An outfit calling itself the Masonic Fraternal Police Department and operating in the area of Santa Clarita is “fictitious,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
Three people linked to the bogus agency were arrested last week. There are concerns more people may be involved, the Sheriff’s Department said.
The alleged posers were identified as David Henry, 46, the purported “chief”; Brandon Kiel, 36; and Tonette Hayes, 56. The Los Angeles Times reported that Kiel was an aide to California Attorney General Kamala Harris and was placed on paid leave on April 30, the date of his arrest.
From the Times, quoting David Beltran, a spokesman for the California Department of Justice (italics added):
“The attorney general has been concerned about these serious allegations from the point she was first briefed on this investigation,” Beltran said. “Our office has been cooperating with investigators from the beginning and will continue to do so.”
The Masonic Fraternal Police Department has its own website at a .org. Among the claims is that “We are not ‘Sovereign Citizens’ nor do we condone terrorist activity, sovereign citizens or clandestine!”
At the same time, the site claims, “The Masonic Fraternal Police Department, (M.F.P.D.) is the Knights Templar’s!” It further ventures that “The Masonic Fraternal Police Department (M.F.P.D.) is a Masonic Sovereign Jurisdiction (Municipality) located within the incorporated City of Santa Clarita, California. The Chief of Police is Honorable Grand Master David Henry 33º was elected and is Governed by a Grand Supreme Council, and 33 Masonic Jurisdictions. He currently oversees a 1/2 Million members throughout the United States.
Immediate Suspicion And Confusion In Real Law-Enforcement Community
In an advisory published on May 5, the Sheriff’s Department said the sudden presence of the Masonic Fraternal Police Department “immediately created suspicion and confusion within the law enforcement community.”
From the advisory (italics/bolding added):
On or about January 27th, 2015, letters from the “Masonic Fraternal Police Department” (MFPD) were sent via United States mail and were addressed to Chiefs of select law enforcement agencies throughout Southern California. The letters were sent to advise these Chiefs that “David Henry” had been elected as Chief of the MFPD, which immediately created suspicion and confusion within the law enforcement community.
Shortly after law enforcement agencies began receiving letters, many began receiving calls from an individual who identified himself as “Chief Deputy Director Brandon Kiel,” requesting meetings with each agency’s chief.
Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department began their involvement with this investigation when a meeting was scheduled with Captain Roosevelt Johnson of Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. During Captain Johnson’s meeting with members of MFPD, his suspicions were aroused when they could not answer basic questions about MFPD’s jurisdiction and overall department mission. The group claimed that they were descendants of the “Knights Templar” and that their police agency had been in existence for 3000 years. Additionally, they claimed that MFPD had sovereign jurisdiction in 33 States and across the border in Mexico.
Detectives conducted a thorough investigation in collaboration with several law enforcement agencies and determined MFPD was not a legitimate police agency.
On April 29th, 2015, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Detectives, deputies from Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau served search and arrest warrants in the 28000 block of Linda Vista Street and the 17000 Block of Sierra Highway, in the City of Santa Clarita Three individuals were arrested and identified as 46 year-old David Henry, 56 year-old Tonette Hayes, and 36 year-old Brandon Kiel. During the search of the above two locations, detectives recovered badges, identification cards, weapons, uniforms, police type vehicles and other law enforcement equipment.
Henry, a resident of Santa Clarita, was arrested for Perjury Under Oath and Impersonating a Peace Officer. He was booked at Santa Clarita Valley Station on April 30th, 2015 and is pictured wearing a plaid shirt.
Hayes, also a resident of Santa Clarita, was arrested for Impersonating a Peace Officer and booked at Santa Clarita Valley Station on April 30th, 2015. She is pictured wearing a black shirt.
Kiel, a resident of Los Angeles, was arrested for Impersonating a Peace Officer and Misuse of a Government Identification. He was booked at Santa Clarita Valley Station on April 30, 2015. He is pictured wearing a white shirt and grey suit.
Detectives believe these three suspects were attempting to deceive individuals in the community as to their status as law enforcement officials for a purpose yet to be determined. Investigators also believe there may be other individuals associated with this organization.
NOTE: Our thanks to a PP Blog reader who sent in this news tip.