Seretse Clouden, 42, of Wallington had a .308-caliber DPMS Panther Arms rifle, a 5.56-caliber AR-15 rifle, a .40-caliber Glock 22 handgun and the phony creds -- which bore his name, photograph and a U.S. Marshal badge -- in his checked baggage, the FBI charged in a complaint.
His bags also contained a ballistic vest that said "Deputy Marshal," two magazines containing 15 rounds each of .40-caliber ammunition and an expandable baton, the complaint filed by the bureau in U.S. District Court in Newark says.
A U.S. magistrate judge ordered Clouden detained at a court appearance in Newark following the unsealing of the FBI complaint on Monday, Feb. 27.
Clouden lists himself on a LinkedIn profile as having worked as an "executive protection officer" with a firm out of Fort Lee, and, previously, as a "federal protection officer" with the US Department of Homeland Security. Before that, it says, he was a member of the US Marine Corps Military Police.
A recent Instagram post shows Clouden holding a rifle next to an iconic black-and-white photo from Life Magazine of a targeted Malcolm X doing the same with an M1 carbine at his Queens home in 1964.
A Facebook photo from four weeks ago shows a wheeled suitcase of his finally being returned, presumably following the Dec. 30, 2022 incident.
Clouden had previously served time for an illegal weapons possession conviction out of Bergen County in April 2016, records show.
He's now charged federally with unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon and fraudulent possession of an identification document and authentication feature of the government, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said Monday.
A routine screening of checked luggage destined for Fort Lauderdale out of Newark Liberty International Airport turned up the weapons, ammunition and other items, the U.S. attorney said.
The luggage "also contained 'United States Marshal' credentials, bearing Clouden’s name and photograph, and a 'United States Marshal' badge," Sellinger said.
An announcement was made for Clouden to report to the gate, where he told agents who converged on him that he "did not possess law enforcement credentials or a firearms identification card from any state," the FBI complaint says.
"An inquiry with the United States Marshals Service confirmed that Clouden is not, and was not, employed with the United States Marshal Service," Sellinger added.
Sellinger credited special agents with the FBI and special deputies of the U.S. Marshals Service, along with the Port Authority Police Department and TSA officers, for the arrest and investigation.
Handling the case for the government are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Desiree Grace, who is deputy chief of Sellinger's Criminal Division, and Jenny Chung of the Office’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force/Narcotics Unit, both in Newark.
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