Breckenridge Texan

Stephens County investigation leads to arrest of scam suspect

Stephens County investigation leads to arrest of scam suspect
November 11
09:34 2020

After more than a year of investigative work, the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office tracked down the suspect in a scam that reportedly cheated a local resident out of $8,000, and the suspect was arrested in the Houston area last week.

According to a media release from the SCSO, in July 2019, a local resident was stolen from through a scam. The local resident attempted to sell an item of which they advertised online. The approximate loss was $8,000.

The purported buyer, an unknown person from the Houston area, sent a cashier’s check to the local victim’s bank account. The purported buyer utilized an unknown female to do this by sending her to a branch of the bank that was out of town. The money was deposited into the victim’s account, and the victim sent the item, via overnight delivery, to a UPS Store in Houston at the suspect’s request.

A few days later the cashier’s check was determined to be fraudulent, meaning the victim did not get to keep the money deposited into their account. The sold item was long gone.

“The victim immediately reported this to the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, which we encourage all victims to do,” Stephens County Will Holt said in the media release. “With a minimal amount of information to follow-up on, Chief Deputy Kevin Roach took on the investigation. Through diligent investigative work, he began developing additional leads. He used traditional investigation strategies and also utilized multiple Internet-based law enforcement tools that allow us to detect who owns or uses specific cellular telephone numbers and alias names.”

After about two months of follow-up investigations, Roach obtained an arrest warrant on Nakia Darrough of Fort Bend County. Although Darrough has no ties to Breckenridge, he allegedly stole from a local resident through a scam, taking advantage of their online advertisement and tricking them with a fraudulent cashier’s check.

After the warrant was issued in September 2019, the SCSO tried to track Darrough down through other agencies, which led to the Georgia and back to the Houston area. On Nov. 1, 2020, Darrough was arrested in Fort Bend County on the Stephens County warrant and additional warrants for theft and DWI.

“Countless times people all over the country are scammed over the telephone or Internet,” Holt said in the media release. “Victims of this often do not make reports out of embarrassment or due to feeling that they will not get justice since the scammer’s identity is not known and the suspect lives far away. Chief Deputy Roach did not let this deter him from executing a thorough investigation, which ultimately led to the arrest of Darrough. This was a superb display of investigative fortitude.”

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