Splash News
September 15, 2006 10:00 AM

A man hoping to get a bodyguard job with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie instead got arrested on Thursday – on charges of impersonating a Department of Homeland Security officer, a felony, the Smoking Gun Web site reports.

Nelson Mercado, 46, pretended to be a special agent for the department, authorities say.

Applying through a legitimate firm called Sunset Protective Services and Investigations, which provides bodyguards for corporate clients and celebrities, Mercado specifically sought employment with Pitt and Jolie, prosecutors say.

According to court papers, “While in such a pretended character, defendant Mercado demanded money and a thing of value, namely the security contract and hourly payments to provide security services for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.”

Mercado, who has provided security for athletes and entertainers in the past, posed as a special agent beginning in August 2005 until sometime this past May by using fraudulent credentials and driving a Ford Crown Victoria with fake markings.

“This car was fraudulently registered to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of America,” reads Mercado’s indictment, filed by Orange County prosecutors in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif.

Mercado faces a maximum of three years in prison if convicted.

There has been no comment from the Pitt-Jolie camp on the arrest.

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