FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – Supervisory Detective Lt. Blake Andrew Deimund, a Department of the Army Civilian police officer with the Directorate of Emergency Services, was named Cochise County’s Top Cop May 13.
“I am very humbled receiving the award,” he said.
Deimund’s Top Cop award is a direct result of his investigative and collaborative efforts with the FBI to stop a fraudulent internet business and recoup some of a local Soldier’s money.
“As a detective here, we respond to crimes regarding military members, Department of Defense contractors, civilians and pretty much anyone on the installation that doesn’t meet the purview of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division,” he said.
Deimund said these crimes can include assault, theft, fraud, forgery and domestic violence.
In this particular situation, the Military Police Investigations Section received a fraud case involving the spouse of a staff sergeant currently stationed at Fort Huachuca.
“A fake business shared an employment opportunity via a Fort Huachuca military spouses’ Facebook page,” Deimund explained.
The post ad asked, “Would you like to work from home?” and also guaranteed “easy money.”
The post said the business would provide all equipment and checks for the employee to invest the business’s money in Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency usually transferred with a peer-to-peer network using Block chain. Unfortunately, transactions from currency to cryptocurrency can be hard to trace and are used frequently in internet money scams.
“The organization made itself look as if it was a legit company,” Deimund said.
The company created a credible looking web page and also had an interview process engaging potential employees in meetings by phone calls and audio conference via the Zoom meeting application, he explained.
“Over a four-day period the business mailed her some checks to deposit into a personal account and then guidance to purchase Bitcoin,” Deimund said.
By the second day of this four-day period, the family’s bank noticed the business’ checks were fraudulent. However, the “employee,” now a victim, had already lost a significant amount of money due to this scam, he explained.
“Now the family was out $21, 000,” Deimund said.
Thanks to his commitment to the community and refusing to stop pursuing justice for the military family, Deimund was instrumental in recovering $4,000 of the money which remained in the United States.
Deimund said these perpetrators made a mistake which is how they were able to recoup some of the funds.
“The bad guys got greedy and asked the victim buy a few money orders and mail them to a physical address in Fort Worth, Texas,” he explained.
Deimund did some homework and found the address belonged to a woman who is part of the fraudulent business employed as a “money mule.”
According to FBI.gov, a money mule uses their established personal bank account or opens a new account in their true name to receive money from someone they have never met in person. As an employee, you are asked to receive funds in your bank account and “process” or “transfer” funds via wire transfer, mail or a money service business, such as Western Union or MoneyGram; or in this specific case – invest in cryptocurrency.
Deimund reached out and worked with FBI agents in Fort Worth, Texas, providing the investigative details he found about the person living at the address.
“The FBI agents did in fact confront the individual,” he said. “She admitted to the FBI she still had some of the money.”
The mule in Fort Worth said she had $4,000 belonging to the victim.
Deimund’s communication enabled the FBI to bring $4,000 of the family’s money back to Fort Huachuca and give the family a check.
The family was grateful and informed Deimund they are expecting another child.
“It wasn’t all of the $21, 000,” Deimund said. “But it recouped some of the loss. In most fraud cases, you never see closure.
“To me the best award is closing a case, solving it and helping out the victims.”
Deimund’s law enforcement history spans 20 years with the Navy and the Army.
“Supervisory Detective Lt. Deimund does anything and everything to help this community,” said Capt. Greg Davidson, chief of operations for the Law Enforcement Division, DES.
Davidson said the department is lucky to have Deimund, and he is one of the best in the police department.
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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 946 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, key components to the national defense mission.
Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with a rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.
We are the Army’s Home. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca/.