By Michael Davis
A Riverdale man, who authorities say held himself out as a U.S. State Department employee to deceive church members, investors and law enforcement officers, was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison Tuesday, prosecutors said.
Steven Street, 44, was sentenced by a federal judge in Atlanta to serve two years and six months in prison, followed by a year of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $322,000 in restitution and to take no security-related employment following his release, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Prosecutors alleged that Street began operating a company called Dignitary Protective Services in 2005, and used badges, ID cards and business cards that bore a resemblance to those used by the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service.
Prosecutors said Street falsely claimed that he was on former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's security detail, and that when he hired employees for the security company, including a few state and local law enforcement officers, he told them he was a federal agent.
As a part of an alleged pitch to convince a church to hire him as part of its security detail, Street reportedly told its pastor and members that he was involved in the "Black Hawk Down" incident in Somalia.
Authorities said Street also convinced fellow church-goers to lend him money, and to invest in his security company.
Prosecutors said Street's scheme unraveled after one of his employees was stopped in Fayetteville in his car. The car, which was uninsured, was impounded and searched, authorities said. The search turned up tactical police gear and a firearm, according to prosecutors.
The employee began to wonder whether the car was a government car and contacted a relative in law enforcement in another state, who told her it was improper for a federal agent to allow a civilian to drive a government vehicle with that type of gear inside.
After his arrest, prosecutors said, Street admitted to impersonating a federal agent on numerous occasions.