By Cathy Locke
The El Dorado County Sheriff's Department has arrested a man accused of falsely representing himself in various roles to befriend and defraud people.
Sheriff's detectives in South Lake Tahoe were contacted Wednesday by detectives from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, who had information indicating that one of their fugitives was in South Lake Tahoe. John William Rodriguez, 31, was wanted by Arizona authorities on 12 counts of fraud and forgery, according to a sheriff's department news release.
Rodriguez is accused of fraudulently representing himself as a U.S. Marine, an Iraq war veteran, an FBI agent and a detective with the Department of Veteran's Affairs. Officials say he often wore a Marine uniform, gained access to military installations and attended functions such as the Marine Corps Ball.
On Thursday, El Dorado County Sheriff's detectives learned that Rodriguez was living at a residence on Eloise Avenue in South Lake Tahoe. After a daylong investigation and surveillance, Rodriguez was arrested without incident and booked into the South Lake Tahoe jail for a local misdemeanor warrant and a no-bail felony fugitive warrant from the state of Arizona.
Based on their investigation, El Dorado County detectives say they believe Rodriguez engaged in similar fraudulent activities while living in South Lake Tahoe. They said information indicated he befriended numerous people in the area and might have used his scam to defraud his new friends.
Anyone with information about Rodriguez is asked to call Detective Matt Harwood at (530) 573-3015.
Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.