HOBBS, N.M. (KRQE) – He told police he was a process server, but officers believed he was pretending to be them.
New dashcam video shows the man who New Mexico State Police are accusing of impersonating an officer in November 2017.
The investigation began after 8 p.m. on Nov. 27 on U.S. Highway 62/180 near Hobbs. The suspect, Andres Andrade, was pulled over in a red sedan that was using the same emergency lights officers have on their cars.
As a backup State Police officer pulled up behind the suspected vehicle, Andrade emerged from the car with a uniform that State Police described as “make shift.”
Officers didn’t know who Andrade was.
When asked what was going on, dashcam video shows Andrade greeted the officer by saying, “Good, I had no idea what this guy was up to!” Andrade was referring to the initial State Police officer that pulled him over and waited for back-up.
According to a criminal complaint, Andrade is now facing a misdemeanor “impersonating a peace officer” charge.
Officers stopped Andrade because they say he was flashing his red Chrysler sedan’s police lights at passing cars.
“So is it common for you to be turning on your wig-wags (police lights) like that?” asked the State Police officer.
Andrade responded, saying, “No sir, only whenever somebody doesn’t dim their lights.”
Police say that uniform Andrade was wearing had a badge that said “authorized process server.” In the dashcam video recording, Andrade can be heard saying he was “serving papers in Hobbs.”
When asked who he worked for, Andrade said he worked for a company called “ARS,” but also said he worked for the Fifth Judicial District Court.
“Fifth Judicial normally, I mean that’s where most my papers come from, is Fifth Judicial,” said Andrade.
Officers let Andrade go that night in November with a warning.
“You’re not supposed to be using those lights regardless, OK?” said the State Police officer.
“You got it,” Andrade responded.
“That can be impersonating a police officer, actually,” said the officer.
Since then, New Mexico State Police say they’ve found no record of Andrade working for the courts. He was later arrested in December following the execution of a search warrant at his home in Artesia around December 13.
State Police is still encouraging anyone who may have encountered Andrade on the road to give them a call on their non-emergency dispatch line at 575-382-2500.