RED BANK — A previously convicted felon carrying a handgun in his waistband tried to pass himself off as a "DEA agent" in the emergency room of a borough hospital in October, and was detained when he attempted to flee the medical facility, according to a federal complaint.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Trenton said in a release that Wesley Rucker, 34, of Tinton Falls was formally arrested Thursday, and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, impersonating a federal agent, and possession of an imitation badge.

The release did not specify the name of the hospital. Riverview Medical Center, a Hackensack Meridian Health facility, is located in Red Bank. Also not disclosed were the terms of Rucker's prior felony conviction.

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On Oct. 22, hospital personnel reported to authorities that Rucker sought treatment in their emergency room, at which time they noticed a handgun he was carrying. Rucker displayed a Drug Enforcement Administration identification to hospital security, and was invited to store the handgun in a locker in the security office, according to the complaint.

The hospital, being suspicious of Rucker's claim of being involved in law enforcement, contacted Red Bank police. Rucker allegedly reiterated to their officers that he was a "DEA agent," displaying the same identification as before.

When Rucker tried to leave the hospital, without his handgun, officers took him into custody and seized his false identification, along with a fake DEA badge he had not used, and learned he had no prior connection with the agency.

If convicted on all three charges and sentenced consecutively, Rucker could face more than a dozen years in prison and fines in excess of $500,000.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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