 27, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. before United States District Judge Eleanor L. Ross.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Doraville Police Department, and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey W. Davis and Special Assistant United States Attorney Erin E. Sanders are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.Presse-mails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

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