Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Public Safety

North County man gets 1 year jail, probation for impersonating deputy

A pair of handcuffs in shown in this undated file photo.
Alexander Nguyen
A pair of handcuffs is shown in this undated file photo.

A 21-year-old man who posed as a sheriff's deputy and pulled over multiple drivers in Northern San Diego County was sentenced Tuesday to one year in jail, plus two years of probation.

Michael Anthony Carmichael of Oceanside was arrested in June after a patrol deputy driving through Fallbrook spotted him seemingly conducting a traffic stop, according to sheriff's officials.

Carmichael was wearing tactical pants, a black polo shirt with San Diego County Sheriff's Department patches on the sleeves and a vest with patches reading "Sheriff" on the front and back at the time, the department reported.


As the lawman approached, Carmichael ran to his silver 2009 Toyota Camry, inside of which windshield-mounted red and blue lights were flashing, jumped in and drove off, sheriff's Detective Lester Garman said.

Carmichael was arrested later after crashing his car.

The sheriff's department said Carmichael was believed to have stopped at least 10 other drivers in Bonsall, Fallbrook and Oceanside, beginning in August 2021.

A search of Carmichael's home turned up additional paraphernalia, including replica guns, that could be used to impersonate a deputy, police officer or security guard, according to sheriff's officials.

Carmichael pleaded guilty to two felony counts of impersonating an officer and evading arrest.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.