Police: Man used fake badge to try and buy weapons - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police: Man used fake badge to try and buy weapons

(Source: SCSO) (Source: SCSO)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A man ended up in jail after Memphis police officers arrested him for using fake police badges to try and get discounts on weapons.

Investigators said John Griffin, 50, impersonated an officer while trying to buying a gun from Accent Pawn in the 3600 block of Summer Avenue.

In the official police affidavit, Griffin was presenting himself as a Sunset Arkansas officer on Tuesday. Store officials stated he was trying to get a first responder discount on the weapon.

After filling out paperwork, Griffin was arrested by undercover officers.

"We basically went through the process of selling a firearm,” Accent Guns General Manager Will Bass said. “He happened to be, I guess, attempting to buy his firearms with a discount based on his service."

Griffin presented himself as a Sunset, Arkansas police officer. Investigators discovered that he resigned from the department in August 2014 and the department no longer exists.

Bass said they discovered he was lying because they ran a background check before selling the gun.

"When we ran his credentials, he was then apprehended by officials,” Bass said. “So they came in and basically asked him about his credentials--which we were running--to basically transfer the firearm for the sale."

The search revealed two Sunset police sergeant badges, a parking police patrolman badge, a Lock 27 handgun, a Kelt 380 handgun, a bullet resistance vest, and blue lights mounted in his personal vehicle.

"We deal with a lot of local police and fire,” Bass said. “To impersonate a first responder, you know, that's getting pretty low."

The Parkin, Arkansas, Police Department confirmed Griffin worked there for three weeks last year before he was laid off.

The police chief said his paperwork is missing and he never turned in any of his equipment.

The Parkin Police Department is currently investigating the incident as possible case of internal corruption.

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