News Room

Bakersfield Man Pleads Guilty To Fraud Through Sales Of Over $40 Million Of Fertilizer Falsely Represented As Organic


FRESNO, Calif. — Kenneth Noel Nelson Jr., 59, of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty today to four counts of mail fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud organic farmers and other customers of his organic fertilizer businesses, announced United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner.

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PDA 25th Anniversary

Stephanie Yost Sentenced for Embezzlement


A Tulare woman was sentenced to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $250,000 in federal court Monday.


Stephanie Yost, 39, has until Nov. 15 to surrender to federal authorities and begin her prison stay. She’ll have to serve 85 percent, or about 31 ½ months, of her sentence before being eligible for parole. Defense Attorney Charles Lee, who represented Yost, didn’t return a phone message seeking comment.


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Visalia comes together over WWII memorial


Wednesday, June 20, 2012


VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A World War II memorial is getting around the clock security after vandals and thieves targeted Visalia's "Greatest Generation" wall earlier this year.



Information shared by KFSN-TV Fresno, CA


The Pipkin Detective Agency is pleased to announce our High Technology Crimes Unit services.  Our special investigators have been trained in all areas of computer crime investigations.  We have more than ten years of experience in the area of computer forensic science and are experts at gathering and analyzing electronically stored information [ESI] from most computer hardware, peripherals, operating systems and applications.

Visalia man facing charges for stealing copper from his company


Thursday, January 17, 2013


VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Detectives in the South Valley are investigating a large copper theft scheme after an employee was found stealing from his own company.



Information shared by KFSN-TV Fresno, CA

PDA Agents Attend FBI Training Seminar


Wednesday, February 29, 2012


A demonstration was held Wednesday at the Fresno Police Regional Training Center.  Bomb squad technicians from the F.B.I., Nevada and all over California got together to learn about home-made explosives.


While we hear about I.E.D.’s, which stands for improvised explosive devices, when it comes to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, local law enforcement wants to know as much as possible, in case those weapons start showing up here.



Information shared by CBS47 Fresno, CA


Gene Swipe: Few DNA Labs Know Whether Chromosomes Are Yours or If You Stole Them - ABA Journal

Private detective Rocky Pipkin is a DNA thief and proud of it. Someone was sending bomb threats to one of his clients, a big manufacturing company in Fresno, Calif. But Pipkin soon figured out how to break the case. He took the mailed threat and brought it to a DNA lab, which discovered that the culprit had accidentally sneezed on one of the letters.


But that was only one piece of the puzzle. Pipkin needed more. Believing the threats to be an inside job, Pipkin invited a bunch of the company’s security guards to a meeting at his office, supplying them soda to drink there.


CBS47 Special Report: Protecting Yourself Online


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Some women are now taking extreme precautions. A local private detective says more women than ever are calling for background checks. “In the last few years we've experienced a huge increase in private individuals wanting to find out about people they've met online,” said Rocky Pipkin, of Pipkin Detective Agency.


Pipkin says he gets hundreds of requests each month for background checks. Surprisingly, he finds dirt on most of his client's dates, but it's usually because they already have a hunch the person they've met is lying to them. “Most people that come to us have got issues, and I'd say about 90% of the time we substantiate that curiosity, those intuitions,” said Pipkin.


One of his most recent and egregious cases may result in litigation. Pipkin says he uncovered a mountain of lies a man was telling a women in order to get her money.



Information shared by CBS47 Fresno, CA

Ag Theft

Monday, November 7, 2011


Running a ranch is hard work, but having to worry about warding off thieves makes things even tougher.

More and more these days, growers in the Central Valley are being forced to invest in security measures to protect their property.

Crooks are targeting metal, fuel, fertilizer and equipment and when thieves take from farmers, it results in higher prices for everyone.




Information shared by CBS47 Fresno, CA

PI cracks high tech fuel theft case in Visalia

Friday, October 21, 2011


More than 10-thousand gallons of diesel disappeared from a Visalia gas station before the owners hired PI Rocky Pipkin.


