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'He behaved like he was a cop.' Redford man facing federal charges for allegedly posing as ATF agent

Posted at 9:37 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 23:27:00-05

(WXYZ) — Busted for allegedly impersonating a federal agent and illegally carrying a gun, a man from Redford now faces federal charges.

The suspect’s girlfriend wasn’t happy to see our camera tonight, nor did she want to talk about allegations her boyfriend is facing.

She's the self-described girlfriend of Christopher Proe, a convicted sex offender prosecutors say posed as an ATF agent until his arrest by real federal agents from Detroit.

A neighbor of the 36-year-old man recalls seeing him packing heat.

“We would see him all the time with a gun on his hip and in a holster. He behaved like he was a cop,” said Manny Gauci, Proe's neighbor.

Feds say Proe was an amateur, a wannabe who carried a fake badge and even had a bogus uniform. He allegedly went by the name Chris Conley and even gave himself a fake promotion to supervisor.

Talking with 7 Action News by Zoom, a real supervisor with the ATF, Donald Dawkins, who is now retired after nearly 30 years, says this type of crime is no joke. A point also made by U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider.

“What was he planning to do? Was he planning to rob or assault sometime. It’s dangerous because we just don’t know,” said Donald Dawkins, ATF supervisor.

The affidavit goes on to mention Christopher often carried a police radio and handcuffs, even detained unsuspecting citizens. It's unknown what more, if anything, he could have been planning.

7 Action News has learned multiple informants spoke up because Proe is not allowed to have a gun as a serial felon.

Arresting agents say he also hid ammo in the rafters of a house, and his gun was stolen from Eastpointe. Proe was also allegedly in his home with his girlfriend and their 3-year-old daughter when he was arrested. Proe also allegedly confessed to the crimes.

If convicted, Proe faces as much as much as 10 years behind bars. The U.S. Attorney says he's detained now with a hearing scheduled for Friday at noon.

Christopher Proe Criminal Complaint by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd