Inside The Dangerous Underground World Of Bounty Hunters And Bail Bondsmen | Business InsiderInside The Dangerous Underground World Of Bounty Hunters And Bail Bondsmen

Inside The Dangerous Underground World Of Bounty Hunters And Bail Bondsmen | Business Insider

Inside The Dangerous Underground World Of Bounty Hunters And Bail Bondsmen | Business Insider years ago, Italian photographer Clara Vannucci was hanging out in a bar in TriBeCa, New York when she met a burly, Greek man name Bobby Zouvelos. The two struck up a conversation and Vannucci, who had recently photographed inside the notorious Riker’s Island jail, explained to Zouvelos what she had seen. Zouvelos mentioned that he and his brother George worked at jails too; he was a bail bondsman.

Wisconsin Attorney General praises bail bondsmen veto

Wis. attorney general praises bail bondsmen veto - Times Union

Wis. attorney general praises bail bondsmen veto – Times Union â Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is praising Gov. Scott Walker’s veto of a provision in the state budget that would have allowed bounty hunters, or bail bondsmen, to operate in Wisconsin. Van Hollen also says he’s pleased to see Walker sign into law a budget provision that will require police to collect DNA from anyone arrested on suspicion of a felony.

1 in custody in deaths of 2 bail bondsmen in Phoenix

By Yihyun Jeong and Cecilia Chan
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team
Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:18 PM

The slayings of two bounty hunters who were attempting to apprehend a fugitive this week in Phoenix highlight the danger of the job, an industry official says.

Bail bondsmen David Brickert, 37, and Wesley Kampen, 39, were found fatally shot Monday night at an apartment complex in the 1600 block of West Yucca Street, Phoenix police said.

John Burns, president of the Arizona Bail Bondsmen Association, said the group’s 280 members are in a dangerous line of work.

Even with more than three decades in the military and law enforcement, Burns said, “every day I go out there, I am still paranoid that anything can happen.”

Burns said that the two deaths were the state’s first in the profession that he could recall but added that bail-bond agents are injured on the job all the time.

Burns said that, two years ago, a man on methamphetamine who had skipped bail slammed Burns to the ground, shattering his elbow.

Nationwide, five bail bondsmen on average are killed on the job each year, he said.

Phoenix police were still searching Tuesday for the shooter. They say Brickert and Kampen were gunned down while attempting to arrest Anthony Brian Giunta, 25, who had skipped out on $300 bail.

Giunta failed to show up for a hearing Monday on weapon and drug charges, according to court records.

The bondsmen had Giunta in handcuffs when a gunman killed them and fled, police said.

Police said they later arrested Giunta, who had removed his handcuffs with a file, on Monday night at an apartment near 17th Avenue and Cholla Street.

Giunta was not cooperating and had not given any information on the shooter, police said.

Giunta has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for burglary, weapons misconduct and aggravated assault, court records say.

Sanctuary Bail Bonds said company officials are saddened by the loss. “David leaves behind a beautiful family, his fiancee and two young children,” a company statement read. “Wesley also leaves behind his son.”

The company has set up a fund to help support the families and pay for funeral costs. Donations can be made at

Brickert helped train the company’s agents and was versed in self-defense, according to the company’s website.

Kampen maintained communication with clients and the people signing the bond and helped recover fugitives, according to the company.

“This is a really sad day,” Burns said. “I know both those guys. My thoughts go out to the family.”

A bail bondsman’s job begins the minute a person is bailed out of jail, Burns said.

The agent keeps in constant contact with the defendant to make sure the person shows up in court, Burns said.

“We are like a private probation officer,” he said. “We are very strict. We have money at risk.”

Burns’ company has offices in Phoenix and Tucson and handles 600 to 700 defendants a month. At any given time, there are eight to 10 clients on the run, he said.

In the four years since he bought Better Bail Bonds, the company has bailed out 10,000 people and failed to capture seven, Burns said.

The agents in his company are outfitted just like policemen, with bulletproof vests and weapons.

They are not hindered by rules that typically govern law enforcement, such as needing to go before a judge for a warrant or subpoena.

Burns said Arizona is one of the few states that don’t require bail bondsmen to be trained or educated.

He has been working to push a bill that would require both, he said.

“You can be 18 and a dropout of high school and have no training and start arresting people,” Burns said. “Anytime someone who is untrained goes there, it’s putting the public in harm’s way.”

Phoenix police are asking anyone with information on the deaths to call 602-262-6151 or Silent Witness at 480-949-6377.



