A 37-year-old Florida man was arrested after federal officials say he lied to get past presidential security checkpoints at Palm Beach International Airport about an hour before President Donald Trump was set to depart.
Around 3 p.m. Sunday, Brandon Mark Magnan passed two security checkpoints, typically manned by U.S. Secret Service and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies, while driving his maroon Honda Pilot with an unnamed male passenger, according to a complaint filed in federal court.
Each time, Magnan identified himself as a member of the Marine Corps helicopter squadron, presenting deputies with credentials with Marine Corps seals, the complaint said.
After gaining access to the grounds at Atlantic Aviation, another sheriff’s deputy asked to see Magnan’s credentials and recognized he wasn’t wearing a Marine Corps uniform, which is typical attire for presidential travel, according to court records. The deputy contacted a member of the helicopter squadron who said Magnan’s credentials were fake “based on numerous factors.”
Magnan then told law enforcement that he was a retired member of the squadron. A search in the FBI crime database revealed that Magnan was dishonorably discharged after a Court Martial conviction for “serious offenses,” the complaint said.
At that point, the complaint said Magnan was detained and read his Miranda rights. Charged with “false personation of an officer or employee of the United States,” Magnan faces up to three years in prison and a fine of $250,000. He was bonded out of jail on Monday.
According to a 2011 court opinion, Magnan held parties at his off-base residence and provided alcohol to underage individuals. During a military court trial, three lance corporals testified that after falling asleep at Magnan’s house or at a hotel room after the Marine Corps Ball, they woke up to either find their pants had been removed or Magnan was sexually assaulting them, according to the opinion.