Police arrested a man whom they say claimed to be a psychic healer and then took a local man’s life savings.
Detectives told Channel 2′s Veronica Griffin this case is bigger than they first thought and that the suspect targeted Spanish speaking clients statewide.
Most of them paid in cash and are likely afraid to come forward fearing deportation, Gainesville Police Department Lt. Kevin Holbrook said.
“They were scared of him. They feared for their lives, their family’s lives,” he said.
Holbrook says the victim and his family feared this man, Jackson William Ramirez-Reyes.
He’s charged with six counts of theft by deception for allegedly bilking a man out of $70,000 —the man’s life’s savings.
“He was found to be advertising on local Hispanic and Latino methods to include print and radio for psychic healing type powers,” Holbrook said.
Gainesville detectives say Ramirez-Reyes couldn’t deliver on his promises of healing powers and that was when he turned to aggressive and evil threats and body harm to get more money from the victim.
“He began to tell them he would put violence toward their family members, for instance, one would get stage-4 cancer — another would be shot by police — another would be killed in a car accident.”
Detectives say the suspect worked out of an office in the 2600 block of Browns Bridge Road and evidence found inside makes it clear that there are many more victims out there.
“We know a lot of them are probably Hispanic, Latino. They’re probably afraid to call police maybe in fear if they are illegal. We want then to know we don’t care about that. We want to bring justice to them,” Holbrook said.
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