Wed, Jul 24, 2024
2 men arrested in Flagler County scam impersonating police

2 men arrested in Flagler County scam impersonating police

  • PublishedMay 31, 2024

Authorities have arrested Shawn Dufeal, 25, and Jameil LaBennett, 28, and both face three charges.

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla — The Bunnell Police Department and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Thursday arrested two men in connection with a fraud scheme where the suspects impersonated a sheriff’s office sergeant.

Shawn Dufeal, 25, was charged with scheme to defraud – false pretenses, grand theft – pickpocketing, and fraudulent use of Identification without consent. Jameil LaBennett, 28, was charged with scheme to defraud – false pretenses, grand theft – pickpocketing, and falsely impersonating a police officer.

The sheriff’s office received multiple reports of scam calls from someone claiming to be an agency employee: FCSO Sgt. Miley. According to the sheriff’s office, they told victims they had an active warrant for their arrest, but that their arrest could be prevented by making a payment.

In addition to the local agencies, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating multiple scam calls from the same day and are seeking victims of the scammers. According to the affidavit, a victim was contacted about a fictious arrest warrant and was told to meet the suspect at the Flagler County Courthouse with $10,000. The victim was told if she didn’t immediately comply there would be a warrant for her arrest. LaBennett took the money and left, the report said.

Members of both law enforcement agencies chased and arrested LaBennett, who dropped his phone in the road, the document said. Police found Dufeal in his car at the courthouse and surveillance showed LaBennett entering and exiting Dufeal’s car.

“If you received a call like this (May 30), your information could become valuable evidence in this investigation,” Bunnell Police Chief David Brannon said in a release. “I emphasize that no police officer or sheriff’s office employee will call you and ask for money, gift cards, cryptocurrency, or any other form of payment to avoid arrest.”

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be added, the sheriff’s office said. Anyone who received phone calls on May 30 from a caller claiming to be “Sgt. Miley” are asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 386-313-4911.

“If you received a phone call by someone claiming to be a sheriff’s office employee, specifically claiming to be Sgt. Miley, I encourage you to contact us and file a report,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said in the release. “Residents should educate themselves on these schemes as this is an old scam that keeps going around. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office will never call you and ask for money to avoid being arrest. Instead, we will just take you to the Green Roof Inn where you can post a bond if you are truly wanted. If you are called by somebody claiming to be a deputy sheriff and you’re not sure of their identity, I encourage you to call our non-emergency number (386-313-4911) to verify their identity before following their directions.”

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