Man accused of impersonating officer

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Putnam County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Joshua Gross

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. - A Putnam County man was arrested Friday on a charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer.

Deputies said the arrest of Joshua Gross was the result of an investigation initiated after a victim came forward and alerted the Putnam County Sheriff's Office of a possible police impersonator.

The victim told deputies the suspect was driving a silver Nissan and followed him to his home in Bostwick from the Palatka Walmart on March 17. When the victim arrived at his home, the suspect approached him and identified himself as a member of the "Drug Unit," deputies said.

They said Gross refused to allow the victim to exit his vehicle and interrogated him about a supposed drug deal. When asked, Gross provided a false name written on a piece of paper, deputies said.

Investigators said a witness was able to provide a partial license plate number for the suspect's vehicle, and that along with the piece of paper containing the false name led detectives to Gross.

The victim and witness were able to positively identify Gross as the suspect in photo lineups, deputies said.

Gross was arrested on charges of false imprisonment and false impersonation of a law enforcement officer. He was being held in the Putnam County Jail on $40,000 bond.

Gross had previously worked as a correctional officer, but his corrections employment ended in 2003, deputies said. He currently has no affiliation with any criminal justice agency.

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