The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 31, 2013

Prosecutor’s office reaches diversion agreement in case

GIRARD, Kan. — The Crawford County attorney’s office has reached a diversion agreement with six Arkansas men charged with scamming customers on asphalt-paving jobs in April of last year.

County Attorney Michael Gayoso said the agreement requires the defendants, who were working for a company known as Super Asphalt Paving of Spiro, Okla., to pay restitution of $37,500 to their victims and to cease conducting any business in Crawford County for 12 months. The defendants stipulate in the agreement that they committed theft by deception, Gayoso said.

The defendants were identified as Mark Fletcher, 55; Allen Jeffery, 49; Gabriel Jeffery, 19; Buck Pierce, 46; Jordan Pierce, 22; and Barney Wells, 24.

All of the defendants were described as residents of Pine Bluff, Ark.

Gayoso said the defendants have been traveling throughout the Four-State Area performing asphalt work. In Crawford County, they approached two businesses and three private property owners and offered to perform asphalt jobs. Their mode of operation was to gain their customers’ trust and then demand more money than originally sought for the work and to use substandard materials to complete the jobs, Gayoso said.

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department investigated complaints regarding the crew’s jobs. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department assisted with arresting them in September.

If the defendants pay the restitution and complete the 12-month period without a violation of the agreement, the charges against them will be dismissed.