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December 01, 2015

Philly man indicted for impersonating federal officer during Amtrak derailment

A Philadelphia man was indicted Tuesday for impersonating a federal officer to gain access to a secure area following the derailment of Amtrak Train No. 188 in May.

Michael Alvaro, 37, was charged with impersonating a federal officer, impersonator conducting a search and possession of an unregistered firearm, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger announced.

Alvaro allegedly identified himself as a federal law enforcement officer working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in the aftermath of the Amtrak derailment. The May 12 derailment killed eight people and injured more than 200 others.

Alvaro also allegedly identified himself as a Drug Enforcement Agency officer on two other occasions. The first came Nov. 17, 2014, when he allegedly assisted in the detention of another person and a search of that person's vehicle. The second occurrence came on Feb. 11 when he allegedly attempted to obtain information regarding a homicide investigation.

Alvaro allegedly knowingly possessed an unregistered .30-caliber rifle on May 19.

If convicted, Alvaro faces a maximum prison sentence of 19 years and three years of supervised release. The FBI and ATF investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise S. Wolf is prosecuting the case.