Deputies arrest man they say pretended to be kidnapped to receive money

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Deputies with the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department have arrested a man they say pretended to be kidnapped so that he could receive money from his family.

Deputies say that Preston Smith, 24, of Morgantown texted and called his brother saying that he had been kidnapped and was being held at gunpoint.

Deputies also say that Smith told his brother that the “kidnapper” needed $2,000 and he would let Smith free if he brought the money to Sheetz.

Smith’s brother called deputies who showed up to the location instead and found Smith with no evidence that he was being kidnapped or held at gun point.

Smith is charged with conspiracy.

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