TRI-CITIES, Wash. — It all started with a simple Craiglist ad.
Pasco resident Michael Marmon was looking for contractor and building help, turning to a familiar website he’s used before.
When Marmon, who has worked in construction himself, came across an ad posted by 39-year-old Antonio “Tony” Gonzalez, it seemed harmless.
“Yeah, it seemed legitimate. It had a Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) number on it and he was a smooth talker,” Marmon said. “He was good at it, let’s put it that way.”
Marmon said they chatted for a bit before Gonzalez came out and gave him a bid.
“He wanted a deposit upfront so I gave him $2,000 dollars,” Marmon said. “After that, it was emails back and forth. He never came out again.”
Marmon said he grew frustrated as Gonzalez “just…