The Nelsonville Police Department and the Athens County Sheriff’s Office have received numerous reports of a person calling area residents by cell phone identifying them self as Sargent Robert Pugh, part of the Athens County Sheriff’s Office warrant squad. This person is attempting to elicit money from victims, claiming he has a warrant for their arrest for missing jury duty in Athens County Court and a warrant for failure to appear. The scammer states the only way to pay the fine is to purchase a pre-paid Visa card from Kroger in Athens or Nelsonville and give the account number to the scammer.
Local law enforcement officers have traced the scammer’s calls to the Autry State Prison in Pelham, Georgia. The prison has been under federal investigation that has resulted in numerous federal indictments against prison guards and inmates who were involved with the telephone scam.
The Athens County Sheriff’s Office or other local law enforcement agencies do not contact people by telephone requesting payment for any type of fines, court costs or warrants. These matters are handled by the Athens County court systems. If area residents have any concerns about the legitimacy of any officer contacting you from any law enforcement agency, please contact your local law enforcement agency to verify the situation you are faced with.