Source: The Herald-News
By: John B. Carpenter
MADISON, Miss. -- A grand Jury has handed down an indictment against a Madison bounty hunter accused of posing as a bail bondsman. Sheriff's deputies said they found an arsenal of legal weapons inside Paul Fish's home in February. Officials also said they found badges and clothes with the word "police" on them Fish faces multiple charges, including drug, and sex charges. He is scheduled for arraignment Thursday.
By: Thomas Baumann
Montana State Trooper: In most of the United States there is a policy of checking on any stalled vehicle on the highway when temperatures drop to single digits or below. About 3am one very cold morning, Montana State Trooper Allan Nixon #658 responded to a call that there was a car off the shoulder of the road outside Great Falls, Montana. He located the car, stuck in deep snow and with the engine still running. Pulling in behind the car with his emergency light on, the trooper walked to the driver's door to find an older man passed out behind the wheel with a nearby empty vodka bottle on the seat beside him. The driver came awake when the trooper tapped on the window. Seeing the rotating lights in his rear view mirror, and the state trooper standing next to his car, the man panicked. He jerked the gearshift into 'drive' and hit the gas.
The car's speedometer was showing 20-30-40 and then 50 MPH, but it was still stuck in the snow, wheels spinning. Trooper Nixon, having a sense of humor, began running in place next to the speeding (but stationary) car. The driver was totally freaked, thinking the trooper was actually keeping up with him. This goes on for about 30 seconds, when the trooper yelled, "PULL OVER"!
The man nodded, turned his wheel and stopped the engine. Needless to say, the man from North Dakota was arrested and is probably still shaking his head over the state trooper in Montana who could run 50 MPH. Who says state troopers don't have a sense of humor?
Source: The Morning Call
By: Tara Ballenger
Allentown, PA: At the Police Department's annual awards ceremony, civilians, along with police officers, were honored at the ceremony. Among the honored civilians was a fugitive recovery agent, Faicel Belkhir, who pursued a fugitive in east Allentown who pulled the trigger of a handgun several times. The weapon did not discharge and the suspect was apprehended.
By Bob Burton, Director of National Operations, US COBRA
WARNING! WARNING! To all agents:Please be aware that New York State is now prosecuting for wearing a metal badge by any security guard, P.I., or bail enforcement agent. Metal badges are no longer allowed in New York State. "WARNING"! Repeat: Do not get caught with a metal shield, badge, or star in your possession. The best we can find is that cloth ones are acceptable...Bob Burton, Director of National Operations, US COBRA
June 27, 2007
Source: Sequoya County Times
Muldrow, Oklahoma - Two men face charges after bail bond incident:In Muldrow, this past week, a case of mistaken identity landed two bail bond agents in trouble. A man who claimed that two men broke into his home was looking for someone named "Frank" McConnell. When the victim was able to provide ID that showed he was not Frank McConnell the two men left. Police believed the incident was a bail bonds operation gone wrong. Bond enforcement agent Roger Brooks of Berglan Bail Bonds in Sallisaw was looking for Frank McConnell. Brooks and bail bond agent Rodney Swearingen were questioned about the incident. Both men were booked on first-degree burglary and were released on bail shortly after wards. Both men have former felony convictions.
(Bob Burton's commentary on the Muldrow incident - This is a good example of the un-trained agents used by some bail bond agents. Breaking into a house "LOOKING" for someone is a no-no. Breaking in to arrest someone that is known to be in the house is more acceptable...)
July 10, 2007
Source: Miami Herald Media Company
By: David Ovalle
Bail bondsman killed on job is identified: A bail bondsman shot Monday night in Northwest Miami-Date as he was picking up a man who skipped bond has died, Miami-Dade police said. His family identified him as Jerry Dongo, 32, a father of three who has worked as a bondsman for eight years...
Killing of bondsman shows danger of industry. By David
The bail bondsman community lost one of its own. Jerry Anthony Dongo, 32, husband and father of three, was shot dead Monday night, police say, by a convicted felon who skipped a $16,000.00 bond on a charge of trying to steal a plasma-screen TV and an Xbox. Dongo and five colleagues rushed in to arrest Christopher Walls, 35, outside his Northwest Miami-Dade apartment building. One held walls at gunpoint and Dongo tried pulling him out of his car. A brawl ensued. Walls, police said, pulled a pistol and shot Dongo, who was not wearing a bullet-proof vest. He was rushed to Jackson Memorial hospital but doctors pronounced him dead. The death rattled S. Florida's bonds community, underscoring the danger bondsmen face daily when trying to recapture wayward clients. "This business has always been a dangerous business," said Linda Braswell, Pres. of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States, who also worked with Dongo. "Bondsmen are in these situations every single day, all over the country 24/7". By Tuesday afternoon, fellow bondsmen in the competitive, rugged industry had donated over $12,000.00 for Dongo's family. "All the bail bondsmen have come together," said Dongo's partner, David Rodriquez, one of the men who tried arresting Walls. "This is very hard on us." Walls is now charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. A murder charge could follow. Walls sports tattoos that read "Thug", "No Fear", & "Hoodrat". Sometimes he calls himself Kivin Balake. His conviction includes robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary, grand theft, & criminal mischief. Miami-Dade police label him a "career criminal".
