An armed man with a Nazi tattoo marched alongside the police at a Black Lives Matter protest in Las Vegas, and is now facing down a charge of impersonating a federal officer.
Zachary Sanns was spotted at a rally last month, wearing plain clothes, a ballistic helmet, a tactical vest, and night-vision goggles, according to a federal complaint.
Sanns had driven to the protest in a black Chevy Tahoe with blue lights turned on in the grill, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal.
It was reported that Sann's face was hidden by a balaclava as he approached a line of officers known as the "skirmish line," which is a barrier between the protestors and a command post.
He was armed with an AR-15 rifle with a holographic sight and a magnifier, which is "similar to how law enforcement and military carry their rifles when not in use but can be quickly accessed,” the complaint stated.
“The manner in which this subject was dressed is nearly identical to how a plainclothes local and federal law enforcement officer would be in this situation.”
A Glock pistol with an extended magazine was clipped to his gun belt, along with a Taser, two tourniquets, and pepper spray.
A deputy chief said to Sanns: "I don’t need you on the front line with an AR-15. Who are you with?” the complaint added. “He recalled the subject stating something similar to being ‘federal officer.’”
And when the deputy chief pressed further, Sanns said he was with Homeland Security Investigations.
Then Assistant Sheriff Chris Jones approached Sanns and asked the very same question.
“I’m with the State Department,” Sanns said. “They deploy us out here.”
Jones expressed to federal investigators that he noticed what he thought to be a Department of Homeland Security emblem on Sanns' gray T-shirt.
That evening, a photographer from Las Vegas Review-Journal snapped an image and posted it on social media that revealed an "SS" bolt image and "0351" tattoos on Sanns' left arm.
“The SS font is the same font used by Nazi SS units in World War II,” the complaint said.
The numerals references a US Marine Corp special infantry. The "SS" tattoo is a "discouraged symbol used by some Marine Corps Scout Snipers. This photo could have an immediate impact due to the public seeing the symbol and speculating the person in the photo to be affiliated with Nazi or racist groups and ideology.”
It turns out that Sanns was enlisted in the Marine Corps from early 2011 to mid 2016, working as a Department of Defense contractor for the US Navy from Dec. 2, 2019, to Dec. 23, 2019, according to the complaint.
But an investigation has found Sanns to have lied about his position and reason for being at the Black Lives Matter protest.
“When told the complaint would be closed, Sanns became agitated and irate,” the court documents said. Sanns added that he was an internal affairs sergeant who had been working with the CIA.
Federal investigators searched his home on Tuesday, where Sanns admitted to being at the Black Lives Matter protest and added that he was an "off-the-books contractor for the federal agency."
Sanns has remained in federal custody, without a hearing date set.