Saturday, December 05, 2015

Man accused of posing as Federal Air Marshal held on weapons charges

Mark Vicars 
Vicars flashed a fake shield identifying himself as a Federal Air Marshal, officials said.

SYOSSET, N.Y. (WABC) -- A Syosset man is under arrest and facing charges after Nassau County police officers pulling him over for a traffic stop found a cache of weapons, body armor and a fake air marshal ID card.

Authorities say 49-year-old Mark Vicars was found to be in possession of a loaded .380 pistol, a knife, a loaded assault rifle, a ballistic body armor vest and a tactical vest containing three high-capacity magazines.

And at his home, in a gated community called Hidden Ridge, investigators found even more weapons and ammunition, including a Smith & Wesson .357-caliber handgun, a Sprinfield .45-caliber handgun, a Sig Sauer P229 .40-caliber handgun, a Glock 19 9-millimeter handgun, a Glock 26 9-millimeter handgun and approximately 8,300 rounds of assorted ammunition.

The weapons aren't legal, police say, and neither are flashing lights on his Dodge Durango that he activated when police pulled him over on Jericho Turnpike. They say they were acting on a tip and working with the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the TSA.

"Defendant Vicars then produced a fraudulent shield and identification credentials identifying himself as a federal air marshal," Nassau County police Lieutenant Richard Lebrun said.

Vicars is actually an unemployed personal trainer, according to prosecutors at his arraignment. What police don't yet know is why he was carrying the fraudulent ID.

"And we want to know if anybody else has had any negative interaction with him," Lebrun said. "He has no permit for these handguns."

Area residents were shocked at the news and want to know why their neighbor was in possession of such an arsenal of weapons.

At a news conference Friday, federal officials said there was no threat of terrorism and that the case is being handled by the Nassau County Police Department.

Vicars is facing various weapons possession charges, as well as criminal possession of forged instrument.

The investigation is ongoing.

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