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Cops: Constable scammed victims over non-existent warrants

January 18, 2019

LATROBE, Pa. (AP) — Officials say a Pennsylvania constable used the threat of non-existent arrest warrants and other court matters to scam money from people, telling them he could take care of their issues for a fee.

The Tribune Review reports 35-year-old Brian McDowell, of Derry Township, was arrested Friday on extortion, theft and official oppression charges.

Westmoreland County detectives and Latrobe police say in court documents McDowell would contact people through Facebook and text messages saying he could help them pay fines, warrants or other matters, many of which were fictitious.

Police he pocketed nearly $4,000 in the scam from August to December.

Some victims say McDowell threatened to arrest them if they didn’t pay.

Several told police they later checked with court offices and were told that payments weren’t made or the warrants or fines didn’t exist at all.

His lawyer Michael DeMatt says the charges are overblown.

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Information from: Tribune-Review, http://triblive.com

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