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Man accused of Brangelina spying

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Friday, September 15, 2006
Los Angeles (Reuters): A Los Angeles man was arrested today for impersonating a federal agent in what prosecutors say was an attempt to work as a security consultant for brad pitt and Angelina Jolie. Nelson Mercado, 46, was indicted on a charge of falsely claiming to be a special agent for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security when he applied for a job with Sunset Protective Services and Investigations.

Mercado, who had phony credentials showing him to be an agent with the DHS, sought the job specifically to provide security services for Pitt and Jolie, U.S. Attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek said. Mrozek said Mercado, who claimed to have provided security for other entertainers and well-known athletes, also drove a Ford Crown Victoria with tinted windows and police-style lights that was falsely registered to the ''US Dept of Homeland Security of America.'' Pitt, 42, and Jolie, 31, nicknamed ''Brangelina,'' have been at the center of a tabloid frenzy since they met in 2004.

In June, a celebrity photographer was arrested on suspicion of trespassing while trying to photograph the celebrity couple's son outside the Malibu school that he attends. Prosecutors declined to file charges in that case.

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