(ORLANDO, Fla.) — Florida law enforcement officials have arrested a 41-year old convicted felon who they allege posed as a Drug Enforcement Administration agent for years as a way to solicit money and gain special entry to Orlando-area strip clubs and nightclubs.
Benjamin William Mejias is currently being held at the Orange County Jail on federal charges of possessing a firearm and impersonating a federal agent. According to the document filed in U.S. District Court, Mejias posed as a DEA agent several times, even going so far as to wear a shirt with the agency’s initials and possessing several law enforcement badges.
Mejias had three previous convictions, each a second-degree felony, for burglarizing houses throughout the mid-1990s and was prohibited from owning a firearm.
The Orlando police and the FBI Orlando Safe Streets Task Force arrested Mejias in an undercover sting operation.
Calls to the local FBI and Orlando Police Department by ABC News were not immediately returned.
The criminal complaint filed against Mejias in federal court claims that before his arrest, an FBI special agent investigating Mejias had met with several law enforcement officials Mejias had befriended. Orlando Police Officer Sergio Ramos met Meijas a year and a half ago at Orlando’s Roxy Night Club.
At the time, Mejias was allegedly wearing a shirt with the DEA insignia and was in possession of a gold DEA badge and a silver badge bearing the words “Task Force.” Dressed the part, Mejias was also allegedly wearing a leg holster with a handgun.
Ramos also told the FBI agent that he had visited Mejias at his apartment, and saw several firearms in his possession.
According to the court record, Mejias, posing as a DEA agent, told the owner of the Orlando strip club Dancers Royale that the club was under investigation. The club’s owner and Mejias seemingly worked up a friendship, and, according to the court record, the two had recently visited a private shooting range together.
Another Orlando police officer said he’d met Mejias last May at the Roxy Night Club. Orlando Police Officer Richard Roman said Mejias masqueraded as a federal agent and told Roman he was on his way to a “take down,” according to the court record.
Mejias had also allegedly solicited a $2,000 donation from a businessman who had attended a fundraising event hosted by officer Roman, the court record reveals.
Mejias seemed to follow a pattern when it came to attempts to get into VIP events at the Roxy. The court complaint noted that officer Roman received several complaints from the club’s manager and security that Mejias had tried to use his pseudo authority to gain backstage access to several concerts held at the nightclub.
An investigation into Mejias’ actions was launched in September when the Orlando Police Department contacted the local DEA to confirm Benjamin Mejias’ employment. An investigation led to a stakeout of Meijas’ house, where investigators reported finding guns, handcuffs, a bulletproof vest, a DEA ID card and a badge they believed Meijas used to live life as a DEA agent.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Michael Pearson, CNN
Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN