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AVOIDING SCANS FOLLOWING HURRICAN FLORENCE

As communities like ours here in Duplin County begin the process of cleaning up after Hurricane Florence, I urge you to be aware of criminals who will seize this opportunity to prey on our citizens. Many people, especially the elderly, can become victims of scams following a natural disaster.

As people return home to assess the damage from Hurricane Florence, it is common for scammers to show up to take advantage of citizens because they know reputable contractors will be overwhelmed with work. There are often three different types of fraudulent activity that is common following a natural disaster: home repair scams, price gouging, and charity scams.

As your Sheriff, I urge you to keep these important tips in mind before hiring someone to undertake repairs to your home or property:

  • Always get the estimate in writing.
  • Consider getting multiple estimates.
  • Ask for references.
  • Avoid paying money up front.
  • Resist all attempts that force you to make an on-the-spot decision.
  • Never pay in cash.
  • Use local contractors, even if this means being placed on a waitlist.
  • Make sure the contractor is insured.

Home repair scams are common following a disaster such as Hurricane Florence. This form of scam often involves questionable contractors going door to door, offering to do work at low prices in exchange for a deposit.  Once the deposit is obtained, the contractor never returns to complete the work.  Please remember the tips above to avoid becoming a victim of home repair scams.

Also, be aware there is a greater potential for price gouging following a natural disaster. Price gouging occurs when an individual charges excessive prices for goods or services during a state of emergency.  Price gouging is also prohibited by law and civil penalties may apply to individuals engaged in this type of unscrupulous activity.

Finally, please be aware that people pretending to work for charitable organizations may also be fraudulently soliciting donations. Here are a few tips to avoid the fake charity scam:

  • Donate only to charities you know and trust.
  • Do not give or send cash to any organization.
  • Do not give out any personal or financial information.

The citizens of Duplin County must be aware that there is a greater potential for scams following a natural disaster, and you should therefore be extremely cautious when choosing contractors to make repairs, or when donating money to individuals claiming to be calling on behalf of a charity.

If you have a price gouging or home repair scam complaint, please contact the North Carolina Department of Justice toll-free at 1-877-5-NOSCAM or file a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov/gouging.  You may also contact the United States Department of Justice, National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDP), to report fraudulent activity.  NCDP can be reached toll-free at 877-623-3423, or via email at disaster@leo.gov.

Investigation into Sexual Assault of a Child

October 3, 2018

On August 14, 2018, the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office investigated an incident involving the sexual assault of a child.

On August 16, 2018, William Joseph DeLeone, age 48, of Turkey Branch Road in Beulaville, was arrested and charged with one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon. DeLeone was placed in the Duplin County Jail under a $20,000 secure bond.’

On September 28, 2018, William Joseph DeLeone was arrested and charged with thirty-one counts of Felony Statutory Rape of a Child, thirty-one counts of Statutory Sex Offense with a child by an adult, thirty-one counts of Indecent Liberties with a Child, and one count of Manufacturing Marijuana. DeLeone was placed in the Duplin County Jail under a one million dollar secure bond.  The investigation remains ongoing.

 

Khat and Currency Located During Vehicle Stop

On Wednesday, September 5, 2018, the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office conducted a vehicle stop on Interstate 40 for a traffic violation. The vehicle was being driven by Mamdooh Qaid from New York and Mohamed Zindani from New York was the passenger.  A probable cause search of the vehicle was conducted. Located inside the passenger area of the vehicle was a plastic bag containing Khat.  There was also a large sum of US currency found in the passenger area of the vehicle totaling $26,048.00.  A further search of the vehicle was conducted and larger plastic bag containing Khat was located in the trunk of the vehicle.  The total weight of the Kaht was approximately 209 grams.

Mohamed Zindani was charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver Schedule I, Felony possession of Schedule I, maintaining a place to keep controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.Mohamed Zindani was placed in the Duplin County Jail under a $30,000.00 secure bond.

Mamdooh Qaid was charged with no operator’s license and speeding. Mamdooh Qaid was placed in the Duplin County Jail under a $2,000.00 secure bond from the magistrate.

  

                    Mohamed Zindani                                                              Mamdooh Qaid

 

 

DRUG ARREST

On Friday, September 07, 2018 the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on a residence belonging to Kenneth Monk, aka “Pumpkin”, on Pasture Branch MHP Lane in Rose Hill.  Located at the residence was approximately (35) grams of MDMA, (8) grams of Cocaine, (639) grams of Marijuana, (2) Firearms (one of which was stolen), (5) Oxycodone pills, $617.00 in US money, and a stolen Yamaha four wheeler.

Kenneth Monk was charged with Trafficking in MDMA by Possession, Trafficking in MDMA by Manufacture, PWIMSD Schedule I, PWIMSD Marijuana, Felony Possession of Marijuana, Manufacture Marijuana, PWIMSD Cocaine, Felony Possession of Cocaine, Manufacture Cocaine, Possession of Firearm by Felon (2 counts), Possession of Stolen Firearm, Possession of Stolen Vehicle, Maintaining a Dwelling Place to Keep Controlled Substances, Simple Possession of Schedule II, Possess Marijuana Paraphernalia, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  Kenneth Monk was placed in the Duplin County Jail under a $1,000,000.00 secured bond.

 

 

 

 

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