Weather Forecast


Duluth man pleads guilty to impersonating police officer

A Duluth man pleaded guilty this week to charges that he impersonated an officer at two East Hillside convenience stores in an attempt to get into their safes.

Cody Lee Walker-Nelson, 23, pleaded guilty to a felony burglary charge and a misdemeanor count of impersonating an officer Monday in State District Court. Sentencing has been set for April 24 before Judge Sally Tarnowski.

Walker-Nelson was arrested last month after police said he entered the Cenex gas station on Sixth Avenue East and Ninth Street dressed like an officer, wearing a fake badge around his neck and carrying a chemical aerosol container and a stun gun on a duty belt.

Walker-Nelson told the clerk that he was a drug task force officer and requested access to surveillance camera footage and then asked to look in the store safe. A similar description and activity were reported a few blocks down Ninth Street at another Cenex station.

The defendant was later found at his grandmother’s house on the 1600 block of East Fifth Street, where he was arrested. The grandmother said she had been driving Walker-Nelson around that day to convenience stores, believing he was applying for jobs.

Walker-Nelson was also discovered to be living with a woman who had an order for protection against him, according to the criminal complaint.

Walker-Nelson was charged on Feb. 27 with third-degree burglary, possession of tear gas or a stun guy by a felon, violating an order for protection, impersonating an officer and fleeing on foot. Three of those charges were dismissed Monday as part of a plea agreement with the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office.

Walker-Nelson has a criminal history. In 2009, he was placed on probation after admitting to setting two fires in the Central Hillside neighborhood. Prior to that, he served four months in jail for an East Hillside garage fire.