Suspect booked for charity scam based on local family's mourning
Wellington Police have arrested a Price man for multiple offenses related to the alleged selling of benefit raffle tickets under false pretenses.
According to Officer Chad Feichko, Ricky Olsen, 33, of Price, allegedly used a minor child to help him sell tickets that would benefit the Armstrong family of Wellington. The Armstrongs' 15-year-old son Levi was killed in an OHV accident last month.
After receiving complaints from a Wellington business about the tickets, city police began investigating the matter and quickly found that the suspect had no intention of turning over the money.
Olsen, who was initially arrested for an outstanding statewide warrant, has now been booked for theft by deception, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of a controlled substance.
From a single complaint taken over the weekend, the case has grown to include more than 20 victims, said Feichko, who took the investigation over on Monday.
"After speaking with the victims and the Armstrong family we began looking for Ricky," said Feichko. "Soon after we received a tip that he was hiding at a trailer in Wellington."
Once police obtained permission from the trailer's owner to enter the residence, they reportedly found Olsen hiding in a back bedroom.
"I had the opportunity to interview him after the Monday arrest and then again on Tuesday," said Feichko.
The Wellington Officer found that Olsen had purchased the raffle tickets from Walmart and then persuaded the minor to help him go out and sell them.
"I want people to know that this child was only doing was he was asked to," continued Feichko. "He was told that the money was going to the Armstrongs and in no way knew that Olsen was pocketing the money."
As that case is ongoing, Olsen could face further charges once the investigation is complete and the matter is reviewed by the county attorney's office.