Newmarket man charged with impersonating police officer in Stratham, Epping and Hampton.By JAMES A. KIMBLE
Union Leader Correspondent
March 31. 2014 6:34PM
BRENTWOOD — A Newmarket man is pleading guilty to charges that he impersonated a police officer while pulling over women drivers in three Seacoast towns, according to prosecutors.
Michael Heath, 42, struck a plea deal in Rockingham County Superior Court on three felony charges of false personation.
Heath is accused of using a badge and blue lights mounted in his 2005 Buick Century while stopping women driving in Stratham, Epping and Hampton.
He is facing three felony charges, each punishable by up to 3 ½ to 7 years in state prison. Public defenders for Heath have brokered a plea deal, but terms of the agreement have not yet been made public.
Heath initially tried to settle his charges in 10th Circuit Court shortly after he was arrested in the latest case in Hampton on Sept. 8.
But prosecutors ultimately backed away from a deal that would have required him to undergo a sex offender evaluation and serve 90 days in county jail, according to court records.
Heath's case was then presented to a Rockingham County Superior Court grand jury, which indicted him in all three cases.
Court documents indicate that Heath's charges only represent a sampling of his behavior with a badge. Heath told police during a Sept. 13 interview that he stopped motorists in Newfields, Hampton Falls, Newington, Portsmouth, and along roadsides in Maine and Massachusetts, according to a police affidavit.
He was not charged in those cases. Heath began flashing a military police badge, and used a blue-light application on his Smartphone to carry out vehicle stops.
Stratham police searched Heath's vehicle on Sept. 11, Stratham police found "several sexual items" including condoms and packets of lubrication, according to Gilroy.
"Mr. Heath acknowledged that he has been escalating his actions," Hampton police Detective Christopher Gilroy said in a police report.
Heath told investigators that he started interacting with motorists by honking his horn at driver's that he thought were speeding "or during road rage encounters," according to a police report.
Heath is expected to change his plea on May 27 in Rockingham County Superior Court.
A judge will have to approve of the plea agreement. He remains free on bail.