Sting operation targets unlicensed contractors

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Five construction workers suspected of contracting without a license in the San Diego area were cited this week as part of a statewide sting operation, authorities said today.

A total of 92 tradespeople in seven California counties face possible misdemeanor charges following the crackdown, conducted by the Contractors State License Board on Wednesday and Thursday, the agency reported.

Investigators caught the alleged violators by posing as homeowners seeking bids for painting, flooring, landscaping, fence repair, tree trimming, gutter installation, water-heater replacement and similar jobs.

Given notices to appear in court in the San Diego area were painter/decorators Elder Danilo Chacon-Pleitez of San Diego and Fabian Coronel Pena of National City; and concrete workers Ramiro Bolanos of Vista, Pascual Siquina Perez of San Diego and Alejandro Jose Villarreal of San Ysidro.

Bolanos and Siquina also were cited on suspicion of illegal advertising.

Penalties for an unlicensed-contracting conviction include jail terms of up to six months and a fines that can reach $5,000, according to the state board. Fines for illegal advertising for construction work range from $700 to $1,000.

The “California Blitz” sting operation took place in Alameda, Los Angeles, Monterey, Placer, San Diego, San Luis Obispo and Sonoma counties.

“Unlicensed, illegal activity that puts homeowners at risk and puts those who follow state laws at a competitive disadvantage will not be tolerated,” CSLB Registrar Steve Sands said.

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