Locals caught in sting

Six Butte County contractors nabbed for no licenses

Six Butte County men were cited during a recent two-day sting operation in which state investigators teamed with the Butte County District Attorney’s Office looking for unlicensed contractors. Using a house in Chico, the investigators put out requests for jobs, including painting, landscaping, fence building and tree removal.

The suspects were contacted via ads in local papers, on Craigslist or business cards and fliers posted at local home-improvement stores. Those who responded and bid more than $500 for labor and materials were issued notices to appear for contracting without a license.

The six cited were Laslo Szontagh, 36, of Chico, who bid $1,200 for labor to paint the exterior of the house; Guillermo Serrano Tejas, 46, of Chico, who was cited for bidding more than $500 for landscaping services; 31-year-old Juan Carlos Rodriguez, of Palermo, ditto; Andrew Louis Colenzo Jr., 52, of Paradise, who bid $1,300 to build a fence; Herod Fred Miller, 33, of Oroville, who offered to remove three to four trees for $850; Jeffrey Gerald Steels, 48, of Oroville, who bid $800 to $1,000 to paint the exterior of a residence. The men were cited for contracting without a license and illegal advertising, both misdemeanors.