-- The former Fox News guest who allegedly claimed to be a former CIA operative was ordered held after the judge said he had “significant concerns” that Simmons would not follow conditions of release.
The judge concluded Simmons could pose a danger to the community citing his criminal record, especially his felony firearms conviction.
Wayne Simmons was indicted last week on multiple federal fraud charges for allegedly lying about being employed by the CIA and making a false statement to government officials in 2009 in order to obtain a top secret clearance.
“He has a lack of regard for the law,” said Federal Judge Ivan Davis, of the Eastern District of Virginia, during a detention hearing.
Simmons' alleged fraudulent claims of being a CIA operative helped advance his career as terrorism analyst regularly appearing on Fox News.
Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto delivered an apology, saying "If it's true that all our due diligence and vetting on Mr. Simmons missed this, that's big, and that's on me."
According to the indictment, Simmons claimed that he was an "outside paramilitary special operations officer" for the CIA from 1973 to 2000 in a letter to the U.S. State Department in 2009.
He allegedly used the claim to get an interim security clearance and contract work with the U.S. government, court papers say.
The judge sided with the prosecution, who argued that Simmons is a risk to the community because of his past brushes with the law.
Simmons hadn’t paid his mortgage since 2010 and his car was repossessed last month, according to the prosecutor. He was also arrested 11 times for driving under the influence of alcohol, prosecutors said. The disposition of those cases was not clear.
Two weapons were found in his home when he was arrested last week, even though he was prohibited from owning firearms because of previous weapons convictions. The details of those cases were not clear.
The prosecutor said Simmons is “not a man who has respect for law enforcement.”
The defense lawyer, Whitney Minter, argued that Simmons was not a flight risk because he has strong family and historical ties to his home in Maryland. She also argued that he knew for two years about the investigation against him and did not attempt to run from authorities.
His lawyer asked for a second hearing to review his release.
Simmons has not entered a plea.