Authorities say a former Minnesota state trooper claimed to be an active member of the force when he was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving in Superior on Christmas.

“I’m a cop,” Gaylen Patrick Williams allegedly told a Superior police officer, before stating that he was going to be in trouble with his captain.

Authorities, however, were able to dispel that claim rather quickly with a phone call to the Minnesota State Patrol communications center. Williams hasn’t been employed by the state of Minnesota since June 2011, spokesman Neil Dickenson confirmed to the News Tribune.

The tale earned the 40-year-old Williams an arrest - not just for operating while intoxicated but also for impersonating a peace officer. He was formally charged last week in Douglas County Circuit Court.

According to the criminal complaint, Williams was pulled over by Superior officer Griffith Coffman along Tower Avenue at 2:13 a.m. Christmas Day.

As the officer was talking to Williams, he twice stated, “I’m a cop.” Coffman asked where he worked, and Griffith said with the Minnesota State Patrol. He proceeded to give what Coffman believed to be a badge number and began stating names of fellow troopers.

Williams was arrested for operating while intoxicated and placed in the back of Coffman’s car. He stated he was going to be in trouble with his captain and provided a number for the captain.

Before Williams was brought into the booking area, Coffman had the communications center contact the Minnesota State Patrol. They verified that Williams was not employed with them.

Williams, who according to court records has addresses in Duluth and in Florida, made his initial court appearance on Jan. 20 on the charge of impersonating an officer. The misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of nine months’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

Williams was released on a $1,000 signature bond. His next court appearance is set for February.