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Clearwater man arrested, accused of impersonating CIA officer

CLEARWATER — A 23-year-old man was arrested Sunday after he claimed to be an officer with a Central Intelligence Agency antiterrorism unit, police said.

About 5:10 p.m. Sunday, Derek Martin approached a 55-year-old woman on Clearwater Beach near the 800 block of Mandalay Avenue, police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said. He identified himself as a CIA agent and asked for help in searching for a woman involved in terrorist activities, she said.

Martin had a loaded 9 mm Taurus handgun in a holster on his left side, and he carried a gold and blue CIA badge identifying him as "CIA U.S. Special Agent #767," the arrest report said.

The woman called police after Martin approached her. Clearwater police questioned Martin and discovered that he is a member of the Air Force. When police contacted Martin's commanding officers, they said he has no connection with the CIA or any special counter-terrorism units.

Martin, who listed a Mandalay Avenue address, was charged with falsely impersonating an officer and carrying a firearm in the open. On Monday morning, he was being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $5,250 bail.

Clearwater police are investigating the origin and authenticity of the CIA badge, Watts said.

Clearwater man arrested, accused of impersonating CIA officer 08/09/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 9, 2010 2:53pm]

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