A former Marine who was kicked out of the military 10 years ago for sexually abusing and sodomizing junior Marines has been charged with impersonating one of the soldiers guarding President Trump’s Marine One helicopter.
Brandon M. Magnan, 37, was arrested by the Secret Service and charged on Monday after he breached two checkpoints at Palm Beach International Airport and posed as a member of the security team assigned to Marine One.
Magnan, a resident of Naples, Florida, was charged on January 6 with false personation of officer or employee of the United States, according to The New York Times.
If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.
Magnan claimed that he was part of HMX-1, the Marine Corps unit assigned to pilot and protect Marine One, the president’s personal helicopter.
Marine One usually transports the president on short trips to nearby airports where he then boards Air Force One for longer journeys.
It is unclear why Magnan tried to pass himself off as a member of the unit.
Trump was spending his winter vacation at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach at the time of the incident.
On Saturday, January 5, the president was preparing to leave West Palm Beach and return to Washington, DC.
Hours before Trump’s scheduled departure, authorities say that Magnan drove a Honda Pilot with an unidentified male passenger at around 3pm.
As Magnan approached a security checkpoint, he identified himself as a member of HMX-1.
According to authorities, Magnan produced a fake credential indicating that he was a law enforcement officer with the Marine Corps.
The fake credential is said to have contained the seals of the Marines and the Marine Corps Executive Flight Detachment, the unit responsible for executing and protecting Marine One flights carrying the president.
Magnan’s fake credential worked, as he was permitted to proceed to the second checkpoint, where he once again presented the bogus documents.
He was then allowed through the second checkpoint, according to the Secret Service.
But a sheriff’s deputy standing nearby noticed that Magnan was not wearing a Marine Corps uniform, which is standard procedure for those assigned to HMX-1 during presidential travel.
The deputy contacted members of the security detail, who confirmed that the credentials presented by Magnan were fake.
When law enforcement officials confronted Magnan, he told them that he was a retired member of HMX-1.
The Secret Service then began to investigate Magnan further.
Magnan was dishonorably discharged from the Marine Corps 10 years ago after he was convicted at a court-martial for ‘serious offenses.’
According to military court documents, Magnan sexually abused and sodomized junior Marines after providing them with alcohol.
In one instance, a lance corporal testified that he fell asleep in a hotel with Magnan after the Marine Corps ball.
When he woke up, he found Magnan’s hand in his pants and over his boxer shorts.
Another lance corporal testified that he once woke up and found his penis in Magnan’s mouth.
Magnan was charged with wrongfully providing alcohol to minors, fraternization, abusive sexual contact, wrongful sexual contact, forcible sodomy, and assault consummated by a battery.
After his dishonorable discharge, Magnan was forced to register with the State of Florida as a sex offender.
Court records indicate that Magnan was released on a $100,000 bond for this latest offense.
It is unclear if the man with whom Magnan was driving was also arrested.
No details were given as to how close Magnan managed to get to Marine One.
This is the latest security breach involving the president and his Florida getaway.
Last year, Yujing Zhang, a 33-year-old Chinese national, was arrested and charged with trespassing at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
After her conviction, she served a brief prison sentence before she was handed over to immigration authorities for deportation back to her native China.
Last month, another Chinese national, Jing Lu, 56, was arrested for the same offense.
She was charged with loitering and nonviolently resisting an officer, according to records.
A Palm Beach police spokesperson told the Washington Examiner that Lu’s visa is expired and that law enforcement stopped questioning her when she invoked the right to have an attorney present.
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