A 56-year-old Davenport man faces multiple charges – including impersonating a public official – after police allege he wore law-enforcement attire and pulled over a driver for a traffic stop.
Craig Weber faces a felony charge of having a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, three aggravated misdemeanor charges of impersonating a public official, and a serious misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment, court records show.
Driver claimed to be ATF agent, police allege
About 12:50 a.m. Feb. 8, Iowa State Patrol conducted a traffic stop on a red Ford Escape SE police allege was speeding 75 mph in a posted 55 mph zone at Interstate 74 westbound at the Lincoln overpass, arrest affidavits say.
According to affidavits, Weber, the driver, said he knew he was speeding and said he was an ATF agent out of the Quad Cities office. He said he has been an ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) agent for around the last five years.
He had no identification on him and said “everything” was at his house. He stated his badge number was 11302, affidavits say.
ATF headquarters and the Quad Cities office were contacted about his agent status. ATF confirmed Weber is not and has never been an ATF agent – rather, he is an employee at a Davenport business that sells pools, affidavits show.
According to affidavits, on Sept. 19, 2019, Weber was stopped at the I-74 Lincoln overpass for speeding 70 mph in a posted 55mph zone and also for front-window tint. When the officer came back up to Weber, Weber had a “tactical vest” with an ATF patch on it sitting in the front passenger seat.
Weber, who had no police identification with him, told police he has his windows tinted “to hide his gear.” The officer believed Weber’s status of an ATF agent was real at that time, affidavits say.
In another incident, police allege Weber himself conducted a traffic stop by turning on red/blue lights at East Kimberly Road and Elmore Avenue on a copper Chevy Sonic for speeding.
Weber called 911, saying he was an off-duty ATF unit and the driver was drunk. Weber obtained the victim’s driver’s license and gave the name and date of birth to 911. The subject who was stopped by Weber confirmed he was stopped by a vehicle using red/blue lights and the man who stopped him was wearing all black clothing, and wore a shiny badge on his chest while holding a flashlight, affidavits show.
The victim said he felt he could not leave the scene because he believed Weber was a real police officer. The victim was held on the side of the road for at least 19 minutes before Weber left, affidavits say.
Investigators find police gear
A search warrant was served Friday on Weber’s 2022 red Ford Escape SE, where police found a black ASP expandable baton in the driver’s door pocket. According to affidavits, a double magazine pouch with Smith & Wesson loaded magazines was found inside the center console. The magazine pouch was a Blackhawk Tactical Gear duty belt attachment. Also in the center console was a Uniden police scanner-style radio, affidavits show.
During the search of Weber’s residence, multiple items – including a fully equipped black tactical vest with an ATF Police patch on the front and back – were found along with several different clothing items. Some had ATF Police printed on them, along with U. S. Secret Service and Illinois State Police, affidavits show.
According to affidavits, several police duty belts were found throughout the house along with a large variety of law-enforcement style belt attachments.
Affidavits say Weber had numerous scanner radios, and a black Sig Sauer duty belt holster was found next to the ATF vest. Weber admitted he uses a green Sig Sauer 9mm that was fully loaded in that exact holster. The pistol magazines on the vest matched the handgun and had the same style black 9mm rounds.
Weber had multiple LED “undercover” lights and equipment to outfit a vehicle. A short barrel Springfield Armory Saint was located inside a safe. The barrel to the rifle was measured at 9.5 inches, affidavits show.
Weber admitted he knew he had an AR butt stock affixed to the rifle and recently took his AR pistol brace off and put the AR butt stock on it, affidavits say. Weber “does not have any paper work/federal tax stamp for the short barreled rifle,” according to affidavits.
After he was read his Miranda Rights, Weber denied ever telling any police officer he was an ATF agent, affidavits say.
Weber, who was released on his own recognizance, is scheduled to appear March 31 in Scott County Court for a preliminary hearing.