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May 28, 2011 12:41 PM by Matt Stafford

EPC Sheriff calls out local bondsman and media outlet

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa announced Friday the arrest a 24-year-old man at the center of a two month, multi-state bail bond scam; in the process he called out a local bail bondsman and a media outlet for what Maketa says was impeding on the investigation.

In a 3:30 p.m. Friday press release, the Sheriff's office says in March an agent from Bobby Brown's Bond Agency released personal information on the co-signer of a bond from his agency to a suspect. They say the suspect then called the co-signer, demanding money for extra court costs; they told the co-signer if they didn't pay, the person they had bonded out of jail would be arrested again. The co-signer paid the $1,400, then found out in court two days later when there were no new costs that they were the victim of a scam.

The suspect, Michael Stephen Moynihan, was found and arrested this month in Sacramento, California; on the third arrest attempt, after two misses by California law enforcement. Moynihan is being held on a no-bond parole hold.

The press release from Sheriff Maketa's office says the investigation was hindered when Brown attempted to publicize what was going on through the local ABC affiliate.  They say the suspect discarded a primary piece of evidence after several calls from Brown and a reporter.

The investigation has shown there have been other, similar scams around the country. Maketa's office says charges will be filed against Moynihan by the United States Attorney's Office in California next week.

Bobby Brown tells News First 5 he was surprised to hear about the release from the Sheriff's Office, and he disagrees with Sheriff Maketa's assessment of what happened.

NF5 is trying to talk to both Brown and Sheriff Maketa; we're working to have both sides Saturday night on News First 5 at 5:30 p.m.

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