Woman says she was tricked into believing she was a DEA agent trainee for a year

Joe Burbank

An Oregon woman told authorities a man tricked her into believing she was undergoing federal agent training for about a year, according to court documents.

The man, identified as Robert Edward Golden in a criminal complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court, was charged with impersonating a federal agent after police in Portland contacted the Drug Enforcement Agency.

A Portland police sergeant spotted Golden and a woman, identified only as a witness, by a car where he saw a body armor plate with the words "DEA Police" emblazoned on them in the open trunk. The woman showed the sergeant a badge and credentials claiming to be a DEA agent, the filing said.

The sergeant then saw holders, another body armor plate, handcuffs and a tactical vest, according to the complaint. There was also "an AR-15 style rifle" that was later found to a be a BB gun, which is an airgun that shoots nonlethal pellets.

Golden allegedly told DEA investigators that he and the woman he was with were "into cosplay." He also said that he "felt the fake DEA items provided them protection" around their apartment complex, according to the filing.

Golden added that he'd gotten "fake DEA badges and credentials from various websites online."

But the woman told authorities that she was studying criminal justice and had been in "training" to become a DEA agent for approximately a year. She said that Golden had given her credentials, taken her on ride-alongs and helped her practice her shooting, the filing said.

When asked about the alleged training, Golden told investigators he had taken her to speak to homeless individuals to develop confidential information in case he was "no longer around to take care of her."

A public defender for Golden declined to comment to NBC News Monday, citing department policy for ongoing cases. It did not appear that Golden entered a plea in his case based on available court records, but he was released Friday after appearing before a judge.