AP NEWS

Raleigh man pleads guilty to conveying false info after impersonating officer

March 24, 2019
Christian Gerald Desgroux

A Raleigh man who was arrested for saying he was a federal officer following a van with a bomb inside it has pleaded guilty to three counts of lying about the situation, court records show.

Christian Gerald Desgroux, 58, pleaded guilty to maliciously conveying false information, conveying a hoax and impersonating a law enforcement officer on March 13.

Desgroux was diagnosed with bipolar disorder but found competent to proceed in court, according to records.

Desgroux called 911 on Nov. 27 and told a dispatcher that he was a federal officer who was following a white van believed to have a bomb inside.

According to a warrant, Desgroux told the dispatcher that there were 10 people inside the van who had a device designed to explode and destroy the vehicle on Wake Forest Road.

When Raleigh police officers arrived at the scene, Desgroux continued to represent himself as a federal officer.

An FBI agent wrote in the criminal complaint that there was no bomb, no guns and no gunshots, but the van was real, and officers did place some of the occupants in custody.

In June, Desgroux pleaded guilty to one count of pretending to be a military officer after he landed a chartered helicopter at SAS Institute in order to impress a woman.

The helicopter landed on a soccer field at SAS headquarters on Nov. 6, 2017, and Desgroux stepped out wearing a military battle uniform implying the rank of Army lieutenant general, according to authorities. Federal agents say Desgroux told a security officer he was there to pick up a female employee and take her to Fort Bragg for a classified briefing authorized by President Donald Trump.

The woman did have a visit planned with Desgroux to assist with a design project, but she expected him to arrive by car, authorities said. Instead, they went on a 30-minute helicopter ride around Raleigh.

The woman, who is married, said she thought Desgroux was trying to impress her by flying her around, authorities said.

Desgroux has pretended to be a general before, despite never serving in the military, prosecutor Barbara Kocher said in July.