Rob Malcolm Reporting

EL DORADO HILLS (CBS13) — An El Dorado Hills man is behind bars after allegedly impersonating an ICE agent and committing an armed robbery, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.

(credit: El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office)

“For something like this to happen in our area, it’s appalling,” said Kathy Fridle.

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These were the words from Fridle, who just learned her neighbor a few houses down was arrested for impersonating a federal agent.

On Monday night, deputies with the El Dorado County Sherriff’s office swooped into the Cameron Park neighborhood, descending on the home of Patrick Mullany.

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Deputies alleged Mullany was behind a scheme where he would drive into construction sites, claim he was an ICE agent, then handcuff workers while stealing cash and threatening deportation.

Don Godsey, who lived a few doors down on Clemson Drive, saw some police activity and was shocked to learn it was his neighbor.

“ That’s crazy, that’s crazy,” said Godsey. “That’s all I can say, that’s prejudice.”

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The scheme fell apart when Mullany made a visit to the same construction site twice in less than two weeks. The workers caught on and called the police.

Detectives served a search warrant on Mullany’s home and discovered large amounts of cash. A search of his truck revealed two replica handguns and a pair of handcuffs. He was immediately booked into the county jail.

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Another neighbor, Joe Torres, lives directly across the street and said Mullany seemed to have an issue with Latinos.

“He talked about Mexicans saying they’re dirty,” said Torres. “I told him I’m Mexican and he was quiet and treated me all right for the most part.”

Police say the motive for the crimes appear to be quick cash and credits the construction workers for coming forward.

“For this group to call us and come forward it’s helpful because we got this guy off the street who knows how many other people he targeted,” said Sergeant Andrew Principe with the El Dorado County Sherriff’s Office.

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Mullany is being held in county jail facing charges of robbery, false Imprisonment, and impersonating a police officer.