An Athens man is facing felony charges after claiming to be Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely in order to con a 74-year-old man out of about $9,000.
Jerry DeWayne Long, 39, of 17265 Blackburn Road, has been arrested on charges of first-degree financial exploitation of an elderly person and criminal impersonation of a peace officer. Narcotics charges are also pending, said Deputy Stephen Young, public information officer for the Sheriff's Office.
Long remained in the Limestone County Jail Monday night with bail set at $7,500.
Deputies took a report Sunday from the victim, who said he received a telephone call from a man identifying himself as Blakely. The man asked the victim to go to an address and leave $220 in the grill on the porch, claiming it was part of a drug sting. He told the victim he would get his money back after an arrest was made.
Investigators Chad Harbin and Caleb Durden identified Long as the suspect because the address given for the money drop was Long's. Long had also used his own phone to call the victim.
One of Long’s associates helped investigators find Long at Athens Pharmacy, where he was allegedly attempting to obtain narcotics. Investigators found probable cause to arrest Long after he admitted impersonating the sheriff. Investigators also discovered Long had fraudulently obtained about $9,000 previously from the victim and had been using the money for drugs. Investigators found on Long cocaine, syringes and an assortment of prescription pills. Those charges are pending.
Long had been arrested in June in connection with another possible swindle.
In that case, Long was charged with first-degree theft by deception for swindling an elderly victim out of more than $100,000 between 2015 and May. An investigation determined Long had promised an 81-year-old victim he had a large sum of money coming to him and he would sign it over to the victim. Young said Long continued to receive money from the victim between 2015 and 2017 that totaled more than $100,000, claiming he had cancer and needed medical treatment in Birmingham and couldn’t get the money for the treatment.