Sampson Sheriff’s officials are touting last week’s arrest of a 46-year-old Autryville man on an insurance fraud charge as an example of how partnerships between local and state agencies can make a difference in the fight against crime.
Durwood Bradley Horne was arrested July 28 and charged with one count insurance fraud and one count obtaining money/property by false pretenses, both felonies.
The arrest, said Sheriff’s Capt. Eric Pope, was the culmination of months of team work between the Sheriff’s Office, the Sampson Fire Marshal’s office and the N.C. Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division.
The three agencies came together and formed a special task force after the report of several suspected arson cases were identified in the county, specifically the northeastern area of Sampson.
Pope said Fire Marshal Jerry Cashwell and assistant marshal Prentice Madgar began networking with other fire agencies in Cumberland and Harnett counties to identify suspicious fires with possible links to the Sampson cases. It was through what the captain called their “historic research” that Madgar and Cashwell learned about a suspicious vehicle fire that occurred on N.C. 24 in 2009.
In that case, Horne claimed his 2006 Ford Fusion had caught fire.
“The fact that Horne had filed an insurance claim on the vehicle in addition to the suspicious nature of the fire was enough to warrant further investigation for potential insurance fraud,” Pope noted in a prepare release issued Monday.
Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and Dept. of Insurance focused their resources on Horne, Pope said, and it was through that extended probe that he said sufficient evidence was gathered to charge the Autryville man in connection with the insurance fraud involving the burned vehicle.
While Horne has been arrested for the 2009 case, the other suspicious fires in northwestern Sampson remain open.
Anyone with information about these cases is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 910-592-4141.
Horned was jailed last week under a $30,000 bond. He had his first court appearance Friday, and remained in the Sampson County Detention Center Monday afternoon.
(Editor Sherry Matthews can be reached at 910-249-4612. Follow her on Twitter @sieditor1960; follow the paper @SampsonInd.)