Charges say a popular TikTok user accused of impersonating a federal agent had a hidden room at his Minnesota property, in which authorities say they found numerous weapons and firearm accessories — including guns, an explosive and suppressors.
Reyel D. Simmons, 52, was charged in September with impersonating a federal agent, with prosecutors alleging he portrayed himself as a Homeland Security agent both on his popular @meandmyself81 TikTok account, and in private.
The account had nearly 10,000 followers, but his story began to come apart when a TikTok user, with whom he'd started a romantic relationship, reported him to the FBI, charges state. Authorities say Simmons is not currently, and never has been, a federal law enforcement agent.
Since the original complaint was filed, amended court filings have revealed more details about the case, including what investigators say they discovered when they search Simmons' Dodge Center home. And on Thursday, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced a federal grand jury indicted Simmons on five counts: impersonating a federal officer, felon in possession of firearms, felon in possession of explosives, possession of unregistered firearms and possession of an unauthorized badge.
Simmons has a felony conviction out of Colorado and is prohibited from owning or possessing guns.
The new details in the case come via an amended criminal complaint, filed after authorities arrested Simmons at his Shakopee workplace on Sept. 20, 2021. That same day, they executed search warrants at his property, his workplace and his truck.
Here are images of some of the items agents are said to have found as part of the aforementioned search warrants:
Reyel Simmons: Search warrant photos
When arrested at work, authorities say:
- Simmons had a black "go bag" with Homeland Security insignia on it
- In the go bag, there was a .40 caliber Glock and three loaded magazines
- The bag also included a fake Homeland Security badge and other falsified law enforcement- or military-related items
His truck, the complaint says, was outfitted with an operational light bar, siren and PA system. Inside, agents say they found a rifle case, stun gun and law enforcement-style baton.
It was at the Dodge Center property listed as his home, where he lived with his spouse, that agents allege they found a trove of illegally possessed weapons, many of which were stored in a bunker-like safe room accessible only via a hidden doorway in the basement. According to the amended complaint, it was in that secret room agents found:
- Eight firearms, some with camouflage accessories
- Suppressors (also known as silencers), which he is barred from owning and were not registered
- A detonating cord that was tested, found to be filled with an explosive substance known as PETN
- A blasting cap
A search of the property as a whole, authorities say, turned up:
- Thousands of rounds of ammunition
- Badges, IDs, clothing, gear and tactical vests (two of them made to be bullet proof) meant to look like official law enforcement gear
- A ghillie suit
- Multiple blank CDC vaccination cards
His wife, speaking to authorities after Simmons' arrest, described him as "secretive and deceptive," according to the amended criminal complaint, adding most of the guns were his and that she knew little about his background.
Simmons, speaking to law enforcement, denied agents would find weapons on his property, until he was told they'd already uncovered multiple firearms, the charges say. At that point, he admitted many belonged to him and acknowledged he wasn't allowed to possess or own them due to his criminal record.
He insisted, however, that he was affiliated with the Department of Homeland Security through a contractor, but wouldn't provide specifics, the charges state.
When the U.S. Marshals later attempted to bring him to Sherburne County Jail pending trial, he first faked fainting spells, then became "physically combative," according to the document. He was eventually brought to the jail and booked.