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Third man arrested in fraud case

A third suspect in an ongoing telemarketing fraud investigation was arrested Thursday by Port Richey police.

William D. Thurston of 15332 Bermondsey St., No. 2, in Hudson was arrested in connection with an investigation by the district attorney's office in Clovis, N.M., involving computer fraud and a scheme to defraud through telemarketing. His formal charge is being a fugitive of justice.

Two other suspects were arrested Sept. 22 by agents of the U.S. Secret Service and the Port Richey Police Department.

Donald Morris Rowell, then using the alias Jimmie Carroll Rowell, and Shawn Jason Daniels were arrested on a New Mexico warrant. Rowell, 46, used the address of a Port Richey motel. Daniels, 22, lives on Madeline Drive in Hudson.

Thurston, 39, had been named as a suspect in the investigation. A warrant was issued Thursday by New Mexico police for his arrest.

Authorities believe the three conspired to defraud a New Mexico man out of money by claiming he had unrewarded prize money owed to him that he could receive by wiring a percentage of the reward to a Western Union office in New Port Richey.

Rowell was charged with computer fraud because of the phone companies' use of computers in connecting calls. Daniels was charged with being an accessory to computer fraud.

Thurston was being held in the Land O'Lakes Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail Sunday night.

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