Elyria woman victimized by con artists posing as DEA agents
Fake investigators told her she faced drug charges
Joe Pagonakis, newsnet5.com
4:21 PM, Nov 13, 2013
11:47 AM, Nov 14, 2013
ELYRIA, Ohio - It was a phone call Heather Fogerty of Elyria never expected to come her way.
Con artists posing as DEA agents called her home and told her she was facing serious drug charges.
"It was Special Agent Martinez from the DEA, and they wanted me to call them back about an investigation," explained Fogerty.
"When they called me back, they said unfortunately we have bad news, that there is a warrant out for your arrest, that you tried to order pills from a pharmacy in the Dominican Republic three times. I said, no I didn't. I said that's not me. I didn't know if someone else was using my name."
Fogerty told NewsChannel5 she was in fear of being falsely accused, the con-artist kept her on the phone for two hours, ordering her to wire money via Western Union or she would be arrested in less than an hour.
"He said he had to talk to the judge, that if I paid $1,500 that they could take the warrant away," said Fogerty.
"They said it carried three and a half to seven years of jail time, and they asked if U.S. Customs had called me. They told me within the next 45 minutes, the U.S. Customs would be coming to my house with a search warrant and arrest me."
Fogerty explained the fake agents told her if she hung up the phone she would be taken to jail, so she went to a Western Union office in Sheffield Lake and wire transferred a $500 down payment to a location in the Dominican Republic.
"I was scared. I couldn't call anyone else - they kept me on the line," said Fogerty. "I was suspicious, but I didn't want to be falsely accused."
Elyria Police Captain Chris Constantino told NewsChannel5 consumers should never wire money unless they know exactly who will be receiving the funds.
Constantino stressed law enforcement would never threaten charges, and then tell someone the charges would be dropped for a fee.
"I've been doing this for 25 years and I can tell you that we certainly don't call people and tell them that there's charges levied against them, especially serious charges, and ask them to give us money and then once the money is circulated, the charges are dropped. That's all done through the courts," said Constantino.
"Anyone who is contacted by someone requesting a wire transfer should hang up and call the police."
Both the DEA and the Elyria police have been called about this case.
Fogerty plans to file a report with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com will keep you updated on this developing story.