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Minnesota man sentenced to six years for impersonating federal agent on TikTok

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A Minnesota man who spent months impersonating a federal agent on TikTok in a ploy to pick up women will be jailed for six years.

Reyel Devon Simmons, 53, regularly posted videos to the platform, under the alias Rey Reeves, detailing his fictitious life as a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agent and retired Navy SEAL.

He used the social media site to show off his fake DHS badge, uniforms and weapons to his nearly 10,000 followers, all while explicitly referring to himself as a federal agent, despite having never been employed by any governmental agency.

His scheme came crashing down last August when his girlfriend of eight months reported him to the FBI. 

A TikTok user claiming to be his former co-worker had alerted her to his scheme, revealing his true identity and how Simmons had been arrested twice in Colorado over a similar rouse. 

Officers later raided his home and found a secret bunker used to store falsified documents, body armor featuring law enforcement emblems and several weapons, including assault rifles and snipers, court documents revealed. 

Simmons was arrested and charged with impersonating a federal officer and possession of firearms as a felon. He pleaded guilty in January and was sentenced last week to six years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Reyel Simmons, 53, was sentenced to six years in prison last Thursday after he spent months impersonating a Department of Homeland Security agent on TikTok. He also claimed to be a retired Navy SEAL

His then-girlfriend, a Georgia woman, became suspicious of Simmons’ life as a federal agent after seeing an odd comment on one of his videos.

‘Stolen valor — impersonating a police officer again, oh and can proof be provided!’ the comment said, according to the complaint obtained by DailyMail.com

The woman reached out to the poster, identified in the criminal complaint as J.S., who explained that Simmons, a former colleague, had been charged with two counts of impersonating an officer in Colorado in 2004.

He was also convicted of felony menacing and misdemeanor assault in the state in 2007 and soliciting prostitution in 2015.

He used TikTok to show off his fake DHS badge, uniforms and weapons to his nearly 10,000 followers, all while explicitly referring to himself as a federal agent

He used TikTok to show off his fake DHS badge, uniforms and weapons to his nearly 10,000 followers, all while explicitly referring to himself as a federal agent

His scheme came crashing down last August when his girlfriend of eight months reported him to the FBI. He is pictured in a fake military uniform

His scheme came crashing down last August when his girlfriend of eight months reported him to the FBI. He is pictured in a fake military uniform

Investigators raided his home in September 2021 and found a secret bunker used to store falsified documents, body armor featuring law enforcement emblems and several weapons, including assault rifles and snipers

Investigators raided his home in September 2021 and found a secret bunker used to store falsified documents, body armor featuring law enforcement emblems and several weapons, including assault rifles and snipers

The girlfriend reported him to the feds on August 17, 2021, detailing his daily activities as a supposed agent.

She told the officers how Simmons claimed to be an undercover DHS agent and would carry around a backpack he referred to as his ‘go bag.’

It bore the DHS emblem and contained a Glock handgun, fake identification and other items related to his supposed service in law enforcement and the military.

He regularly had a gun holster on his hip and drove around in a F-150 truck equipped with a police radio and light bar package on the front bumper. She alleged he would chat on the radio with other alleged federal agents.

The woman also noted how whenever she would visit, the pair would stay in a hotel in Minneapolis that Simmons claimed DHS had put him up in while he worked on his undercover mission. 

Simmons claimed to be an undercover DHS agent and would carry around a backpack he referred to as his 'go bag' (pictured). It bore the DHS emblem and contained a Glock handgun, fake identification and other items related to his alleged law enforcement and military service

Simmons claimed to be an undercover DHS agent and would carry around a backpack he referred to as his ‘go bag’ (pictured). It bore the DHS emblem and contained a Glock handgun, fake identification and other items related to his alleged law enforcement and military service

fficers seized eight guns, including assault rifles and sniper rifles, a Navy uniform and other clothing branded with the names and logos of various law enforcement agencies from his hidden bunker

fficers seized eight guns, including assault rifles and sniper rifles, a Navy uniform and other clothing branded with the names and logos of various law enforcement agencies from his hidden bunker

During their investigation, the FBI learned Simmons had even falsely reported his DHS employment when applying for his then-current job. Simmons is pictured carrying his 'go bag'

During their investigation, the FBI learned Simmons had even falsely reported his DHS employment when applying for his then-current job. Simmons is pictured carrying his ‘go bag’

During their investigation, the FBI learned Simmons had even falsely reported his DHS employment when applying for his then-current job. 

