Woman with fake badge, loaded gun arrested in Costa Mesa
Costa Mesa police said Thursday they arrested a woman dressed as a law enforcement officer and armed with a loaded, unregistered gun on Friday, Nov. 1.
Michelle Brianna Hughes, 30, of Huntington Beach, identified herself as an Orange County sheriff’s deputy when she was stopped by officers near the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Merrimac Way, Costa Mesa Police Department spokeswoman Roxi Fyad said.
She had been driving a Chevrolet Impala equipped with California exempt license plates and a light bar, was wearing a tactical vest displaying a patch that read “POLICE,” and provided authorities with a fake badge, police said.
Hughes is not a member of any law enforcement agency, Fyad said. She was carrying handcuffs, a Taser and high capacity magazines that were strapped into a police belt at the time of her arrest. The suspect was also in possession of uniforms from other law enforcement agencies and additional government exempt license plates, according to police.
Authorities did not say where the equipment came from.
Hughes was arrested on suspicion of impersonating an officer, carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm and the possession of high capacity magazines, Costa Mesa Police said in a statement. She was released as of Thursday evening after posting bail.
No charges were filed as of Friday afternoon, Nov. 8, according to court records.
Officials are asking anyone who may have interacted with Hughes to contact Costa Mesa Police Detective J. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 714-754-5097.