In Gerald, Mo., a small town facing a meth problem, Bill Jakob went to great lengths to make police officers think he was a federal agent. Arrests began, houses were ransacked, and the drug scourge seemed to be fading. After the local weekly newspaper made a few calls about that claim that the drug agent didn’t need a warrant to invade homes, the antidrug campaign abruptly fell apart after less than five months, reprots the New York Times. Jakob was not a federal agent but rather an unemployed former trucking company owner, a former security guard, a former wedding minister and a former small-town cop from 23 miles down the road.
Jakob, 36, is likely to face charges related to impersonating a law enforcement officer. The case has led to the firing of three of the town's five police officers, left the outcome of a string of drug arrests in doubt, and prompted multimillion-dollar federal civil rights lawsuits by at least 17 plaintiffs. When Linda Trest, a reporter at The Gasconade County Republican, started hearing complaints from people whose homes had been searched, she began making inquiries about Jakob. “Once I got his name, I hit the computer and within an hour I had all the dirt on this guy,” Trest said.