We couldn't make this up if we tried. In a story first reported in the Riverside Press-Enterprise, a man is alleged to have dressed and identified himself as a U.S. Marshal, kidnapped the wife of a distant cousin under the guise of an immigration arrest, and put her on a plane back to her native Philippines.
Greg Raymond Denny Jr., 37, has been arrested by Hemet police on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment, impersonation of a peace officer, burglary, and false arrest, LA Weekly confirmed. The Press-Enterprise states that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration is also looking into his alleged use of a badge to bypass security at San Diego International Airport/Lindbergh Field, where he is alleged to have made sure the woman got onto a flight to her home country.
Denny is suspected to have come to the couple's home in the 1200 block of Stepstone Ct. on Jan. 15 representing himself as a federal officer. He said that the woman was here illegally and took Cherriebelle Hibbard away at gunpoint and in handcuffs, police say. At first he took her to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection station in Murrieta, but agents there rejected her because she was not in a computer system (but they seemed to accept him at face value). He eventually put her on a plane in San Diego, cops contend.
After Hemet police asked him to come in for questioning, they say Denny showed up at the police station in displaying a fake badge and wearing a fake gun on his hip. The man, who is distant cousins with the woman's husband, Craig Hibbard, denies the allegations.
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(Craig Hibbard says he only met his cousin a few times in his life and believed that he was a real U.S. agent until calling the Marshal's service three days after the alleged kidnapping to find out he was not a law enforcer).
Police believe that the suspect might have been working at the behest of family members who did not like the victim.
"I think this guy thought he was doing a favor because they [the family] wanted her deported and he went about it the wrong way," Hemet police Lt. Duane Wisehart told the Press-Enterprise.
The victim, who is five months pregnant, has filed paperwork to reenter the United States. Because she was in the process of obtaining a green card, the woman was, in fact, okay to stay in the U.S., customs officails told the Press-Enterprise.