"Yeah, sure, I know, it's a free country and I ain't got the right. But I got a badge. What do you got?"


Yesterday's New York Times brought the shocking and bizarre story of "Sergeant Bill" Jakob, the unemployed former trucking company owner and wedding-performing minister (among other things) who apparently hoodwinked the entire town of Gerald, Missouri into thinking he was a federal agent sent to save them from the scourge of methamphetamine.

The whole outrageous and sadly hilarious thing is well worth your time, but here are a few particularly notable details:

In addition to having a badge and a car that seemed to scream law enforcement, Mr. Jakob offered federal drug enforcement help, [Mayor Otis] Schulte said, (a notion local officials said must have somehow grown out of their recent application for a federal grant for radio equipment) and asked [Police] Chief McCrary to call what he said was his supervisor's telephone number to confirm Gerald's need for his help.

When the call was placed, a woman—whose identity is unknown—answered with the words "multijurisdictional task force," and said that the city's request for federal services was under review, the mayor said. Mr. Schulte said he now suspects that Mr. Jakob adapted the nonexistent task force name from the "Beverly Hills Cop" movies starring Eddie Murphy.

Read it and weep.