Antigua, 59, was arrested Aug. 1 after he violated his grand theft probation by driving with a suspended license. That arrest led to the discovery of more than a dozen fake law enforcement and military uniforms as well as fake medical credentials.
Items ranged from a blue jumpsuit bearing the badge of a NASA Shuttle Chase Team, U.S. Customs and medical badges to handcuffs and ammunition. There was even a Boy Scout troop leader uniform. His 2004 Cadillac Escalade with tinted windows was fitted with blue, flashing lights.
Antigua, of 5642 LaSalle Court in New Port Richey, remains in the Land O’ Lakes Jail with no bail.
“Because you see everything in front here, we have a question that we’ve kind of coined as ‘Who is Roy,’” said Chief James Steffans of the New Port Richey Police, standing in front of tables of fake uniforms, identifications and badges. “We want the public to assist us. … Find out if you’ve ever interacted with this gentleman that we are telling you about today. We need to know if you interacted with him, was it under suspicious circumstances? Was it under circumstances that you now find suspicious?
“We need to know from start to finish, who is Roy Antigua?”
Antigua, born in Havana, Cuba, was originally contacted by the New Port Richey police officers after neighbors complained of a disturbance at his LaSalle Court home. An investigation found nothing, but the Coast Guard ID he presented raised a red flag. He was asked to come to the station where he demanded to speak with Steffans. During that time, a team of investigators, including Sgt. Edward Campbell began to dig deeper.
“I was previously in the Marine Corps, so I knew what one of those looked like,” Campbell said. “It had a gold chip that was missing and the back of it sort of looked like a hotel card.”
Police said he ordered many of the items from the Internet and made several of the badges himself.
During a Memorial Day event in May at Meadowlawn Memorial Gardens in New Port Richey, Antigua sat next to Steffans, introducing himself as a lieutenant commander of the U.S. Coast Guard, Steffans said.
“I think he dishonored the family members who were there to reflect on the memories of their loves ones,” Steffans said. “I think it’s very troubling he felt comfortable enough to not only dress up in that attire, but to physically go to that event, sit up in the front, and represent the United States Coast Guard as an officer nonetheless, without ever having the authority or pedigree to do that.
“It’s offensive and I hope that the families know that we’re going to do whatever we can do to make sure he’s held accountable.”