This AP article sums up just about everything that is wrong with the crazy US system of using bounty hunters as an adjunct to law enforcement. The bounty hunter system is a hangover from 19th-century Wild West days.
You get nutcases running around thinking that they are the Feds or the CIA or something: Calif. Man Accused of Impersonating Feds
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A bounty hunter charged with impersonating federal agents says he was only doing the government's work - arresting fugitives wanted for immigration violations.
Federal agents say Jeremy Christian Brickner went too far, identifying himself as a U.S. immigration agent when he captured three people earlier this year.
Brickner, 30, now faces up to six years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty and was released Friday from jail after posting a $100,000 bond, federal authorities said on Monday.
``All bounty hunters push the limits and break the rules - that's how you get the job done,'' Brickner said Monday in a telephone interview.
Brickner operates ICE Warrant Detail from his Sacramento home, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in Sacramento by an agent with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Francisco.
Brickner is charged with falsely identifying himself while detaining one immigrant overnight Oct. 23 and while holding a mother and her 10-year-old daughter on May 11. The woman's estranged husband was trying to have her deported so he could keep custody of their son, according to the affidavit.
Brickner is charged with carrying a gun, handcuffs, a badge and business cards identifying him as a ``deportation agent.''
Brickner said he has worked cooperatively with federal immigration authorities for three years, turning over 188 fugitives in at least eight states. He said, ``We're serving them up on a silver platter.''
Brickner has been in trouble previously. Twice last year, he pleaded guilty to carrying weapons illegally, the affidavit said. In one instance, he was carrying a loaded gun and a Taser while using an illegal red flashing light to pull over a motorist in California.
On the two occasions last year, he flashed identification saying he was a fugitive-recovery agent, the affidavit said.
The use of bounty hunters by law enforcement should be banned. Anyone who thinks the use of bounty hunters is still a good idea should see Marlon Brandon in The Missouri Breaks, again.
The Missouri Breaks [DVD] (1976)
Violent, offbeat western with Marlon Brando as a bizarre hired gunslinger who employs any means necessary to quash a band of horse thieves terrorizing a rancher. Along the way he tangles with the rustlers' former leader (Jack Nicholson), who has given up his life of crime for the rancher's daughter. Co-stars Randy Quaid, Frederic Forrest, Harry Dean Stanton; Arthur Penn directs. 126 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, French.
Category: Westerns Director: Arthur Penn
Cast: Luana Anders, Richard Bradford, Marlon Brando, Frederic Forrest, Sam Gilman, James Greene, Kathleen Lloyd, Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, John P. Ryan, Harry Dean Stanton