Ex-bounty hunter who impersonated officer, had cousin deported g - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Ex-bounty hunter who impersonated officer, had cousin deported gets 3-year term

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Hemet man who impersonated a law enforcement officer and deported his pregnant cousin to the Philippines was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison.

As a condition of his supervised release after custody, Gregory Denny will be prohibited from working in law enforcement, bail enforcement or security-related position, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said.

Denny, 38, pleaded guilty on Nov. 2.

Authorities said he went to the home of Cherrie Bell Hibbard on Jan. 15, 2010, in Hemet, and told his cousin that he was a law enforcement officer who was going to deport her from the United States.

According to Hemet police, Denny, a former bounty hunter, wore clothing with a federal logo, a badge around his neck, a gun belt and a holstered pistol.

Hibbard was taken by Denny and his wife, Karen, to the Murrieta Border Patrol station. There, Denny identified himself as a U.S. Marshal, presented a false badge and credentials and said his cousin was the subject of a federal arrest warrant, according to court papers.

Officers at the station said there was no warrant and refused to take Hibbard into custody, so the couple took her home. Denny called Hibbard's husband - a U.S. citizen - and told him to buy his wife a plane ticket to the Philippines.

A few hours later, Denny took Hibbard to the San Diego airport, telling her that if she did not leave the country, he would arrest her and her husband and they would go to jail for five years, prosecutors said.

She boarded an airplane and remained in the Philippines to deliver her baby.

When her family complained, police questioned Denny, who claimed to be a federal officer. He was arrested when investigators found he was not employed by a law enforcement agency.

Authorities never provided a motive for Denny's actions.

Karen Denny, 52, also pleaded guilty to being an impersonator making an arrest and aiding and abetting. She was sentenced Tuesday to five years probation, 200 hours of community service and ordered to undergo mental health counseling.

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