MIAMI — Gopaul Parmanand swaggered past everyone in line at a cruise ship’s desk, asked how he could connect to the ship’s Internet, flashed a silver badge and said, “Police ICE.”
The shore excursion manager gave Parmanand the information. Except Parmanand’s not an agent with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And, his stunt with the ersatz badge counts as impersonating an officer/employee of the U.S. government, the charge to which Parmanand pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday.
The 41-year-old Palm Beach Gardens resident be sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in West Palm Beach Dec. 20.
This all occurred on July 29, during a two-day cruise out of Port of Palm Beach on the Bahamas Paradise’s Grand Celebration.
There was a line at the Deck Five shore excursion desk around 6:30 p.m. That’s when Parmanand, according to the stipulated facts, “approached the desk out of line (that is, cut in front of other passengers) and asked how he could connect to the internet because he had to check his work e-mails.”
And he flashed the faux badge.
The ship’s staff told Customs and Border Protection that Parmanand had been impersonating either an ICE or Customs agent. Customs met him when the ship returned to Port of Palm Beach.
A luggage search turned up a “police-style neck chain badge holder with no badge attached.” Parmanand said he didn’t have a badge.
Then, Parmanand got an order from the other side of his bed.
Court documents said, “After several attempts, Parmanand’s wife told Parmanand something and Parmanand retrieved a silver in color money clip in the clip in the shape of a badge that bore the exact likeness of an ICE Special Agent’s badge with the seal of the Department of Homeland Security at its center, from a piece of clothing in another piece of luggage.”
Parmanand’s criminal history is comprised of a 2010 DUI in Palm Beach County. He was sentenced to probation and community service.
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