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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fugitive Recovery School Owners Arrested for Badges

Ralph Rios and Robert Neves, owners of a bounty hunter training school called US Recovery Bureau, were arrested by federal authorities for distributing badges and credentials that… “give the impression that they were issued by actual government law enforcement agencies because, among other reasons, (a) the badge is in the same shape as a New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) Detective badge; (b) the badge bears a seal with a bald eagle that is a facsimile of the great seal of the United States; (c) the badge reads “U.S. Recovery Bureau” and under the seal is the word “Agent” and a badge serial number; (d)the badge is in a leather wallet that also holds credentials that are the same shape and size as federal law enforcement credentials and identify the graduate as a “Special Agent” of the “U.S. Recovery Bureau”; (e) the credentials bear an emblem in the center of the card that is a facsimile of the great seal of the United States; and (f) the credentials lack any clear indication that they are not issued by a governmental organization.”

According to the US Department of Justice’s press release, law enforcement authorities have arrested multiple graduates of U.S. Recovery Bureau for using the credentials issued by the school. On some occasions, students have used their school-issued credentials to try to avoid tickets and other law enforcement actions. In other cases, students have used the credentials to try to access secure government buildings. In at least one case, students have used the school-issued credentials to impersonate law enforcement officers in order to effectuate robberies. Of approximately 943 students who received credentials from U.S. Recovery Bureau, at least 78 were convicted felons at the time they took the U.S. Recovery Bureau course.

Nieves is out on a $50,000 bond and Rios is out on a $25,000 bond.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Missouri Bail Association Formed

That’s right, there’s a new kid in town. In response to the legislative threats last legislative session, several bail bond agents around the state met together to oppose legislation sponsored by the MPBBA which would transfer the DIFP’s authority to a bail bond board. In order fund the new board, the bill required a new $10 bail bond tax. The group received tremendous help from concerned agents who collected hundreds of signatures opposing the legislation. The bill failed, the session ended, and the group decided to form a bail association. In June, Associated Bail Agents of Missouri, Inc. (ABAM) was formed. The association is a non-profit trade association. Bart Cooper serves as the association president, Stan Clark as vice-president, Dave Strassner as treasurer, and Angela Park as secretary. The board of directors are Tina Bozarth, Dan Mense, Stan Moreland, Mike Thomas and Jim Walker. Rick Adams serves as chair of membership. ABAM will work as legislative watch-dogs in the upcoming session and will give bondsmen and recovery agents a new choice in order to network cooperatively with their colleagues in the industry. This new, spirited association is working on other goals to improve our industry and give us all more opportunities to grow our businesses.

To learn more about this new organization, contact any of the bondsmen above, email me, or here’s a link to their membership application.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Former Bondsman Sentenced

Former bondsman Gregory Tetro was sentenced in US District Court in Jefferson City to four years probation after pleading guilty to one count of attempting to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. Tetro was also assessed a $100 fine. Tetro’s bail bond licensed expired late in 2007 and has not been renewed.

Previous Posts:

Bondsman to be Sentenced
Bondsman Faces Federal Charges

Services Announced for General Agent

General bondsman Gary L. Darby passed away Friday, July 11th. Visitation will be held Tuesday, July 15th, from 4-8 pm at the Nieburg Martin Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held Wednesday at the Warrenton City Cemetery at 10 am. Gary Darby was licensed as a bail bond agent in 2003 and was licensed as a general agent in 2007.