Man pleads guilty to impersonating officer for TikTok followers

A Dodge County man has pleaded guilty to impersonating a federal officer and illegally possessing firearms in an effort to gain TikTok followers.

According to court documents provided by acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats, on August 17, 2021, the FBI received a tip that Reyel Devon Simmons, 53, was pretending to be federal agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

As part of his impersonation scheme, Simmons established a TikTok profile using the false name "Rey Reeves" and regularly held himself out as a federal agent on social media, garnering nearly 10,000 followers in the process. He used a profile photo that showed him wearing law enforcement gear and made several posts displaying law enforcement equipment, badges, and firearms, and referring explicitly and implicitly to himself as a federal agent. 

According to court documents, Simmons regularly carried a backpack which he described as his "go bag" that bore the departmental emblem of the Department of Homeland Security and contained a Glock handgun, fake badge, and other items related to Simmons’s supposed service in law enforcement. 

In total law enforcement seized eight firearms – including assault rifles and sniper rifles – which were discovered in a "safe room" or bunker that could be accessed only through a hidden doorway located in a storage area of the basement of Simmons’ home. Simmons also admitted to possessing unregistered silencers/suppressors, detonating cord containing the explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), a blasting cap, thousands of rounds of ammunition, body armor with law enforcement emblems affixed to it, and other law enforcement style badges, clothing, bags, and documents.

Due to a prior felony conviction in Colorado, Simmons is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms, ammunition, or explosives at any time.