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Search reveals firearms, hidden bunker in home of Minnesota man accused of impersonating federal agent

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced Monday that 52-year-old Reyel Devon Simmons had been arrested and charged with impersonating a federal agent after the FBI received a tip in August that he was portraying himself on social media as a federal agent.

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A photo of firearms allegedly found in the Dodge Center residence of Reyel Simmons was included in an amended criminal complaint filed on Sept. 21, 2021, in U.S. District Court District of Minnesota. The firearms were found in a basement storage area only accessed through a hidden doorway. Contributed / Criminal Complaint
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ST. PAUL — A Dodge Center, Minn., man charged with impersonating a federal agent faces a second charge of illegally possessing a firearm after federal agents filed an amended criminal complaint Tuesday, Sept. 21, in U.S. District Court.

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced Monday that 52-year-old Reyel Devon Simmons had been arrested and charged with impersonating a federal agent after the FBI received a tip in August that he was portraying himself on social media as a federal agent.

An amended criminal complaint was filed Tuesday, adding a second charge of felon in possession of a firearm. Simmons was convicted of menacing in 2007 in Colorado, according to the amended complaint.

The amended complaint also provides more information about Simmons' arrest and searches that law enforcement conducted at his residence in Dodge Center, at his place of employment and his truck. Dodge County property tax records do not list Simmons as a primary owner or taxpayer.

Simmons was arrested at his workplace in Shakopee, Minnesota, on Monday, Sept. 20. At the time of his arrest, investigators found a “go bag” that “bore lettering and insignia suggesting it was issued by the Department of Homeland Security," the amended complaint states.

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A photo of a "go bag" reportedly found in Reyel Simmons' workspace on Sept. 20, 2021, was included in an amended criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court District of Minnesota. Contributed / Criminal Complaint

Inside the bag, agents found a handgun and three loaded magazines as well as law enforcement and military accessories, including a fake badge.

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A photo of law enforcement and military accessories, including a fake badge, located in the "go bag" of Reyel Simmons was included in an amended criminal complaint filed on Sept. 21, 2021, in U.S. District Court District of Minnesota. Contributed / Criminal Complaint

At his Dodge Center residence, agents seized eight firearms that were found in a safe room or bunker that could only be accessed through a hidden doorway located in the storage area of the basement, the complaint states. A folder with legal documents related to Simmons’ prior criminal convictions also was found in the safe room.

Agents also reported finding suspected silencers/suppressors, detonating cord and a blasting cap.

“Throughout the Property, agents also discovered the following items: thousands of rounds of ammunition, law enforcement style badges, law enforcement identification documents, clothing and gear branded with insignia or wording indicating they were issued by a law enforcement agency (e.g. “POLICE,” DHS, etc.) a ghillie suit (a style of camouflage outfit most commonly used by military or law enforcement snipers), multiple blank CDC COVID-19 vaccination cards, and multiple tactical vests bearing insignia and wording suggesting they were issued by a law enforcement agency and two of which were outfitted with steel plates (making them bulletproof/bullet-resistant),” the amended complaint reads.

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Reyel Simmons

Following his arrest, Simmons initially denied that federal agents would find any firearms in his backpack or at his property, but when told agents already found numerous firearms, he reportedly admitted that the handgun in his backpack and several firearms at his property belonged to him.

Simmons insisted that he was at one time affiliated with DHS through a contractor, but could not provide specifics “nor a coherent explanation,” the amended complaint reads.

At his initial appearance in U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, Simmons was ordered held pending Wednesday's hearing. He reportedly pretended to have fainting spells to avoid transport and when U.S. Marshal Service deputies prepared to carry Simmons to transport, "he became physically combative with them," the amended complaint states.

At the hearing Wednesday, Sept. 22, Simmons was ordered to continue to be held in jail.

Emily Cutts is the Post Bulletin's public safety reporter. She joined the Post Bulletin in July 2018 after stints in Vermont and Western Massachusetts.
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