Philadelphia man indicted for impersonating officer at Amtrak derailment

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Emergency personnel work at the scene of a deadly train derailment, Wednesday, May 13, 2015, in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia man has been indicted for impersonating a federal officer on multiple occasions including during last spring's deadly Amtrak derailment in Port Richmond.

37-year-old Michael Alvaro was charged Tuesday with impersonation of a federal officer, impersonator conducting a search, and possession of unregistered firearms, United States Attorney Zane David Memeger announced.

The indictment alleges that on or around November 17, 2014, Alvaro identified himself as a federal law enforcement officer of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). According to the indictment, Alvaro assisted in detaining a person and searched that person's vehicle.

The indictment alleges Alvaro pretended to be a DEA officer again on February 11, 2015, and attempted to obtain information regarding a homicide investigation.

On May 12, 2015, Alvaro identified himself as a federal law enforcement officer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in order to gain access to a secured area of the Amtrak derailment, the indictment alleges.

The indictment further alleges that Alvaro unlawfully possessed unregistered firearms.

If convicted, Alvaro faces a maximum possible sentence of 29 years in prison, possible fine, special assessment of $500, and up to three years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the ATF and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Denise S. Wolf.