Cute Pups Target of Scammer

11-10-05 - A Mesquite, Texas man is accused of using bogus money orders to buy high-priced puppies, only to resell them later. But an alert breeder teamed up with Grayson County deputies in a sting operation – now the suspect is behind bars.

Investigators made the arrest yesterday, after the breeder’s wife used a hidden microphone and a fake newspaper ad to lure Darryl Valentine into taking the bait.

The story began two weeks ago when Scott and Teresa Carsten, who breed English Bulldogs near Whitewright, sold a puppy to Valentine for $1,500. But before they could get to the bank, they realized the money orders he paid with were fakes.

With the help of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, they realized they were just one of more than 30 breeders in Texas and Oklahoma who’d fallen victim to the same thief.

But by posting the fake ad, they were able to lure Valentine back to the area to buy another puppy. Teresa Carsten was accompanied by a detective, who pretended to be her husband. Valentine is now charged with forgery, but could face dozens of other charges elsewhere. Since First News aired the story at 6pm on Wednesday, investigators in Fannin County and Van Alstyne have come forward with similar cases.

The Carsten’s are hoping to recover the puppy they sold to Valentine. It has white feet and a brown spot in the left ear. If you see that dog or know of any English Bulldogs that were bought for well below market price, contact the Grayson County Sheriff's Office.