A 20-year-old man was charged Tuesday with posing as a police officer to threaten and steal from immigrants in the Pomona area, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.
Andres Sanchez of Ontario is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 3 on 10 felony counts -- five counts of false imprisonment by violence, three counts of second-degree robbery and two counts of attempted second-degree robbery.
The criminal complaint includes a special allegation that the defendant impersonated a peace officer during the crimes, and that Sanchez personally used a firearm on one occasion. The District Attorney's Office also contends that when the alleged crimes were committed, the defendant was either free on bail or on his own recognizance in another case.
Prosecutors allege that between Dec. 7 and last Thursday, Sanchez dressed himself in a law enforcement uniform, drove an unmarked vehicle and pulled over drivers he believed were immigrants.
Sanchez then allegedly threatened deportation if the drivers did not hand over money, jewelry or cell phones. Sanchez was apprehended Thursday following a tip from a concerned citizen, authorities said.
If convicted as charged, the defendant faces up to 25 years and four months in state prison, according to the District Attorney's Office.