The deputy mayor of a Rockland County village who's already facing state charges for a trove of unregistered guns found at his home was charged by federal authorities with having a collection of phony badges and ID cards that identify him as working for the FBI, DEA and other law enforcement agencies, records show.
Investigators reported a startling discovery when they showed up with a search warrant last week at the home of Brian Downey, a 47-year-old Republican who was elected deputy mayor of the village of Airmont in 2019.
Downey was taken into custody after no fewer than 16 unregistered assault weapons and 13 illegal silencers were found, along with "numerous federal badges and credentials” bearing his name, along with “four FBI patches that could be sewn onto a uniform or chest," a complaint on file in US Southern District Court of New York in Manhattan.
The raid also turned up badges, credentials and patches after the investigators said they forced open a locked box that Downey said he'd lost the combination for.
“Also located within the lock box were Downey’s United States passport book, United States passport card, and his New York state commercial driver’s license,” according to the federal complaint, which was unsealed Tuesday.
State and federal investigators began focusing on Downey after he tried to buy a rifle silencer online, it says.
More than a dozen firearms were found mounted on a wall -- among them, an illegally modified short-barrel rifle and a sawed-off shotgun -- in a “gun room,” the complaint says.
Downey, who works as a Ramapo deputy building inspector and part-time court officer, acknowledged that he wasn’t authorized to possess the weapons but defended his actions as a "peace officer," it says.
The married father of two was first elected two years ago as a trustee in Airmont, a village of more than 8,500 people in Ramapo.
In addition to being a court officer, Downey was described in political literature at the time as a highway street construction inspector, a New York State-certified building inspector/fire inspector/code enforcement officer and a licensed New York State armed guard.
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