Two arrests made in connection with local fraud scheme - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Two arrests made in connection with local fraud scheme

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KENNEWICK, WA - Kennewick detectives have been investigating a case where an 83-year-old elderly male was scammed out of thousands of dollars. The suspects had contacted the victim by phone posing as his grandson, saying that he was in jail in Panama and needed funds so he could buy his way out of jail. The suspects specifically requested that the victim purchase gift cards as payment. Each time that the victim would send gift cards the suspects would request additional cards.

Through investigation, detectives were able to identify the suspects. A search warrant was served on a Kennewick residence on the 2600 block of John Day and evidence was recovered to support an ongoing criminal fraud scheme.

On April 23rd, both alleged suspects, 32-year-old Joshua Berry and 40-year-old Zhihua Lei were arrested at the Tri-Cities Airport after they returned from a trip. Both suspects were booked into Benton County Jail for Trafficking Stolen Property 1st and Money Laundering. The investigation in still ongoing.

If someone has information that they would like to provide while remaining confidential, they may call the Crime Stoppers line at 586-TIPS (8477), 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit