Illegal Guns, Fake FBI Badges Found in Deputy Mayor's Home

Brian Downey of Airmont, NY, faces more than 30 state, federal charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2021 5:01 AM CDT
DA: Deputy Mayor Had 17 Illegal Guns, Fake FBI Badges
Some of the guns found in Downey's residence.   (Rockland County DA)

Brian Downey is the deputy mayor of Airmont, NY. He is not, however, an FBI agent, a DEA agent, or a US marshal, and authorities are trying to figure out why he had a stash of fake credentials for those roles. The bogus federal IDs were found along with 17 illegal guns and 13 illegal silencers during a court-ordered search of the 47-year-old's residence last week, the New York Times reports. Rockland County District Attorney Tom Walsh says Downey's home was raided and a "gun room" was found after Homeland Security agents notified local authorities that he had bought an illegal rifle silencer online, reports NPR. Downey was elected deputy mayor of the village of around 9,000 people in 2019.

Downey faces more than 30 state and federal charges over the fake IDs and unregistered weapons. According to a federal complaint, he told authorities that he thought he was allowed to have a short-barrel rifle AR-15-style rifle, which requires a special license, "because he was a peace officer." Investigators say the federal IDs, some of which included Downey's photos, were found in a lockbox that they opened after Downey told them he didn't have the combination. The box contained three FBI badges and three complete FBI credential sets, Homeland Security investigators say. There were also fake credentials from the federal Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice. No motive has been disclosed. (More New York state stories.)

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