Monday, October 13, 2008

Fake Bounty Hunters Claim to Have Been Duped

Three of the wannabe bounty hunters who allegedly stormed a home for the elderly looking for a fugitive said on Friday that they had been duped by the ringleaders of their outfit.

The five-person fugitive recovery agency, Wargod Inc., operated illegally — without certification by a court system or being employed by a bail bondsman — according to police.

Professional bondsmen, who post bail for defendants, must obtain their licenses from the state Insurance Department and register with their local district attorney. They also must maintain a phone number and operate an office in each county in which they work, according to Insurance Department regulations.

Wargod's alleged leaders, Lawrence Colon, 39, and Kelly Hefferon, 40, whose home on Route 715 in Jackson Township was the outfit's base of operations, purportedly convinced the rest of their team members — and one of their parents — that the firm was legitimate.

"They even told me they had all those papers from the court and the state," Lucienne Normil, mother of Wargod member Darryl Normil, 21, said Friday outside District Judge Debby York's office.

"Those three are innocent," she said, referring to her son and to Anthony Laino and James Farrell, both 35.

Normil waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He faces charges that he impersonated a public servant, which is a misdemeanor, and summary charges for improperly using emergency lights and signals on his Ford Focus. His bail was reduced from $100,000 to $10,000.

He also stands accused of a felony charge for possessing a firearm. Already convicted of a felony, he is barred from having weapons.

Normil had previously been sentenced to a year's probation for theft and receiving stolen property. About six months later, he pleaded guilty to using another person's credit card without authorization.

Wargod initially attracted police attention after Hefferon's neighbors complained repeatedly about shots being fired in her back yard and sirens sounding until after midnight.

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