Secret Service: Former Marine Faked His Way Past President's Security Checkpoints at Airport

Brandon Mark Magnan. Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Brandon Mark Magnan. Florida Department of Law Enforcement

On the same day President Donald Trump was leaving South Florida after spending the holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort, a man claiming to be "security" for Marine One, the president's helicopter, used bogus credentials to bypass two security checkpoints at Palm Beach International Airport, federal investigators say.

The man later identified as Brandon Mark Magnan was eventually found to be a former U.S. Marine who was dishonorably discharged about 10 years ago "following his conviction at Court Martial for serious offenses," according to an arrest report authored by the U.S. Secret Service.

The report says it was about 3 p.m. Sunday when Magnan, driving a maroon Honda Pilot, and an unidentified man with him, approached Palm Beach County deputies at a security checkpoint near Southern Boulevard and Kirk Road and presented credentials identifying himself as a Marine Corps law enforcement officer. The credentials had seals from the U.S. Marines and the Marine Corps Executive Flight Detachment, and Magnan was allowed through the checkpoint.

Magnan used the same credentials at a second checkpoint at the entrance to Atlantic Aviation, the report said, where he was also allowed to proceed.

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At that point, a Palm Beach Sheriff's Office deputy became suspicious because Magnan was not wearing a U.S. Marine Corps uniform, which is common practice during presidential travel. The deputy contacted "actual members" of Marine One's security detail "who immediately identified Magnan's credentials as counterfeit, based on numerous factors," the arrest report said.

After Magnan claimed to be a "retired" security officer, a federal records check revealed his court-martial, which took place around 2010. Following his arrest, Magnan admitted to being dishonorably discharged and not being a current U.S. Marine, the arrest report said.

He is charged with the federal offense of false impersonation of an officer or employee of the United States.


This article was written by Doug Phillips from Sun Sentinel and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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