Arrest Made After Brandon Drivers Pulled Over By Fake Deputy

BRANDON, FL — The charges continue to mount for a 38-year-old Mulberry man accused of pretending to be a cop and pulling over Brandon drivers.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Jesus Ledesma Friday morning in Plant City on a laundry list of charges stemming from two incidents in Brandon.

According to the sheriff’s office, at 11:06 p.m. on Dec. 22, a silver SUV with a blue flashing light pulled over a driver at 604 Lithia-Pinecrest Road. Two men got out of the SUV and approached the victim’s vehicle. One man identified himself as a detective and requested the victim’s driver’s license and registration.

Believing the men to be law enforcement officers, the victim handed over the documents but then became suspicious and asked to see the "detective’s" credentials.

The fake detective then pointed a silver revolver at the victim and demanded the victim’s wallet. The two men fled the area with the driver’s wallet and credit cards.

A similar scene was repeated the following night around 7 p.m. as another victim was traveling north on Bethlehem Road between Blackjack Road and Rolling Vista Loop. The victim said the fake detective acted aggressively, demanding the victim’s driver’s license but the victim only had an identification card. The fake detective then took the victim’s wallet and returned to his SUV. He came back a few minutes later and threw the wallet on the dashboard minus $515 cash. He told the victim to stop speeding and left.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s detectives were able to identify Ledesma when he used credit cards stolen from one of the victims. They obtained an arrest warrant and, shortly after 8 a.m., arrested him at 3002 James L. Redman Parkway in Plant City.

After his arrest, detectives discovered a fully functional police light bar inside his vehicle. They believe it may be the same light bar that was stolen between Dec. 20 and 21 from a Hillsborough Sheriff’s patrol vehicle that was parked at Courtesy Chrysler in Brandon awaiting maintenance.

He’s been charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, grand theft, unlawful use of a blue light, robbery with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a felon, credit card fraud, possession of a controlled substance, driving with a suspended or revoke license and violation of parole.

Detectives are still seeking the second fake law enforcement officer and any additional victims. Anyone with information should call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200. The second man is described as Hispanic and about 5 feet 10 inches tall.

Image via Hillsborough Sheriff

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