The 10,000 followers of TikTok user "Key Reeves," aka @meandmyself81, were treated to behind-the-scenes snippets of the life of a federal agent. The radio, the badge, the firearms, the office, the uniform — everything one would expect to see from a dedicated member of law enforcement.
Except "Reeves" was nothing of the sort, according to federal charges revealed Monday. The user is actually a 52-year-old Minnesota man with a long history of impersonating federal agents and military service members, prosecutors allege.
And a TikTok user tipster helped bring the latest alleged scheme to light.
Reyel Devon Simmons, of Dodge Center, is accused of impersonating a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agent, the U.S. Attorney's Office District of Minnesota announced. The complaint says Simmons "used a profile photo that showed him wearing law enforcement gear and made several posts displaying law enforcement equipment, badges, and firearms, and referring explicitly and implicitly to himself as a federal agent."
But employment records show Simmons never has been, and is not currently, working for law enforcement. In fact, he's actually employed at a manufacturing plant in Shakopee via a temp agency — and even on his job application lied about previously having worked for the U.S. government, according to the charges.
Simmons' tale began to unravel thanks to a tip from a TikTok user who'd struck up a romantic relationship with Simmons, the complaint says. According to the charges:
A TikTok user first met Simmons through the app in January of 2021, and the two started a romantic relationship the following month. The witness, who lives in Georgia, flew to Minnesota and would spend time with Simmons at Twin Cities hotels — which Simmons said were being paid for by DHS, as he was working undercover in the area on a child sex trafficking case.
According to this witness, Simmons would openly flaunt his work as a federal agent. He told the witness he had recently been undercover in Miami. He sent the person maps and explanations of assignments. He messaged them a photo of multiple firearms, claiming they were seized in a raid. He wore a "Homeland Security Investigations" shirt with a badge and law enforcement credentials, and his pickup was equipped with a light bar package and police radio.
He also claimed to have been a Navy SEAL previously, and said he knew Chris Kyle, the late service member whose story was popularized in American Sniper.
In August, a TikTok comment caught the witness' eye. The user claimed Simmons was "impersonating a police officer again." Simmons made his account private at that point, but the witness reached out to the user for more information. That TikTok user provided the witness information about Simmons' previous run-ins with the law in Colorado. The witness found it believable and reported Simmons to the FBI — keeping this from Simmons, as he continued to post about his career as a federal agent.
Federal investigators spoke with this TIkTok user, who said she and Simmons worked together in Colorado. On his job application, he claimed years of employment that were "confidential" during his military career. In 2017, he sent her a selfie while wearing a shirt with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement logo on it.
These allegations represent the latest in a long string of such incidents for Simmons, who faced criminal charges in Colorado for presenting himself as a law enforcement officer. In a 2007 case, after being involved in a car crash, Simmons got out of his vehicle, pointed a weapon (later determined to be a BB gun) at the other car and announced himself as a federal agent, according to the charges. He then ordered the people out of the car, handcuffed the driver and head-butted the passenger, the charges state.
This led to felony menacing and misdemeanor assault convictions, and he is currently prohibited from owning a gun.
He got into trouble in Denver and Aurora, Colorado, in 2004 for impersonating a police officer. And during a recent traffic stop in Shakopee, Simmons indicated to the officer he was in the military or involved with military police, according to the charges.
Tax records indicate he may also be married, with his spouse listed as owner of the property he provided as his home address on a September 2020 job application with the temp agency. On that job application, he claimed to have worked for DHS from 1997-2000, the charges state — years before the agency existed. He and the same woman are also listed as owners of the pickup truck.
The FBI is actively looking for others who may have interacted with Simmons. The agency is asking anyone with information to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip through tips.fbi.gov.
A preliminary hearing in the case is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to online court records.