Crime - Sacto 911

Sting targeting illegal contractors nets ex-con, prior offenders

An ex-convict who served seven years for attempted murder and a person suspected of possessing an illegal loaded firearm were among those who showed up to bid on home improvement projects during a sting operation conducted by the Contractors State License Board in Folsom last week.

State officials said the results of the two-day undercover operation, Oct. 19 and 20, highlight the need for residents to be alert to people trying to work under the radar by illegally contracting without a state license.

A total of 35 people were cited for various illegal contracting offenses. In California, anyone who offers home-improvement-related services totaling $500 or more in labor and/or materials must have a state contractor’s license. During last week’s operation, bids ranged from $900 for power washing to $15,100 for replacing exterior stucco, officials said.

The sting operation was conducted by CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team with assistance from the Folsom Police Department and Folsom Code Enforcement.

Suspected unlicensed contractors were invited to give bids for improvement projects for a single-family home near Folsom Middle School. In addition to the ex-convict and the individual suspected of the firearms offense, five of the people who responded had been caught in previous CSLB sting operations, according to a news release. A total of 23 suspects were given a notice to appear in court to face misdemeanor charges of contracting without a state license.

“It is easy for people to self-promote and advertise their businesses, but an online or print advertisement does not ensure they’re legitimate,” CSLB Registrar Cindi ChristensonCQ said in a written statement. “It is very important for consumers to do their homework and verify every contractor’s license on CSLB’s website or by calling our toll-free-automated phone line.”

Twenty-one people were cited for illegal advertising during the sting. Unlicensed operators must state in the ad that they do not have a state license and can advertise only for types of jobs that total less than $500.

Two suspects may face felony charges after they were caught using a contractor license number that did not belong to them without permission. That charge carries a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to one year in state prison or county jail, authorities said.

In addition, two people were cited who weren’t properly registered with the Contractors State License Board as home improvement salespersons. Anyone who solicits, sells, negotiates or executes home improvement contracts for a licensed contractor outside the contractor’s normal place of business must be registered with the the CSLB as a home improvement salesperson.

Although the sting operation targeted suspected unlicensed contractors, eight licensed contractors now face administrative citations for other violations of contractor law: five for not including their license number in their advertisements, two for working in a classification not covered by their license; one for aiding and abetting an unlicensed person, and one for employing an unregistered salesperson.

Here is a list of those cited, along with their license classification and alleged violations:

Anthony Earl Melson, Sacramento; painting and decorating; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Zachary Ryan Husarick, Roseville; concrete; contracting without a license, illegal advertising, illegal use of another contractor’s license without permission.

Marcos Palacios-Martinez, San Rafael; ceramic and mosaic tile; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Patrick Richard Beals, Ione; fencing; contracting without a license.

Bradley Scott Heisel, Lincoln; tree service; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Gabriel Jamaar Cullen, Sacramento; ornamental metal; contracting without a license.

Valerie Lynn Carvahal Villaviencio, Sacramento; concrete; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Elisco Rafael Garcia, Sacramento; ceramic and mosaic tile; contracting without a license.

Jose Israel Caseres Aguilera, Sacramento; painting and decorating; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Carlos M. Canas, Sacramento; tree service; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Shawn Michael Wrigley, Pollock Pines; sheet metal; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Victor Chavez Alejandre, Sacramento; ceramic and mosaic tile; contracting without a license, illegal advertising

Carrasco Hever, Sacramento; ceramic and mosaic tile; contracting without a license.

Ted Bernard Neumaier, Sacramento; flooring and floor covering; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Tuavo Tuiletoa, Sacramento; tree service; unregistered salesperson.

Ryan Murray, Shingle Springs; plumbing; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Christian Kyle Stewart, Sacramento; flooring and floor covering; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Rofino Alexander Alfaro Moran, Sacramento; tree service; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Oggler Neptali Vazquez Gonzales, Shingle Springs; tree service; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Charles Rendon, Pioneer; fencing, contracting without a license; illegal advertising, illegal use of another contractor’s license without permission.

Phillip Stewart Faucet, Sacramento; fencing; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

John Andrew Trujillo, Antelope; ceramic and mosaic tile; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Bassem Roaf Hana, Rocklin; doors, gates and activating devices; unregistered salesperson.

Cory Jennings, Lincoln; sand and water blasting; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Truman Hubert Coleman, Roseville; ceramic and mosaic tile; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Lorenzo Julio Chavez, Antelope; plumbing; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Jose Jimenez Lopez, Sacramento; landscaping; contracting without a license, illegal advertising.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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