Baraboo man who allegedly impersonated FBI agent pleads to burglary charge

December 5, 2018 GMT

A Baraboo man accused of impersonating an FBI agent after a woman caught him burglarizing her home reached a deal with prosecutors Monday.

During a hearing in Sauk County Circuit Court, 32-year-old Brandon D. Hughes pleaded no contest to one count of felony burglary related to a March 19 incident in the town of Baraboo.

In exchange, prosecutors agreed to dismiss another felony county of impersonating a peace officer and misdemeanor counts of trespassing, theft and drug paraphernalia possession.

A woman told authorities she arrived home around 4:20 p.m. and was greeted by an unknown man — later identified as Hughes — at her door. When she asked the man who he was, he allegedly told her he was “with the FBI Protection Service.”

The woman called 911, and law enforcement arrived to find Hughes walking through a door into a screen porch attached to the home. When he was ordered to the ground, an officer reported, Hughes reached toward his left pocket.

According to the criminal complaint, the officer forced Hughes to the ground and placed him in handcuffs. Hughes identified himself by name, and allegedly told the officer that he was part of the FBI’s witness protection division.

“He stated several times that he was with the FBI and made FBI related phone calls from inside the residence and we could verify that,” the complaint states.

Inside Hughes’ pocket, the officer reported, was a fold-in razor blade style knife.

Inside the home, investigators found a frozen pizza sitting on the kitchen counter, which the homeowner said she had not removed from the freezer. They also found a partially consumed bottle of Smirnoff liquor in a bedroom and a fully consumed bottle in the trash.

The complaint said Hughes was barefoot when he was captured. Authorities found a pair of shoes in a bathroom that did not belong to anyone who lived at the home. They also located a pair of socks inside the home.

At the jail, authorities found in Hughes’ possession a slip of paper that had the serial number and combination to the homeowner’s gun safe, according to the complaint.

Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Wendy Klicko ordered a pre-sentence investigation, in which a Department of Corrections worker will conduct a review of Hughes’ life history to aid the judge in sentencing. A sentencing date will be scheduled after that report is complete.

As part of his deal, the dismissed charges against Hughes will be read into the record when he is sentenced. That means they may be considered for the purposes of restitution, but cannot count toward his maximum prison sentence.

Because of prior convictions, the maximum prison term for the burglary charge against Hughes is increased by two years. He faces a total possible sentence of up to 14½ years.