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Police: Suspicious Packages at 8 Hotels Turn Out to be Part of Cell Phone Scam

Three NYC residents arrested in incident that led to calls for bomb squad, bomb-sniffing dogs.

Bomb squads and bomb-sniffing dogs were called into action Friday when police were concerned that suspicious packages received at eight different hotels in the region could be a threat.

An investigation, however, revealed the packages were part of a scam to obtain cell phones by fraud, according to State Police.

Three New York City residents have been charged in connection with the incident and police are looking for other hotels that might have received similar packages.

Police in southern Dutchess County on Friday learned that several hotels had each received suspicious packages via UPS addressed to Kevin Jones, a guest who had yet to arrive. The deliveries prompted an investigation involving State Police, Fishkill village and town police and the Dutchess Sheriff’s Department.

Examination of the packages revealed them to each contain a cellular phone and charger. In total, eight hotels received the packages. During the investigation, the Town of Fishkill police were contacted about individuals who arrived at a hotel in their area to retrieve a delivered package. 

As a result of the investigation, three New York City residents were charged with Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th and Conspiracy in the 5th degree, both misdemeanors, after it was determined that the phones were proceeds from a scam.

All three were released on appearance tickets to appear in the Town of Fishkill Court. Charged were:

Kevin K. Jones, 30, of the Bronx

Jessica J. Hairston, 25, of the Bronx

Muhammad A. Matthews, 41, of Brooklyn

State Police ask that any hotel, not already contacted, and that has received a package for Kevin Jones call them at 845-298-0952. If anyone has further information, or knows of similar instances, contact the State Police Wappinger BCI unit at 845-298-0952 or 845-677-7300.

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