Man accused of posing as immigration officer arrested in Fort Pierce

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - After eluding law enforcement for several months, one of the robbers who allegedly posed as federal immigration officers and took money from people in May has been arrested.

Officers of the U.S. Marshal's Regional Fugitive Task Force and Fort Pierce police captured Curry Cook, 25, at 9:30 a.m. Thursday as he ran from a home on Boston Avenue.

He is being held in the St. Lucie County Jail under a $250,000 bond on charges in three cases, most of which involved early morning robberies of Hispanic men going to work.

Cook is charged with three counts of impersonation of a law enforcement officer and two counts of robbery.

His name first surfaced from an identification card dropped at the scene of a May 2 robbery at 12:25 a.m. in the 300 block of South 23rd Street.

Police Detective Sal Garcia led the investigation.

"Anytime we have a case like (impersonating law enforcement), it makes it harder for us to do our job because so much of what we do relies upon the trust of our community," he said.

Cook had been moving between Vero Beach and Fort Pierce, police said, and it wasn't until recently that investigators developed firm information about his whereabouts.

Finally, "We got a break and set up at a house at 1402 Boston Ave., and saw him," said Police Sgt. Dennis McWilliams.

In addition to the South 23rd Street incident, Cook is charged in robberies in the 1800 block of Delaware Avenue and the 200 block of South Seventh Street, police said.

In the incident on South Seventh Street, a man was riding his bicycle at 6:55 a.m. May 2 when a four-door car pulled up in front of him with a blue dome light.

One of two occupants got out with what appeared to be a metal detector and said he was an immigration officer and needed to see the man's identification, police reports show. When the victim pulled out a wallet, it was grabbed out of his hand and $250 was stolen.

Police continue investigating the incidents and are looking for others who may have been involved.

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