|For Immediate Release
Case # 08CF0180 January 17, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
HUNTINGTON BEACH FELON CHARGED WITH IMPERSONATING A FIRE FIGHTER AT DISASTER SCENES INCLUDING HURRICANE KATRINA
AND WORLD TRADE CENTER
WESTMINSTER – A convicted felon accused of impersonating a Los Angeles County Fire Fighter Paramedic was charged today with two felony counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one misdemeanor count of fraudulently impersonating fire personnel. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in prison. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) arrested James Charles Campbell, 45, on September 7, 2007 after serving a search warrant on his Huntington Beach following a two month investigation. Campbell is out on $20,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, February 19, 2008 in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Campbell has prior felony convictions in Arizona related to burglaries and the fraudulent misuse of credit cards. He was working in Arizona as an emergency medical technician for a local ambulance company, where his paramedic license was later revoked based on his felony convictions. Campbell obtained an Emergency Medical Technician license in May 1995 in the state of California. That license was revoked in November 1997 for his failure to disclose his prior felony convictions.
Campbell was arrested at his home shortly before 8:00 a.m. on September 7, 2007, by OCDA investigators. He is accused of possessing a handgun and a shotgun and stolen Los Angeles County Fire Department equipment in his house.
Between 2001 and the present, Campbell is accused of pretending to be a Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedic Captain who flies helicopters for the Department. He is accused of obtaining a uniform with Los Angeles patches and a badge, and carrying a wallet badge and firefighter identification with him at all times. Campbell is accused of carrying a firearm, which is a crime based on his prior felony convictions. The defendant is accused of showing up at the scenes of national and local disasters including the World Trade Center after September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and Hurricane Dean, and falsely representing himself as a Los Angeles County Fire Fighter Paramedic. He is accused of gaining access to secure fire areas in California and being on the front line of the Sawtooth fire in San Bernardino County and the Esperanza fire in Riverside County with a video camera. He is accused of being present at the Placentia Metrolink accident.