Pipkin's team hid in the bushes and caught four truck drivers on the first night of their stakeout. He says the men hooked up a little green device to the card reader to trick the computer into giving them free gas...




Information shared by KFSN-TV Fresno, CA

Police make an arrest in a 2009 Visalia murder case

Wednesday, October19, 2011


Officers arrested Edwin Alvarado Canedo in Orosi Tuesday for the death of 17-year-old Emilio Molina.


In June of 2009, Molina was found lying on a Visalia street just a few blocks from his home.


He had been beaten and died a week later.




Information shared by KFSN-TV Fresno, CA

Lindsay man pleads no contest to honey embezzlement

Guadalupe Gonzalez pleaded "no contest" to one felony count of grand theft with a special enhancement of...



Information shared by KFSN-TV Fresno, CA

Visalia, CA, USA (KFSN) -- Several Visalia couples said the photographer in question took their photos... Then disappeared. "Inner Spirit Photography" was once an in-demand studio.


Now, former clients are demanding answers -- after the owner, Tamara (tuh-mare-uh) Orton, made off with their money and their memories.


These few images are all Landon and Natalie Mapes have to remember their 2005 wedding... Despite the $4,500 dollars they paid to Visalia photographer Tamara Orton of Inner Spirit Photography.


Countless e-mails show the couple's repeated yet unsuccessful attempts to try to get the prints and albums they paid for.


Information shared by KFSN-TV Fresno, CA

Fresno, Calif. (KFSN) -- A woman hired to take thousands of dollars worth of wedding pictures for several Visalia couples is now the focus of an exclusive Action News investigation.


The couples claim Tamara Orton, took their pictures, then took their money.

Orton was the owner of "Inner Spirit Photography," which was once an in-demand studio. Now, clients are demanding their memories.


Information shared by KFSN-TV Fresno, CA


How To Use DNA To Figure Out If A Security Guard Is Sending Your Company Bomb Threats - Forbes

Advances in consumer genetic testing present new detective techniques, and new challenges for privacy.




Bakersfield Man Faces Charges Over Fertilizer Scam

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The U.S. Attorney's office is prosecuting 57-year-old Kenneth Noel Nelson for allegedly defrauding customers of his organic fertilizer business.

Nelson was indicted in federal district court on 28 counts of mail fraud relating to his scheme, said investigators.

U.S Attorney Benjamin Wagner said Nelson manufactured and sold fertilizers through Port Organic Products Ltd. and various affiliated businesses that he owned. Nelson allegedly defrauded his customers by falsely representing that his companies' fertilizers were organic products suitable for use in organic agriculture.


Information cited from

Pipkin Detective Agency investigated this case in 2008 and confirmed industry suspicions that Nelson was using synthetic ingredients in a product he represented and sold as "organic”. Following PDA’s investigation evidence gathered was turned over to Federal Law Enforcement Agencies and they conducted their own investigation and indicted the responsible parties.


Coverage from


United States Department of Justice - March 10, 2011


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Visit Twilight Park!

Central California's Premier Event Venue

We are proud to announce Western Executive Protection, a subsidiary of Pipkin Detective Agency, is the premier security company for Twilight Park in Woodlake, California. This venue hosts many large entertainment events such as Gretchen Wilson, Big and Rich, Montgomery Gentry, MMA Fighting and more.


Visit Twilight Park Today!

The Downtown Rotary Club of Visalia Presents

Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief, Michael P. Downing

This event on June 1st at the Visalia Convention Center was a huge success. Over 450 people came to hear Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief, Michael P. Downing speak. Among the attendees were Police Chiefs, Attorneys, Lions Club Members, Kiwanis Club Members and Rotary Club Members. Former Visalia Police Chief, Bruce McDermott, says this was the largest event that the Downtown Rotary Club ever put together in Visalia’s history.

More Information...

Workplace Violence Seminar - Tuesday, May 3, 2011

PDA hosted yet another seminar following our successful event last year. This years event was a huge success.

