One of the more significant cases that Bainbridge Public Safety investigators worked on in recent weeks involved uncovering of a Facebook scam apparently being operated by a Bainbridge man.
According to Major Robert Humphrey, chief investigator with Bainbridge Public Safety, the investigation began when a Mississippi woman reported being the victim of a scheme that started when someone sent her a Facebook message about government grants for lower-income persons.
“She received a message that appeared to be from one of her close Facebook friends,” Major Humphrey said. “Unfortunately, what was really going on was that someone had hacked her Facebook password, made a copy of her profile that looked like the real thing, and then sent out emails using that profile. The emails basically said there was government grant money available for people that were having a hard time financially.”
The woman responded to the woman with interest and was told by a man who called himself “Robert James”–which police say was a fake name–to wire money as a “processing fee” so that the full grant award could be sent to her. She wired the money, but never heard anything back. After some time, she called the police, who traced the wire transaction to Bainbridge.
Major Humphrey said investigators looked at surveillance video from a Bainbridge business and were able to identify a person of interest from the video.
“We believe this suspect was the one who was sending the Facebook messages and having people wire him the money for processing fees. We believe he would get the money, convert it to a money order and then send it off to someone in Nigeria. He may have been doing these kind of scams since 2008.”
Humphrey said the suspect ended up being arrested for possession of marijuana when officers went to his home. The man has not yet been charged in connection with the Facebook scam, pending further investigation.
- BPS investigators investigated three break-ins on Carter Street in Bainbridge; the investigation resulted in the arrest of Craig Blocker, 25, 1216 E. Broughton St., Bainbridge, on charges of entering an auto (three counts) and theft by receiving stolen property.A gun had been stolen out of one of the cars; it was recovered during the investigation and returned two its owner.
- An investigation into drug complaints at Gibbs-Miles Apartments on Sims Street in Bainbridge resulted in the arrest of Steven Romell Marshall, 46, 802 N. Monroe Street, Bainbridge. Marshall was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a housing project and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a housing project.
- Bainbridge Public Safety assisted in apprehending Quinton Chavers, a Bainbridge man who was wanted as a suspect in a shooting death in Crisp County, GA. Read more on this case
- Bainbridge Public Safety officers and Georgia State Patrol troopers teamed up to intercept some marijuana that was being brought into Georgia from Florida. BPS investigators passed on a description of the suspect’s vehicle to local law enforcement, and State Trooper Walt Landrum stopped the car. Officers searched the car after smelling marijuana inside it. They found a gun that had been reported as stolen, as well as approximately a 1/3 of a pound of marijuana, Humphrey said. Terrance Allen and Roderick Anderson were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Read more on this case
- BPS investigators received complaints about illegal drugs possibly being sold out of a house at 705 Foundry Street in Bainbridge. BPS investigators conducted surveillance and observed a drug transaction. They arrested Jim Elijah Cooper, 62, 701 Foundry Street, Bainbridge, and charged him with possession of cocaine. BPS also arrested one of the home’s occupants, Shalisa Lynetta Williams, 26, 705 Foundry Street, Bainbridge, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana (less than an ounce).
- Bainbridge Public Safety officers arrested an 18-year-old who had recently moved to Bainbridge in connection with a string of 10 auto break-ins that happened in the neighborhood around the Decatur County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, Sept. 16. Brandon Synor Breedlove, 18, of 1334 E. River Road, Bainbridge, is charged with ten counts of entering an auto with intent of felony. Read More on this case
- On Thursday, Sept. 18, at approximately 2:40 a.m., BPS investigators Mark Esquivel, Robert Humphrey and Chip Nix, and BPS officers Ray Cox, Jayson Myers and Darren Heard, executed a search warrant at 1405 Donald Drive. Officers found several zip lock bags commonly used in the distribution of marijuana inside a converted garage. While searching the outside of the property, officers also located a large quantity of marijuana and digital scales. One of the home’s residents, 28-year-old Chastain Jerome Green, stated the marijuana belonged to him. Green was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a public park.
- An employee of Bainbridge Memorial Hospital stated that someone had apparently broken into a storage building on property owned by the hospital and was using it to store possibly stolen items such as bicycles, fishing equipment, lawn furniture and more. BPS officers conducted surveillance that led to the arrest of three juveniles, who were each charged with two counts of burglary.
- Bainbridge Public Safety investigators located a Derringer handgun that had been reported stolen at a local pawn shop. The gun’s serial number had been altered. No arrests have been made yet in the case.