When Jonathon Wall received a VIP pass to this year's Salt Lake Comic Con, he was ecstatic. The pass, valued at $250 dollars, got him exclusive access to parts of the convention, more opportunities to rub shoulders with visiting celebrities, and a respectable amount of swag. All of that, it would seem, wasn't quite enough for the 29-year-old, self-professed Star Wars fanboy.
Wall wanted more—specifically, he wanted access to the convention's green room. So, like any sensible fan with a solid understanding of boundaries, Wall decided to impersonate an Air Force special investigator in order to convince Con staff that he should be allowed into the restricted area reserved for celebs making appearances at the convention.
In his defense, Wall does, in fact, work for the Air Force, albeit as a refrigerator mechanic.
While attempting to enter the green room, a retired police officer working the event noticed Wall, pulled him aside, and began to question him about his access to the convention. When Wall laid out his story for the officer, the man became skeptical, and things all went downhill from there. The Air Force's actual Office of Special Investigations was looped into the situation and brought in to question Wall.
"I had this bright idea to tell them I was with the [Air Force Office of Special Investigations] and that we were looking for a certain person," Wall told NBC News. "I'm just a normal guy who made a stupid mistake."
Wall's stupid mistake got him indicted on Wednesday on charges of impersonating and lying to federal agents. If convicted, Wall could be facing fines up to $250,000 and five years in prison.
According to Wall, he made his entire false backstory up on the spot when he was first pulled aside by the police officer, but the Office of Special Investigations believes that his plan to sneak into the green room was premeditated.
Wall attributed his actions to a bout of depression related to his work and a recent diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease that can cause a fusing of the spine vertebrae. Wall also says that he did it for his brother, who was also at the convention and also has ankylosing spondylitis.
Currently Wall does not have a lawyer.