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Bristol DA Quinn frustrated after judge releases alleged non-citizen Westport scammer on low bail



A 28-year-old man who appears to be illegally in the country and is alleged to have attempted to scam a Westport couple out of $6,000 earlier this week was released back into the community on low bail after his arraignment Tuesday in Fall River District Court.

During his arraignment on charges of Attempted Larceny and Conspiracy, Assistant District Attorney Nicole Cheney argued that Hector Arias-Guzman should be held in jail on $25,000 cash bail. However, Judge Thomas Barrett released the defendant on $4,000 cash bail, an amount the defendant immediately posted to be set free.

“The amount of cash bail set in this case is clearly too low. The defendant entered the country illegally in January and while residing here in Massachusetts is alleged to have used deception and manipulation to steal thousands of dollars from a local couple. Given the defendant’s immigration status and lack of connection to the area, he is definitely a flight risk,” District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said. “Our request for $25,000 cash bail was appropriate. Trying to protect our seniors and other citizens from scams and other forms of fraud has been one my priorities as district attorney. This is another example of what is occurring throughout our state and the country. I commend the victims for realizing this was likely a scam and immediately notifying Westport Police. Victims often do not report these types of attempted scams to police. We all need to be very vigilant to the scam artists who are trying to rip off law abiding citizens of their hard earned money.”

A Westport couple came into the station to report they had received a phone called from an individual fraudulently identifying himself as their son. This unknown male pleaded that he needed assistance from his parents to raise cash for bond after being arrested by police after a motor vehicle crash in Boston. He stated he was texting at the time of the crash and the accident involved a pregnant woman. He told the potential fraud victims he was currently in the hospital with injuries but if bail money was not delivered, he would be sent immediately to jail.

The caller then put another male on the phone who identified himself as the assigned Public Defender who stated his son’s bond would require a $25,000 cash payment within the hour. After the couple told the “Public Defender” they could not get that amount of cash in an hour, the caller stated he could be released for $10,000. Again, the couple informed the caller that $10,000 cash in one hour was impossible. The caller then negotiated with the couple and an amount of $6,000 cash would be acceptable.

Suspecting this was a fraud, the couple went to the Police Station to report the incident. Detective Sergeant Bryan McCarthy spoke with the couple, and recognized the name given as the Public Defender, Mark Cohen, as well as the cell number, was consistent with a previous scam that occurred the week prior. He instructed the couple to return home and to call back if the fraudster called back with instructions for the money delivery. The fraudster did call back with instructions on how to package the cash and advised that a LYFT driver would be arriving to collect the money for delivery to Boston.

Det. Sgt. McCarthy immediately assembled a surveillance team, which included Detectives from area departments, and followed the LYFT driver to an address in Taunton. An unknown male approached the ride share vehicle and took possession of the package. Upon seeing McCarthy and other plain clothes officers approaching, he fled on foot. McCarthy gave foot chase and apprehended the individual, later identified as 28-year-old Hector Arias-Guzman of Boston.

Guzman was previously apprehended by Customs and Border Patrol in January of this year for entering the United States illegally via the Del Rio area of Texas.

Guzman is being charged with Conspiracy and Attempted Larceny. The case remains under investigation.

The Westport Police Department advises residents to be vigilant of these phone type scams that are plaguing every city and town in Massachusetts. No legitimate business, hospital, police station, or judicial/court department accepts prepaid gift cards, phone cards or cash in an envelope delivered by any ride share company for services rendered.



  1. Fed Up

    August 3, 2023 at 1:19 pm

    This judge is a disgrace and should be held accountable for this poor decision.

  2. Ccullen

    August 4, 2023 at 6:07 am

    C’mon Quinn ! Its all part of the progressive agenda. You get it. You’re A Democrat.

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