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More charges for Leland man accused of impersonating a police officer

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 3:17 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A Leland man previously accused of impersonating a police officer is facing additional charges.

On Monday, a Brunswick County grand jury indicted Eric Andrew Cinotti on six counts of felony impersonating a law enforcement officer, one count of operating a vehicle with a blue light, and one count reckless driving to endanger.

These charges are related to incidents that occurred in Leland and Brunswick County in July and are in addition to the charges Cinotti was previously facing following his initial arrest on July 23.

RELATED: Leland man charged with operating vehicle with a blue light.

Cinotti allegedly showed up to a medical call on Leland Station Drive on July 21, representing himself as a police officer with the town of Navassa. Leland police officials said Cinotti was wearing a ballistic vest with the word “police” on it, displayed a Navassa Police Department badge, and drove an authentic Navassa police vehicle.

That arrest triggered a “comprehensive multi-agency investigation involving the Leland Police Department, the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office,” according to a news release.

Additionally, Cinotti’s arrest brought added scrutiny to the town of Navassa after its entire police department resigned in the year leading up to the July 21 incident.

RELATED: District Attorney on Navassa PD: “The lights are on and no one is home”.

RELATED: Mayor of Navassa appointed as acting ‘administrative’ police chief

Cinotti was arrested on Monday and booked into the Brunswick County Detention Center under a $50,000 bond. He was later released after posting bond. His next court date is set for Oct. 5.

“We’re grateful for the strong partnerships with the DA’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office that allowed us to explore all venues in this investigation,” Leland police chief Brad Shirley stated in the release. “The safety of our citizens is our top priority. Sharing that dedication with our partnering agencies not only brought a close to this case but has resulted in a safer region overall.”

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