A Johnstown bounty hunter is going to prison after posing as a law enforcement officer to help him apprehend wanted criminals.
Matthew Marre, 30, tried to obtain cellphone records from major carriers by falsely claiming he was a law enforcement officer who needed to locate suicidal subjects, according to U.S. Attorney Jason R. Dunn. Instead, he was using the data to locate the people he was hired to apprehend.
Marre, who worked as a contractor for three bail bondsman companies in Colorado, contacted AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, saying he was a law enforcement officer and using email communications created to look like official law enforcement business, according to a news release from Dunn’s office.
As a contractor for bail bondsman companies, however, he had no law enforcement power, according to court documents in the case.
Marre claimed to be an investigator with agencies ranging from the “Colorado Department of Public Safety” to “Colorado Task Force” and other similar names, and asked for GPS locations more than a dozen times in 2018, according to court documents. Some of his communications included an false insignia made to look like it came from an official agency.
He was successful most of the time. The FBI was tipped off by Verizon in November 2018 after they began to suspect he was not part of law enforcement.
Investigators then contacted the other cellphone carriers and learned he had also made requests with them.
Marre was sentenced to 15 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, by U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson for fraudulently obtaining confidential phone records.
“Impersonating a law enforcement officer is a serious offense,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips said in a statement. “Gaining access to private information without a legitimate law enforcement purpose, especially alleging a threat to life, undermines the lawful processes in place which allow us to investigate crime.”
Rebecca Powell is a content coach at the Coloradoan. If you know of an impactful story you believe needs to be reported, send it to RebeccaPowell@coloradoan.com.
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