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Blankenship Is Busted

Was Wanted For Cutting Trees Without License

By Mark Hallburn
Publisher, PutnamLIVE.com

The Winfield Police DepartmentaltShannon Charles Blankenship has their man.

Shannon Charles Blankenship, 39, was busted Monday, September 9th, 2013 by the Putnam County Sheriff's Department and Winfield Police Officer J.B. Marino, court records state.

Blankenship is charged with misdemeanor counts of Operating a Business Without a License, court records state.

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Putnam County Magistrate Linda J. Hunt set Blankenship's bond at $2,500, according to court records. He bonded out of jail after posting the bond.

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Earlier in the week, Winfield Chief of Police John J. Perrine provided the following news release to PutnamLIVE.com:

The Winfield Police Department has secured a warrant for Shannon Charles BLANKENSHIP a 39 year old drifter from Indiana. BLANKENSHIP who is wanted person in the State of Indiana and Delaware now has a warrant for his arrest in the State of West Virginia. He is  charged in Putnam County with two counts of engaging in business without a business franchise registration certificate and one count of obtaining money, property and services by false pretense. Charges originated after the Winfield Police Department investigate complaints from residents in the community about the conducted of Shannon Charles BLANKENSHIP and the business practices of Big Bear Contracting. Police have determined that several residents of Winfield have recently fallen victim to BLANKENSHIP. He asserts to be the owner of Big Bear Contracting and deceptively proclaims to be a licensed, insured, and certified Arborist capable of perform tree services in West Virginia.

Winfield Chief of Police John J. Perrine said home owners have been lured into false security to hire Big Bear Contracting based on these credentials and his extremely low priced quotes.  On August 10, 2013, a Riverdale Estates resident hired BLANKENSHIP after he represented he was a licensed contractor and provided an attractive estimate to trim several small trees in the yard.  At the completion of the job BLANKENSHIP was paid. The home owner then contracted with BLANKENSHIP to remove another tree from the yard for $900.00. This time BLAKENSHIP asked to be to be paid in full and up front. The home owner honored his request and wrote a check to Big Bear Contracting. BLANKENSHIP cashed the check but never show up to perform tree services for which he was paid.

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Winfield Police also interviewed a resident of Bay Berry Street and learned that on August 08, 2013, BLANKENSHIP was hired after being shown documentation that he was licensed and insured to conduct business in the state of West Virginia. During this project Big Bear Contracting dropped a tree on the Mattress Warehouse facility causing damage to the roof, siding and gutters. In an attempt to settle the damage claim the homeowner discovered BLANKENSHIP and Big Bear Contracting were not insured. At this time the homeowner is liable for the damages.

Chief John Perrine has inquire with the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office  and determined that Shannon Clifford BLANKENSHIP doing business as Big Bear Contracting is not licensed as a business  in the State of West Virginia. He has also contacted the West Virginia Department of Revenue and learned that Shannon Clifford BLANKENSHIP and Big Bear Contracting do not have a business franchise registration certificate on file with the West Virginia Department of Revenue as required by West Virginia law. BLANKENSHIP is also in possession of a doctored insurance certificate from Riverside Insurance Company, located in Chesapeake Ohio.

Anyone who has information to the whereabouts of Shannon Charles BLANKENSHIP, or is a victim of deceptive business practices of Big Bear Contracting should contact police immediately.

Putnam Dispatch can be reached anytime by dialing 304-586-0273.

Law enforcement strongly recommends that people verify the license and insurance of contractors by contacting local and state officials before doing business. Also, writing a check for the full amount of a transaction-in advance-often results in work that is not completed and a loss of money.

Publisher’s note: All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

A criminal complaint is a legal document that is usually filled out by a law enforcement officer presenting evidence to a judge or magistrate. The judicial official determines if the officer has provided enough evidence to issue a complaint or a warrant for a suspect arrest. 

Photograph of Blankenship is provided courtesy of the Winfield Police Department.

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