Search warrant executed at Nexus Services office, 5 arrested

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 3:49 PM EDT
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VERONA, Va. (WHSV) - The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Virginia State Police, have arrested three local individuals on felony indictments handed down by an Augusta County Grand Jury.

On Oct. 5, 2022, the following individuals were taken into custody without incident, following search warrants that were executed at various locations in the county, including the corporate offices of Nexus Services in Verona.

Michael Paul Donovan, 45, of Fishersville

§ 18.2-178.1 (A) Obtaining money by false pretense.

§ 18.2-22. Conspiracy to commit felony.

Donovan is listed as the bail bonds service CEO on its website.

Richard Edward Moore, 45, of Fishersville

§ 18.2-178.1 (A) Obtaining money by false pretense.

§ 18.2-22. Conspiracy to commit felony.

Timothy Wayne Shipe, 36, of Staunton

§ 18.2-178.1 (A) Obtaining money by false pretense.

§ 18.2-22. Conspiracy to commit felony.

Timothy Wayne Donovan and Santos Vicente Putul-Ax were both arrested at Nexus Services for obstruction of justice during the execution of search warrants. Moore and Donovan were released on $50,000 secured bond. Timothy Shipe was released on $5,000 unsecured bond. Santos Putul-Ax is being held without bond at Middle River Regional Jail. The investigation remains ongoing at this time.

Santos Vicente Putul-Ax,18, of Fishersville

§ 18.2-460 Obstruction of justice without force.

Timothy Wayne Donovan, 67, of Fishersville

§ 18.2-460 Obstruction of justice without force.

WHSV spoke with Donovan and Shipe on Wednesday.

Donovan said three locations were searched, which were the Nexus campus, his home, and one of the Vice President’s homes.

He said he did not see a search warrant until after his home was searched.

“We witnessed the dispatcher deliver copies of the warrant to the residence to the officers there as they were finished,” he stressed.

Donovan said he did see a search warrant for the Nexus campus. The Sheriff’s Office seized all electronics.

He said when it comes to the ‘obtaining money by false pretenses’ charge, he does not know what that is in reference to.

“I don’t know. I have no idea what that is. The indictment is a paragraph long, so I can’t speak to that charge because there’s no warrant it’s just an indictment and doesn’t have specifics or particulars,” he said.

The indictment also mentions Zak Cruz, who Donovan calls his son. Cruz is the brother of Nikolas Cruz, the 2018 Parkland Florida High School shooting suspect who is on trial now.

Donovan believes the raid was an “opportunity to score a political hit job” for Augusta County officials.

“Currently there is no threat to the community. Authorities will be on location in Fishersville and Verona throughout the day searching and collecting evidence,” said Sheriff Donald L. Smith.

Donovan said he will fight all charges.

Update: In reference to the media release that was sent out yesterday regarding the arrests of Richard Edward Moore and Michael Paul Donovan, a list of charges are below.

§ 18.2-178 Obtaining money by false pretense over $1000

§ 18.2-23/18.2-178 Conspire to obtain money by false pretense over $1000

§ 18.2-178.1 (A) Exploit mental incapacity over $1000

§ 18.2-23/18.2-178.1 (A) Conspire to exploit mental incapacity over $1000

Both were released on $50,000 secured bonds.

This is a developing story. Right now investigators are releasing very little information about the nature of these charges. Stay tuned as WHSV works to learn more.

Editor’s Note: No mugshot was provided for Timothy Wayne Shipe.