He claimed he worked for the agency from 1997 to 2000, noting that details of his assignments ‘cannot be discussed under: Classified #CFR 6AUS06 and #USCS 987USf1310.’ The classification codes were non-existent, the complaint states. 

According to his attorney, Simmons was 'merely playing dress-up to impress people around him and to woo women'. He is pictured in his booking photo

According to his attorney, Simmons was ‘merely playing dress-up to impress people around him and to woo women’. He is pictured in his booking photo

Investigators also noted that DHS was created in 2002, two years after Simmons had claimed to work there.

Simmons was arrested on September 20 after the FBI launched a search of his home, truck and workplace.

At his home, officers seized eight guns, including assault rifles and sniper rifles, a Navy uniform and other clothing branded with the names and logos of various law enforcement agencies from his hidden bunker.

The convicted criminal also had unregistered silencers, a detonating cord, a blasting cap, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Investigators also found a rifle case, stun gun and ‘law enforcement-type baton’ in his truck.

His neighbor confirmed that Simmons had built a firearms range in his backyard and that gunshots often rung out from the property.

Simmons’ notorious ‘go bag’ was seized from his workplace where he was arrested and taken into custody. Inside, agents found a handgun, fake badges and a Navy certificate for his participation in ‘operations against hostile enemy forces.’ 

Simmons drove around in a F-150 truck equipped with a police radio and light bar package on the front bumper. Investigators found a rifle case, stun gun and 'law enforcement-type baton' hidden in his truck

Simmons drove around in a F-150 truck equipped with a police radio and light bar package on the front bumper. Investigators found a rifle case, stun gun and ‘law enforcement-type baton’ hidden in his truck

His girlfriend alleged he would chat on the truck radio with other supposed federal agents

His girlfriend alleged he would chat on the truck radio with other supposed federal agents

The convicted criminal also had unregistered silencers, a detonating cord, a blasting cap, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Weapons seized from Simmons are pictured above

The convicted criminal also had unregistered silencers, a detonating cord, a blasting cap, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Weapons seized from Simmons are pictured above

Simmons would detail his alleged life as a federal agent on his TikTok account. One of his posts is pictured above

Simmons is pictured in a video posted to his TikTok account

Simmons would detail his alleged life as a federal agent on his TikTok account. Two of his posts are pictured above

Simmons was indicted on October 12 and entered a guilty plea on January 21, 2022.

In a sentencing memorandum submitted on May 20, his attorney argued that although Simmons had ‘long and complicated history of pretending to be someone he is not,’ his actions weren’t ‘prompted by a larger criminal purpose.’

‘Simmons’ behavior, although concerning, seems more accurately to be a psychological projection to bolster deficiencies in his ego development, a projection that garnered him a measure of respect by people in his orbit, a measure of appeal in his romantic activities, and a measure of identity – however contrived – that located his place in the world,’ the document reads.

His attorney further argued that Simmons was ‘merely playing dress-up to impress people around him and to woo women.’

Simmons was arrested on September 20 at his workplace. The above picture shows a sign hanging in the entryway of his office

Simmons was arrested on September 20 at his workplace. The above picture shows a sign hanging in the entryway of his office

Simmons was indicted on October 12 and entered a guilty plea on January 21, 2022. His 'go bag' is pictured above

Simmons was indicted on October 12 and entered a guilty plea on January 21, 2022. His ‘go bag’ is pictured above

Simmons was sentenced last week to six years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He is pictured in an undated mirror selfie

Simmons was sentenced last week to six years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He is pictured in an undated mirror selfie

The document, which ultimately aimed to secure a two-year prison term for Simmons, alleged the admitted criminal ‘understands the error of his ways’ and ‘regards this case as a welcome intervention’ to address his mental health issues.

‘It is a legitimate opportunity to address longstanding issues, to rid himself of the baggage of living a lie, and to begin anew with a clean slate,’ the lawyer wrote. ‘He is completely committed to engaging in the work of mental health treatment to address once and for all the issues percolating in his psyche that prompt such behavior.’

‘Simmons’ impersonation is less about being a means to other, more concerning nefarious purposes and more about how Mr. Simmons conceives of himself and his place in the world. Divorcing himself from this fantasy has been a meaningful and significant step to ensuring that this will not happen again,’ the attorney concluded.

Despite the request, Simmons was hit with a six-year prison sentence last Thursday. 

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