INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – It wasn’t a pair of homeowners two unlicensed contractors met with to discuss electrical and plumbing work on Tuesday. Instead, it was a pair of undercover officials from the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation who found the contractors through Craigslist.And work was the last thing the authorities had on their mind when they met with Zachary Baker, of Vero Beach, and Robert Arias, 48, of Port St. Lucie.The two contractors were arrested after authorities hired them to do work that required them to be licensed in a sting operation set up near Indian River Mall.
An officer from the department and a deputy posed as the homeowners and contacted the contractors through Craigslist and asked them to perform work on a house. They met with Baker and Arias on Nov. 3 – at separate times – asked for an estimate and then entered a contract for the work.
Baker told authorities that he could perform plumbing work for about $600, according to the arrest report. Arias was asked to perform electric work, which he said would cost more than $5,600.
Both men were asked to get started on the work the next day and were arrested.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation identified the men as unlicensed contractors and had notified the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, which helped to set up a bust.Baker and Arias have since been released from the county jail on $500 bond. They face a charge of contracting without a license, their arrest reports state.