PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO)-- Detectives arrested a Pueblo West man on Thursday, accused of theft after failing to complete a project.
According to the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, 55-year-old Garland Lee Waldroop has been under investigation since December 2021 after allegations that he agreed to construct four metal buildings for a client, but that work never materialized.
According to the sheriff's office, the client gave Waldroop a $90,000 deposit. The client says the work was never completed and some of the materials were never delivered.
An Alamosa man, Terry Ferrari, says he's the client.
Ferrari readily admits that he might have avoided the whole mess if he had first done a quick internet search. Waldroop has a previous conviction for bank fraud.
"The people next door to us said, 'Oh, there's this guy Lee, he is a great guy. He's doing a building for us. We recommend him.'"
Ferrari had just moved to Alamosa and was looking for a contractor to construct several buildings.
Waldroop landed the job, but Ferrari says things quickly devolved from there.
"We gave him some deposits, and then he kept promising us this and then promising us that," Ferrari told KRDO. "And nothing would really come through."
Ferrari says all he has to show for his money is a pile of rusty metal. He claims he looked up Waldroop's name once he was concerned his money was at risk. Ferrari says his local enforcement agency didn't take his case seriously.
So he built a website, Leewaldroopinfo.com, which is quickly accessible with an internet search.
"I thought to myself, there must be more people he's done it to," Ferrari continued. "How is he going to keep getting away with it? And I thought, [probably] because no one ever brings [the alleged victims] together."
Sure enough, once the site went live, Ferrari says people began to share their stories.
"One person contacted me and about four or five people contacted me further. Some have been hit for more than others."
Eventually, he reported it to the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, which took up the case in December.
Ferrari believes his website helped his criminal case, establishing a pattern of alleged crimes for investigators.
While it's too late for alleged victims like Ferrari, he says he's just happy that word is now spreading.
"I don't expect to see any money back again, but I just want to see him face justice for it really," he shared.
Public records reveal two businesses under Waldroop's name, Waldroop Construction, and GB Steel Erectors Inc.
KRDO reached out to Waldroop for this story but did not receive a response. He has since bonded out of jail.
Ferrari says Waldroop has told him to take down the website, but, Ferrari won't. He believes everything posted on it about Waldroop's business practices is true.