Lee couple accused of impersonating federal agents

Rain Smith • Feb 25, 2009 at 12:00 AM

JONESVILLE — A couple who had recently moved to the Stickleyville community of Lee County have been arrested for allegedly impersonating federal agents.

Lee County Sheriff Lee Parsons said John DeLa Vega, 66, and Diana DeLa Vega, 57, had been living in a mobile home at Route 1, Box 187-J, for a few months. Over this period they repeatedly identified themselves as “federal agents” to members of the community, Parsons said.

“They were just flashing a badge on some people over there,” Parsons said. “Not for any purpose, but just to show off they were federal agents.”

Parsons said the badge was large and could appear pretty legit at first glance. However, “Gun Permit” was all that adorned the surface.

“But it was a big old badge in a leather case,” Parsons said. “They looked impressive.”

After receiving reports of the couple’s actions, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police launched an investigation. They discovered John DeLa Vega — who was alleged to be carrying concealed weapons — had a previous felony conviction of drug distribution in Florida.

On Monday night, authorities executed a search warrant on the couple’s mobile home. Along with the “federal agent” badge, police seized two handguns, four rifles, a large amount of ammunition, 27 OxyContin tablets and 35 hydrocodone.

Considering the couple were allegedly impersonating federal agents — and John DeLa Vega was a convicted felon allegedly in possession of firearms and drugs — the commonwealth’s attorney will be consulted on what charges should be placed.

Parsons said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms could become involved.

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