A Franklin County man who posed as a federal agent and staged armed police raids in and around Gerald has completed his five-year federal prison term.
Federal authorities reported that Bill Jakob, 41, was released from prison Tuesday, June 11.
Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said he was told that Jakob currently is living at a group home in St. Louis and still must complete three years of supervised release under the terms of his sentence.
Jakob served most of his prison term at a federal penitentiary in Texas but more recently was in a halfway house in the St. Louis area.
Gerald Mayor Otis Schulte, on hearing of Jakob’s release, recalled how he and other local officials were duped into thinking Jakob was a legitimate law enforcement officer.
“I hope he learned his lesson and I hope he doesn’t do anything to any other people or cities,” said Schulte who was mayor during the Jakob affair. “We all got took. It is nobody’s fault. We want to put it behind us.”
The five-year sentence for Jakob was handed down in December 2008 after he pleaded guilty to a host of federal charges, including multiple counts of impersonating federal officers.
Jakob also pleaded guilty to four counts of posing as a contracting officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in late 2007. At the time, Jakob was a salesman for Total Lock & Security Co. which sells doors and lock sets to commercial customers and government agencies.
Authorities said Jakob lied to the company by saying he had negotiated three contracts with the Corps. He made up two names of purported Corps contracting officers, who were actually him.
In addition to the prison sentence, Jakob was ordered to pay restitution of $30,000 to Total Lock & Security and a $2,300 special assessment.
Jakob was fired by the company in early 2008 and a few months later he rolled into Gerald with a fake badge and offered his help to the Gerald police department, claiming he was attached to a federal narcotics task force.
Jakob, along with Gerald police officers, staged a series of warrantless raids during April 2008. During those raids he represented himself as either an officer and employee of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, an agent of the U.S. Department of Justice Multi Jurisdictional Narcotics Task Force or as a U.S. marshal.
The targets of those raids alleged that they were threatened and arrested without warrants and in some cases thrown to the ground and had guns shoved in their faces and were jailed but never charged.
As the investigation unfolded, a number of those people filed lawsuits against the city of Gerald, all of which have been settled.
Jakob’s ruse and subsequent raids and arrests led to the firing of Gerald Police Chief Ryan McCrary and two of his command officers.
The case attracted national and international attention.