On May 18th., a Miami-Dade police officer arrested him for allegedly breaking into an Opa-locka home to steal a flat screen TV, an Xbox video game system, a jewelry box and $300.00 -- as the homeowner walked in. Walls dropped the loot, police say. He escaped but was later arrested after fingerprints tied him to the scene. On May 19th, he posted bond of $16,000.00 -- the defendant pays 10% of that amount, while the bondsman and ultimately an insurance company is held liable if the suspect disappears. Walls bondsman was North Miami resident Dongo, in the career for eight years, of J.D. Bail Bonds in Pembroke Pines. Walls case, like many, proved high risk. After Walls failed to appear in court, Judge Lawrence Schwartz on June 8th. ordered that he be arrested. State rules say bondsmen have 60 days to bring in their clients or be held liable. His family said Dongo conducted careful surveillances, took no unnecessary risks and carried a sidearm but preferred a Taser stun gun. "He didn't wasn't to use deadly force," said Howard Puig, his godfather and a fellow bondsman. Dongo devoured true-life law enforcement shows, like Forensic Files & COPS. At Miami-Dade County jail, he met his best friend, Rodriguez, and together they made over 500 arrests in five years. "We were always first through the door," Rodriguez said. Dongo normally didn't wear a vest because he was the runner, chasing down fleeing suspects or cuffing them while Rodriguez held them at gunpoint. On Monday, the team had tracked Walls to an apartment complex at 1020 NW 155th Ln. They were conducting surveillance and just before 8pm, moved to arrest Walls as he was getting into his car. Bondsmen usually notify police if they are working in an area, although there is often friction between law enforcement and bondsmen. The bondsmen did not call police Monday.
July 24, 2007
Sparta man convicted of wiretapping phone:
A part-time bail bondsman from Sparta was convicted Wed. in Federal court of wiretapping a Springfield woman's telephone. Richard A. Hugh, 54, was found guilty of intercepting the telephone communications without permission, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. Hugh installed the phone tap on the woman's phone line in Dec. 2005 in an effort to locate a fugitive in a Lawrence County case, the release said. Using equipment bought at a Radio Shack, he recorded conversations for about 11 days. The federal jury deliberated about an hour before returning a guilty verdict, the release said. The trial began Monday. Hugh faces a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole and a fine up to $250,000.00. A sentencing date has not been set.
July 29, 2007
From: Bob Burton
Bail Bond Agent Goes Bonkers:
Sanford - A Bail Bond Agent suspected in a robbery barricaded himself in a Sanford, FL, apartment for about 6 hours Sat. before he was persuaded to surrender, authorities said. David Soto, 40, a bail bondsman, was taken into custody about 4pm after exiting a second-floor apartment on Hiawatha Ave. just east of U.S. Highway 17-92, said Sanford police spokeswoman Cleo Cohen. No one was hurt in the robbery or standoff. Soto faces a charge of armed robbery in a connection with a holdup at a nearby Sunoco gas station just before 10am, Cohen said. He ran out of the station at U.S. 17-92 & 27th. Street, past Bail Bond Plaza, where he works, and into the apartment she said. Soto has a DeBart address and owns D. Soto Bail Bonds, according to the FL Dept. of State. Soto was being held in the Seminole County Jail. Bail had not been set late Sat. night on a charge of robbery with a firearm. He faces 3 additional charges, which include assault with intent to kill.
December 31, 2007
By: Alsling Swift
Fourth person arrested in Collier bail bonds probe:
A 44-year-old unemployed Naples man who authorities allege solicited business inside the Collier County jail for a local bail bonds firm has been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into illegal dealings by bond firms.
Patrick Carmen Rosemellia is the fourth person to be arrested as part of a probe into bail bonds businesses at the lockup. He is accused of being a felon working inside the county jail to generate business for bondsman Joe Huston and his firms - Express Bail Bonds and Liberty Bail Bonds... For the complete story go to www.naplesnews.com