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Pasco detectives bust unlicensed contractors working during state of emergency

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) -Eight men are accused of contracting without a license during a state of emergency.

Mark Allen Boggs, Richard Lee Collins, Julio Mendez Rivera, Santiago Ruiz Cabrera, Drake Curtis Latorre, Thomas Harris, William Gerard Foster and Jeffrey Thomas Golden were all busted in a sting this week, and each faces a felony charge.

In the state of Florida, unlicensed contracting is considered a first-degree misdemeanor, but their violations were enhanced to felonies since they occurred during a state of emergency.

Between Dec. 6 and Dec. 7, undercover detectives posing as homeowners invited the defendants to a residence in New Port Richey and said they needed a tank-less water heater installed in the garage, according to the report.

In some cases, the detectives also requested the installation of a 220-watt outlet.

Deputies say the men gave them quotes ranging from $300 to $500, but none of them were able to provide adequate paperwork proving they were licensed to do electrical and plumbing work.

All individuals were arrested and charged with Unlicensed Contracting During State of Emergency

The Florida Department of Financial Services also charged with men with Failure to Secure Workers Compensation Insurance.

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