Cypress Man sent to prison for impersonating federal agent

By: U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas
| Published 02/14/2020

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MAGNOLIA, TX -- A 33-year-old Cypress resident has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction for illegally possessing a machine gun and impersonating a federal agent, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Mitchell Shoemaker pleaded guilty Aug. 23, 2019.

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. handed Shoemaker a 78-month sentence for the firearms charge. He also received a 36-month sentence for the impersonation, which is to be served concurrently to the other sentence imposed. The sentences are to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. Shoemaker was further ordered to pay $2,000 in fines. At the hearing, the court considered that Shoemaker continued to abuse illegal substances and to unlawfully possess several firearms after he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 2014. In handing down the sentence, the court noted Shoemaker has spent years lying and deceiving others, that he obstructed justice by destroying evidence and that he has shown virtually no respect for the law.

“The Diplomatic Security Service’s (DSS) strong relationship with the Magnolia Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas continues to be essential in the pursuit of justice,” said Jeffrey McGallicher, Special Agent in Charge of the DSS - Houston Field Office. “This shows the positive outcome when local law enforcement and federal agencies work together to stop someone from impersonating a federal agent.”

On Dec. 18, 2018, Shoemaker presented a fake badge to law enforcement officers at the shooting range in Magnolia. He admitted he represented himself to be an agent with DSS in order to gain access to the law enforcement only shooting range. He was found to not have ties to any federal agency and was immediately taken into custody.

At the time of his arrest, Shoemaker was in possession of seven firearms and two silencers. Among them was a machine gun - a F.N. (FN Herstal) PS90, 5.7 caliber rifle – that he was prohibited from possessing. Eight more firearms were seized from Shoemaker’s home the following day pursuant to a federal search warrant.

The investigation revealed Shoemaker had previously represented himself to be a federal law enforcement agent and participated in target practice with a local officer.

Authorities obtained video of him firing weapons, including the machine gun. They also found additional videos in which Shoemaker discussed the features of the F.N. PS90 weapon and modifications he made to the firearm. In the video, he pointed out the “giggle switch” which refers to the selector level to switch the weapon to automatic fire.

He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

DSS, ATF and Magnolia Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carrie Wirsing and Britni Cooper prosecuted the case.

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