Terra Bella Man Arrested for Impersonating a Game Warden

Media Contacts:
Nathaniel Arnold, DFG Law Enforcement, (559) 284-1264
Patrick Foy, DFG Law Enforcement, (916) 508-7095
A 28-year-old man has been arrested for impersonating a California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) warden in Tulare County. Joshua Adam O’Daniel, a Terra Bella resident, was sought by law enforcement for allegedly claiming to be a game warden making a field contact with a mother and daughter.
On Dec. 30, 2010, the mother and daughter were parked along Blueridge Road in rural Tulare County when O’Daniel stopped his pickup nearby and approached them. The women said that he had dogs on the ground and appeared to be hunting. He first asked them if they had seen any bears, which they denied. He then identified himself as a game warden and asked if either of the women had been drinking or had any drugs or firearms in the vehicle. O’Daniel then told the women he needed to check their vehicle for drugs and firearms.
When O’Daniel realized there were additional occupants in the vehicle (which he had not previously noticed due to tinted windows), he asked the women if there were males in the vehicle. When the women responded that there were “lots of them,” O’Daniel immediately sped off in his pickup, leaving his dogs trailing after him.
A subsequent investigation based on witness information identified O’Daniel as a suspect. Both women independently picked O’Daniel out of a photo lineup. Because O’Daniel had searchable probation terms from a prior criminal conviction on weapons charges, wardens contacted him at his residence and arrested him on March 17. He is now facing additional charges for possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a firearm and ammunition, as well as unlawful storage of a firearm.
Impersonating a peace officer is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.