ROSEDALE, Queens (WABC) -- Police have arrested a man they say was stockpiling illegal weapons and ammunition along with law enforcement gear - including handcuffs, police radios, gun holsters and businesses cards identifying him as being with the FBI and other agencies.
Officers executed a search warrant at the home on 254th Street in Rosedale and found vests and fake police IDs designed to look like gear from the NYPD and various law enforcement agencies.
Authorities say 40-year-old Kevin Nugent also had a .380 Ruger, a loaded Mossberg shotgun with more than 350 cartridges, 40 Methadone pills and $2,230 in cash.
He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, possession of a forged instrument and criminal possession of a controlled substance and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
"Illegal firearms have no place in our communities," District Attorney Richard Brown said. "This defendant is accused of possessing guns, live ammunition and police gear that when worn would have convinced most civilians that he was a member of law enforcement. These deadly weapons and other items have been seized to protect anyone from harm and the defendant now faces a lengthy term of incarceration."
His mother said he suffers from PTSD and insists he's simply a collector and not an impersonator.
"Obviously he was just collecting it," Donna Nugent said. "I don't know why. Maybe because of what's going on in this world. We don't know. He even told me on the phone, 'I just don't understand what I was even, because I never used it. I never did anything with it.'"
Nugent has more than 20 prior arrests dating back to 1997, including one in December 2017 when he was stopped while attempting to pull over another vehicle with his lights activated. He reportedly told officers he was going home and worked for UPS, but they spotted a forged detective shield, handcuffs and a handcuff key in the center console.
A further search found an imitation pistol, a collapsible metal baton, a switchblade knife and a gun holster in the glove compartment. Police say he had a forged NYPD identification card in his wallet and was wearing an NYPD T-shirt under his jacket. A microphone was found under his drivers seat and a go pro camera was attached to the windshield.
According to the criminal complaint, he told officers he got the items for Halloween.
His wife, Erin Nugent, blames that rap sheet for the arrest.
"He's made mistakes," she said. "But whenever he's pulled over, they see his record and they just go, ding, ding, ding, ding, you know? 'He's a felon, look at that.'"
That incident prompted the search warrant that led to this major bust seven months later.
He was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court and bail was set at $75,000. His next court date is June 9, 2018.
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Queens police impersonation arrest nets cache of fake NYPD gear