Thorny case before Court of Appeals offers no easy solution for bail bondsmen or their immigrant clients who end up deported

Immigrants poorly served by bail system -

Immigrants poorly served by bail system – baltimoresun.com,0,1367126.storyWith all due respect to bail bondsmen who play a necessary role in the criminal justice system, the case pending before the Maryland Court of Appeals involving illegal immigrants and whether bondsmen should be liable for illegal immigrant defendants who have been deported raises some troubling questions about the profession.

Firm wants to block NC law on bail bond training

Firm wants to block NC law on bail bond training - Wire - North Carolina -

Firm wants to block NC law on bail bond training – Wire – North Carolina – NewsObserver.com, N.C. — A firm that trains North Carolina bail bondsmen is suing to try to block a new law from taking effect in October that could put the firm out of business.

Scott Israel Has Taken $13,700 From Bail Bondsmen; What Do They Want in Return?

Scott Israel Has Taken $13,700 From Bail Bondsmen; What Do They Want in Return? - Broward/Palm Beach - News - The Daily Pulp

Scott Israel Has Taken $13,700 From Bail Bondsmen; What Do They Want in Return? – Broward/Palm Beach – News – The Daily Pulp mouse has it right. The Bail Bondsmen hate any pre-trial release that doesn’t require a bond. This includes pre-trial community control or electronic monitoring. These…

California Bail Bondsmen and Bounty Hunters

For many people, the term “bounty hunter” evokes images from Wild West movies where deputized citizens were given legal authority to bring back wanted individuals “dead or alive” in return for a “handsome reward”. Worse yet, is the image portrayed by the likes of “Dog” the Bounty Hunter. This quasi fictional character which portends to be reality TV, gives the industry a bad name. If all Bounty Hunters were that heavy-handed we’d all be sued for civil rights violations! The scene and casting for this high-stakes drama has certainly changed but bounty hunting is in fact still very much a part of the American system of justice today. In 1873 the US Supreme Court defined the rights of bounty hunters as agents of bail bondsmen in the case of Taylor v. Taintor.  Hence the real name for bounty hunters is “bail fugitive recovery agents”.

The basis of bounty hunting is rooted in the bail bond process used in the United States.  The purpose of bail is to allow for the legal right of “innocent until proven guilty” guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution without incarceration of an individual prior to determination of guilt or innocence.  On the other side of the coin, the courts whose job it is to enforce and administer the law need some guarantee that the accused will be present in court to face charges and provide a defense.

Hence the bail schedule is set to reflect that balance between the risk of harm to society due to the nature of the crime and the individual’s legal rights. The bail process allows someone who has been arrested to remain free by paying a fee to the courts. If that person violates the terms of his bail, a bail agent will retrieve him and bring him back to police custody, hence the need for bounty hunting.  A bail bondsman can do their own bounty hunting or contract with an individual or company that is licensed to provide bounty hunting services.

Some states require that bounty hunters be licensed, while other states only require that bounty hunters register with them.  Some states such as Kentucky and Oregon prohibit bounty hunters entirely from making bail arrests.

In September 1999, California enacted law A 243 regulating bounty hunters, termed “bail fugitive recovery persons” in the statute. This law added section 1299 to the California Penal Code. The bail fugitive recovery person is defined as one who has written authorization by a bail agent or surety contracted to investigate, monitor, locate, and arrest a bail fugitive for surrender to appropriate authorities, or any person employed to assist in the arrest of such a fugitive.

CPC 1299 required special licensing and training to become a bounty hunter.  California bounty hunters needed a certification from the California Department of Insurance to operate. Certification was granted only to those who could demonstrate they know the state laws and can pass a background check.

Bail fugitive recovery agents must be 18 years old, have no felony convictions, complete a specified training courses, and notify local law enforcement of their intent to apprehend a bail fugitive no more than six hours before doing so.  California bounty-hunting training courses can be done on-line or at select, approved schools that focus on criminal justice. You must be 18 or older to apply. The first step is to take a 12-hour course that covers bail education licensing requirements. After this, you are required to apply for your bounty-hunting license and need to score 70 percent or higher on the test.

Unfortunately, CPC 1299 had a sunset clause and the California State Legislature allowed it to lapse. California no longer has control over the bounty hunters and the bail industry is in an uproar over this. The legitimate bail agencies want to see restrictions and rules governing bounty hunters. The industry in pleading with the state legislature to re-enact CPC 1299; for the protection of public safety and common sense.

 – About the Author:

Orange County Bail Bonds, located across the street from the Orange County jail facility, is a family owned and operated Orange County bail bond service and has been serving the bail bonds needs of Californians and across the United States since 1963.