Two Orange County bail bonds agents have been arrested and charged with paying inmates to solicit potential clients.
California law prohibits bondsmen from having an arrangement with a detainee in which the detainee would notify them of arrests, prohibits unlicensed persons from soliciting and negotiating bail, and disallows compensation or commissions of any kind to be paid to a non-licensed person for bail transactions. Referring attorneys to inmates and/or arrestees is also prohibited by law.
James Morris Jr. has been charged with three felony counts of paying commissions to a person who does not hold a bail license and one felony count of having a business arrangement with an inmate for informing him of arrests. If convicted he faces a maximum sentence up to five years in state prison.
Kenneth Hendrick has been charged with 11 counts of the latter charge, two counts of referring an attorney to an arrestee, one felony count of paying someone who does not hold a bail license to solicit business and one felony count of possession of a controlled substance. If convicted Hendrick faces a maximum sentence of 11 years and eight months in state prison.
Hendrick is being held on $50,000 bail. Morris surrendered himself to the court on $20,000 bail. The Orange County Register reported that both men worked at James Morris Bail Bonds. Both men are due in court for arraignment on Apr. 6.