An aide to California attorney general and U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris was arrested last week after claiming to be a leader of an ancient, international police force descended from the Knights Templar.
Brandon Kiel, the deputy director of community affairs at the state’s Department of Justice, was one of three individuals arrested on Thursday on suspicion of impersonating police officers.
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They claimed to be members of an ancient law enforcement agency called the Masonic Fraternal Police Department, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.
Suspicions about the Masonic Fraternal Police Department—whose members trace their origins to the Knights Templar—were aroused when various police chiefs in Southern California received a letter in late January that announced new leadership for the group, sheriff’s officials said.
After the letters were mailed, a man claiming to be Kiel and describing himself as the police force’s "chief deputy director" called various law enforcement agencies to schedule in-person meetings, sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff’s Capt. Roosevelt Johnson, who heads the department’s Santa Clarita Valley station, met with members of the group and became wary after they could not provide rudimentary information about the group’s aims, the officials said.
In addition to impersonating an officer, Kiel is facing charges of misusing government identification.
Harris, his boss, is currently the front-runner in the race for U.S. Senate in California. She has unsuccessfully tried of late to "out" donors to groups that oppose her agenda, earning rebukes from a federal court.
According to President Barack Obama, Harris is "by far the best looking attorney general" in the country.