Iulia Pugachev, a 28-year-old Instagramer with a following of 1.8 million, found herself in hot water when her customized Dodge Charger, resembling a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) vehicle, was seized by authorities. Pugachev, hailing from Hollywood, was charged with imitating an FHP vehicle’s colors, failing to register the modified car, and misusing a dealer license plate.
The incident unfolded in Miami when police officers were engaged in an unrelated traffic stop. It was then that they spotted Pugachev swiftly navigating the streets in a vehicle resembling an official law enforcement car.
Upon inspection, troopers discovered that not only did Pugachev’s Dodge Charger boast the iconic black and tan paint job synonymous with FHP cruisers, but it also featured a functioning emergency siren, an FHP-like decal, and sported the name “FSO Guard” on its doors.
As a reminder, it is a 1st degree misdemeanor for a vehicle to be painted with the same color scheme prescribed for FHP vehicles. https://t.co/ByvtzsRdkh
— FHP Miami (@FHPMiami) October 11, 2023
Initially, Pugachev claimed she was merely test-driving the vehicle. However, she later admitted to being the owner of “FSO Guard,” a security company, according to the arrest report. Pugachev and her husband are known for owning several car-related businesses.
The customizations didn’t end there. Pugachev affixed a decal on the side of the vehicle that closely resembled an authentic police badge. She disclosed to authorities that she had the distinctive light bar installed at a local body shop and later decided to have it enveloped in the iconic black and tan hues. Unfortunately for Pugachev, officials clarified that it is against the law for a vehicle to bear the same color scheme as FHP patrol units.
As a result of this stunt, Pugachev now faces a 1st-degree misdemeanor charge. Furthermore, her beloved Dodge Charger has been impounded. Per their investigation, FHP is asking the public to report if they had any run-ins with this Dodge Charger FHP clone car.
The Florida Highway Patrol Miami division took to Twitter (X) to emphasize the gravity of the offense, reiterating that it is strictly prohibited for a vehicle to be painted in the same color scheme as FHP vehicles.
Source: FHP and WSVN-TV 7