- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 16, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - A man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a reduced charge involving last year’s incident in which nearly a dozen armed bounty hunters looking for a fugitive swarmed the home of Phoenix’s police chief.

Brent Leroy Farley, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted bail bond agent violation. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 15, and he reportedly could be facing a minimum prison term of six months, probation and up to $10,000 in fines.

Farley’s attorney said he made the plea because he didn’t have the proper licensing to be a bounty hunter when he orchestrated the August 2015 raid.

Five others charged in the case have pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, court records indicate.

Bounty hunters mistakenly went to the northwest Phoenix home of now-retired Police Chief Joe Yahner after they were sent there by a text message to look for a suspect. Yahner called 911, and responding officers found his home surrounded by 11 armed employees of two bond-recovery companies.



The bounty hunters mistakenly believed a fugitive wanted in Oklahoma was in the house, a police spokesman said.

At least one armed bondsman banged on Yahner’s door and got into a verbal confrontation with the chief, demanding that Yahner come out.

Farley originally was facing charges of criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct.

He denied pulling a gun on Yahner and said the group wouldn’t have gone to the chief’s home if they knew it was his.

After his arrest, Farley told reporters that it’s always possible tips he receives won’t be good.

“Part of the process is knocking on doors,” Farley said. “There are times when they haven’t been there for a couple years and the information we have is bad.”

Farley said he posted an online note about a fugitive wanted on drug charges and then received an anonymous text from an Oklahoma phone number saying that person was at the police chief’s house.

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