Arizona requires its bounty hunters to be licensed, but Brent Farley of NorthStar Fugitive Recovery in Mesa does not have one. In fact, he cannot be licensed in Arizona due to a prior felony conviction. However, that did not stop him from joining a team of bounty hunters who had gotten a tip on a fugitive. Unfortunately for them, the address they had was for Joseph Yahner—the Chief of Police in Phoenix.
Farley is now behind bars after pulling a gun on Yahner. Although apologetic, Farley thought that Yahner had a gun when he pulled out his baton. Farley insists that he left when asked to do so after it became obvious that they had the wrong house. He is currently in jail for trespassing and disorderly conduct. Farley also insisted that other members of the team were licensed bounty hunters and would have been the ones to make the arrest.
As Duane “Dog” Chapman explained to The Arizona Republic, legitimate bounty hunters do their homework before they try to apprehend a fugitive, since false leads are common in the business. Professional bounty hunters talk to neighbors, sit and watch, and check a lead out before rushing into action.
Chapman also stressed the importance of contacting the local police department before attempting to arrest a fugitive. Farley claims he had done so, but wasn’t told that the address was for the Chief of Police. Dog would also like to see more regulation and training of bounty hunters across the country. For instance, although Arizona requires bounty hunters to register and pass a criminal background check, it has no penalties for failing to register.