For inquiries call (559) 622-8889

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Western Executive Protection - Private Security 1/27/11

The Pipkin Detective Agency, (PDA), introduced their newest member to the PDA family, Western Executive Protection in January of 2010. Western Executive Protection is a premier security company managed by former Visalia Police Department Sergeant David Jarrett. Western Executive Protection has already been credited with the arrest of several criminal gang members involved in local commercial burglaries and their executive protection division has successfully protected numerous high profile political and business individuals. Western Executive Protection was recently awarded a contract with a local law enforcement agency to guard incarcerated inmates who require over-night hospital treatment, thereby freeing law enforcement personnel to better utilize their officer resources within the community. PDA works hand-and-hand with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Read More...


“We will never do business with anyone again without a background investigation from PDA first.”

-National Home/Commercial Builder

Suspicious Teens Found Using and Selling Drugs 12/13/10

The parents of (2) teenagers retained our Agency to investigate possible drug use/sales by the teenagers. An investigation was initiated and after several days of investigation and surveillance along with a covert hair follicle analysis and the (2) subjects confirmed that they were in fact using and selling marijuana, methamphetamine and ecstasy. Several of their customers were identified during the investigation. Agents performed an intervention on the pair and they are currently receiving treatment at a rehab facility.

Dog Held for Ransom 12/8/10

PDA was contacted by a local resident whose dog had come up missing and had received several calls from a subject who would identify themselves and claimed to have the pet but wanted $500.00 dollars before they would give the owner her dog back. We were able to perform a reverse check on the phone number they were calling from and locate their residence. After several days of investigation and surveillance we located the dog and confronted the subjects who had attempted to extort our client. We convinced them to turn the pet over to our Agents. It was a tearful reunion when we returned the dog to its rightful owner. The owner decided not to press charges on the subjects and the case was closed.

Possible Embezzlement of Company Property and Theft 12/6/10

One of our clients called last week regarding a possible embezzlement of company property and theft of employment time. Our Field Agents initiated surveillance of the suspected employee. After several days of investigation and surveillance we were able to obtain video of the employee stealing company property and working a “side job” on the employer’s time. The stolen property was being utilized at the “side job” site and employee’s customer was interviewed but was unaware that stolen property was being used for the work. The employee was interrogated and provided a complete confession. The employer declined to prosecute and the terminated employee was walked off the company headquarters and asked to never return.

Internal Theft Ring Brought Down After 13 Employees Confess

May 2010 - Agents conducted a 3 week investigation and were able to identify and ultimately obtain confessions from 13 employees who were running an internal theft ring at a client’s business, it was estimated that the suspects were taking more that $250,000.00 in product and man hours per year. The company declined to prosecute and the employees were terminated and “walked off” the business property and asked not to return.

PDA Assists in Counterfeit CD/DVD Bust

PDA Agent’s assisted the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department in the recovery of over 100,000 counterfeit CD’s DVD’s and duplicating equipment. This was the suspect’s 4th arrest for these illegal activities.


May 2010 - Agents reunited High school sweethearts who had not seen each other since 1943.

Credit Card Thief Confesses

May 2010 - After a 2 week long investigation a single suspect confessed to embezzling over $10,000.00 via credit card theft from 5 victims who are residents of a local Alzheimer’s care facility. The suspect was arrested by PDA Agents and turned over to the Fresno Police Department and is now awaiting trial.

3 Suspects Indicted on Wire Fraud and Embezzling

April 2010 - After a 3 year investigation by PDA Agents and the FBI, 3 suspects were indicted by a Federal Grand jury for conspiracy, wire fraud and embezzling over $300,000.00 from victim Faulkner Trucking.

Suspects Arrested for Commercial Burglaries in Fresno

February 2010 - PDA Agents and Security Officers from Western Executive Protection arrested 4 burglary suspects allegedly responsible for over 40 commercial burglaries in Fresno in conjunction with the Fresno County Sheriffs Department Detectives after a month long investigation and stakeout of the Valley Transport Refrigeration truck repair facility.