Army deserter who stole valor and pretended to be federal agent is facing prison

Simon Emilio Zablah has been busy over the last decade since he went AWOL from the Army – making him a deserter* during war time.

The 29 year-old from Broward County, Florida has been masquerading as a federal Drug Enforcement agent as well as a combat-wounded Special Operations sergeant.

Zablah enlisted in the Army in January 2005 and only served for about two weeks before he went AWOL from basic training at Fort Jackson – which resulted in him being discharged with “other than honorable conditions.”

Despite his public service record stating he signed up for the job of a Military Intelligence Brach/Human Intelligence Collector (35M) made numerous claims of being a decorated sergeant – in reality demoted to Private – who served in numerous special operations groups including the 75th Ranger Regiment.

Zablah wearing a 75th Ranger Regiment hat. Photo credit: Facebook

On his fake Army Dress Blue uniform he claimed to have earned the coveted Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge, Military Free Fall Jumpmaster Parachute (HALO Wings) Badge, Combat Action Badge, and even a Purple Heart.

Zablah 2

According to authorities he frequently wore the Army uniform to receive special treatment such as free meals from restaurants.

To pull off his military identify he fabricated a military identification card that showed the rank of Sergeant, according to Sun Sentinel.  A Hollywood, Florida officer claims that Zablah used this ID card to convince him to reduce a $205 speeding ticket to a warning.

In addition to fabricating a federal ID to impersonate a U.S. service member witnesses say he would leave home for work in shirts that had “FEDERAL AGENT” printed on them.

It was not until Zablah was arrested for strangling his pregnant girlfriend did authorities begin to investigate him for his impersonation crimes.

While on bail, after being charged with the domestic violence charge, Zablah was questioned about the impersonation crimes by federal agents.  He then cut off his electronic monitor that was placed on him after being released from jail and fled to El Salvador.

When he attempted to return from El Salvador to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport he was arrested by investigators.

Zablah pleaded guilty last year to two charges of impersonating a federal officer and one count of credit card fraud.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of sixteen years in federal prison but a plea deal has reduced his sentence to one year and a day in prison and mental health treatment.

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