MCSO: Waddell man impersonating deputy arrested

Posted at 3:58 PM, Apr 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-11 09:37:41-04

Authorities say a man in the West Valley has been arrested for impersonating peace officer.

On March 30, authorities arrested 40-year-old David Heppler, of Waddell, after receiving tips he had acted as a sworn deputy. 

A search of his home led investigators to find a large amount of badges, police clothing, hats, patches, guns, bulletproof vests, Tasers, radios, scanners, handcuffs, duty belts and other tactical items, according to a release from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. The logos on some of the items recovered belonged to the sheriff's office, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and Phoenix Police Department.

Detectives say Heppler's Facebook page features pictures of various MCSO vehicles and "hundreds" of posts "clearly misleading people to believe" he worked in law enforcement, MCSO said.

-PHOTOS: 50 MCSO mug shots of the week
-Screaming man dragged off crowded plane by uniformed officials
-PHOTOS: Arizona Cardinals cheerleader auditions

In February, authorities say Heppler and another man launched their own investigation to recover a stolen cell phone. Officials say the two confronted a 13- and 15-year-old, with Heppler flashing a badge and telling them he was undercover. After his arrest, investigators say he admitted to threatening the teens with arrest.

He also said he worked as a deputy for nine years when he tried to run for his local homeowner's association board.

Officials say Heppler never worked as a deputy sheriff or detention officer with MCSO, but was a member of the sheriff's posse from January 2001 to October 2002. He was terminated for impersonating a public servant when he posed as a reserve deputy sheriff. 

Heppler faces two felony counts of impersonating a police officer. Authorities said he was released on bond pending his next court appearance.