DESOTO COUNTY, Fla. — The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office in Southwest Florida warned drivers about someone allegedly impersonating U.S. Customs and Border Patrol with a truck outfitted to resemble the federal agency but markings on the vehicle actually read “Booty Patrol” in lieu of “Border Patrol.”
“The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office is reaching out to raise awareness about a vehicle equipped with red and blue lights that has been impersonating law enforcement, and it’s not just happening here in DeSoto County, but in several other counties across Florida as well,” the agency cautioned residents.
They described the vehicle in question as a white, Chevy Silverado pickup with green decals. The truck was also equipped with first responder emergency lights, NBC 2 reported.
“If you or anyone you know has been pulled over by this suspicious vehicle or has any information related to these incidents, please do not hesitate to reach out to the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Division,” the press release said.
Deputies later found the vehicle and issued the driver a citation.
“On Sunday, October 29, 2023, the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office successfully located both the vehicle and the driver involved in the recent incident of a vehicle impersonating law enforcement. Our law enforcement deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, and deputies issued a citation for violating FSS 316.2397, which pertains to Certain Lights Prohibited.”
The owner of the truck was identified as Gabriel Luviano, 18, of Bradenton. He saw a similar truck out west and thought it would be fun to have one in Florida, according to NBC 2.
“It’s the closest you could get to Border Patrol and still have the ‘b’ in it,” he said. “I have videos of cops coming up to me and they just want a picture.”
Luviano said he never uses the red and blue emergency lights while out on the road. He only turns them on while parked and on private property, like at car shows.
The teen also also said he spent $5,000 beyond the purchase price to outfit the “Booty Patrol” truck in its current configuration. He said most people think it’s fun, but not all law enforcement officers are laughing.
According to NBC 2, the fine will cost him $113.