Arroyo Grande man accused of impersonating an officer

February 13, 2014

handcuffA former Arroyo Grande police officer and a U.S. Forest Service ranger were indicted for allegedly utilizing federal owned equipment to impersonate an officer.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles has charged the men with three felonies alleging the pair conspired to use a government vehicle for personal use, according to the indictment. They are slated to go to court on March 11.

A police officer for 30 years, Larry Cooper met forest ranger Scott Alguire at the Elks Club where they were both members. The manager of a ranch bordering the Los Padres National Forest where Alguire worked would complain to Cooper that poachers and hunters from the national forest were trespassing on the ranch.

Alquire, who was the fleet manager for the Forest Service, allegedly provided Cooper a marked forest service law enforcement vehicle to drive while he stopped visitors to the Los Padres National Forest and asked for identification in an attempt to deter them from trespassing on the neighboring ranch. He allegedly had a rifle in the vehicle and one on his person when he made the stops.


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Poorly written article…

I see on the Dan Dow for D. A. website Officer Cooper has offered his endorsement of Dan. My want to remove that name from your list of endorsements…

I just checked Dan Dow for D.A. and saw he removed Officer Larry Cooper’s name from his endorsements. I gope this is the only one he has to remove in the coming weeks. It would be embarrassing if we learned that some of his endorsements came from people with pending criminal charges like domestic violence or financial crimes..

I see another quick “retirement” in the works, and a smile and beefed up pension for both men as they walk with a slap on the wrist.

Unless the Forest Service is noticeably less touchy than other federal agencies about others — even local cops — claiming membership in their gangs, they could be in enough trouble to get more than even a hard slap on the wrist. Most feds are very protective of their turf and not the least bit awed by local badges (and especially not ex-badges).

“He allegedly had a rifle in the vehicle and one on his person when he made the stops.” Um, a rifle on his person? A firearm perhaps, a pistol, but a rifle on his person? I don’t think so.

As to his impersonating a officer, did he not think someone was going to question his presence, his true identity? Pretty dumb.

The average joe usually doesn’t question the credentials of a badged uniform in an official vehicle unless something is really skewed about his behavior. As an ex-cop, Cooper probably knew how to act.

I suspect that he stopped someone who was more knowledgeable such as a local FS employee out on his own time who knew all the active rangers or a former Forest Service ranger who could tell there were small discrepancies in procedure.