for immediate release 
January 31, 2005 

N E W S   R E L E A S E

            A suspect in several incidents of contractor fraud has been arrested in Okaloosa County.  Rodney Russell Garvin, age 36 (9-1-1968), of Andalusia, Alabama, was spotted at an Okaloosa Island restaurant Saturday night (January 29) by an off-duty Niceville Police Officer, who notified the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

            Garvin had been sought since early this month, after residents of Fort Walton Beach and Shalimar complained of an apparent roofing scam. Six homeowners reported Garvin had contracted to do roofing work, then vanished after accepting 50-percent advance payments averaging more than $2,800.

            An investigation by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, the First Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation resulted in warrants naming Garvin on six felony counts each of Contracting Without a License, Grand Theft, and Fraud; plus three counts of Exploitation of the Elderly.

            The investigation is continuing, with more charges likely as additional victims are discovered. The Garvin arrest is part of an ongoing effort by the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and the State Attorney's Office to identify and prosecute unlicensed contactors and others who victimize residents. Northwest Florida has been in a declared State of Emergency since Hurricane Ivan struck last September; contracting without a license during a State of Emergency is a Felony under Florida Law.


for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420