Summerville resident Rene Anthony Greeno bills himself as a bounty hunter and television producer who is bringing a reality show about his exploits to the small screen.
But while Greeno boasts online about his proficiency in tracking down fugitives, he has a criminal record of his own and is wanted in Indiana on an escape-from-custody charge, court records show.
Greeno, 27, could not be reached for comment Thursday. That's because he has spent the past two months behind bars in Fargo, N.D., where he was arrested in October for reportedly breaking down the wrong door during a fugitive hunt.
Greeno pleaded guilty Tuesday to three misdemeanor charges related to the incident and was sentenced to 64 days in jail, the amount of time he had spent locked up since his arrest. But before he can get out he must face an extradition proceeding to see if he will be compelled to return to Indiana, where he pleaded guilty to domestic battery and theft charges in 2010, court records show.
Greeno has spent much of the past year filming and promoting "Southern Bounty," a reality TV show based on his escapades as leader of a fugitive enforcement team. Video promos posted on YouTube show Greeno dressed in tactical gear kicking in doors, taking down fugitives and posing in front of the Cooper River bridge and the Yorktown.
The clips promote an upcoming debut on Fox 24, and Greeno has a photo of himself beside a WTAT-TV Fox 24 vehicle as his Facebook profile picture.
The station's general manager, Mary Margaret Nelms, said Fox 24 never had plans to air the show. "They are actually using our logo without permission, and we have asked them to take it down," she said.
The Facebook page for "Southern Bounty" also lists Charleston police as a sponsor of the television show, but police spokesman Charles Francis said that is definitely not the case.
Phil Summers, a local actor and videographer who worked with Greeno on "Southern Bounty" this year, said Greeno seemed to have a good concept, but it didn't go anywhere. As for the footage of Greeno tracking and taking down fugitives, that was also scripted and done with actors, he said.
"There was no actual real bounty hunting involved," he said. "That was totally staged. The doors they were kicking in weren't even legitimately closed."
On a company website, Greeno is listed as a former police officer and jailer who "is a modern day version of a real Bounty Hunter." The site states that he is the owner of Southern Bounty Fugitive Enforcement and Southern Bail Bonding L.L.C. in Charleston.
"I've caught over 5,000 fugitives and currently, right now, there is no one I haven't caught," Greeno told a Fargo television station in an early October interview.
Neither Southern Bounty Fugitive Enforcement nor Southern Bail Bonding is registered with the S.C. Secretary of State's office, nor is his Greeno Productions film company. On Facebook, he lists himself as a producer and director with the film company, and as an actor whose credits include a "Jerry Springer Show" episode and a college production of "Peter Pan."
The state Department of Insurance, which licenses bail bondsmen, does not list Greeno or his companies as being licensed in that field.
Southern Bail Bonding isn't listed in the phone book, but a T-shirt featured on Facebook shows a number to call. The woman who answered a call to that number Thursday, bail bondsman Christina De La Rosa, said she has no affiliation with Greeno and he used her number without permission.
Greeno's Facebook page also states that he is a former bail bondsman/bounty hunter for Mark Montgomery Bail Bonds in Tulsa., Okla., but company owner Mark Montgomery said Greeno never worked there.
Ken Harris, owner of Fugitive Retrieval Services in Oklahoma, said he invited Greeno to train with his company a while back after they became Facebook friends in 2011. Greeno talked about his reality TV plans and said he'd worked four to five years as a bounty hunter.
"The times that we went out with him it occurred to me that he didn't have the experience that he claimed he had," Harris said. "We'd show up somewhere, he'd jump out of the vehicle and run right up to the house. Stuff like that will get you killed. We do things as a team. There's a lot of surveillance. It's a watch-and-wait kind of game. He was a danger to himself and others. That also made me question his license."
Harris said he called South Carolina officials and learned that Greeno not only lacked a valid license, his company, Southern Bounty, didn't exist anywhere in the state. "That just blew my mind," said Harris, who cut ties with Greeno.
Lenny Biggers, a bail bondsman and private investigator with Renegade Fugitive Investigations in Muskogee, Okla., said Greeno also approached him a couple years ago looking for work. Biggers, who has 30 years of experience in the business, said he picked up on a few red flags right away.
"(Greeno) was young kid wanting to break into this business, but he really didn't know what he was doing," Biggers said. "He was telling me he arrested more than 10,000 people in about four years. ... There's no way. We may make probably 30 arrests a year, that's it. It's not like we have 30 cases a day to work on."
State Law Enforcement Division records show that Greeno was convicted in August of a 2011 charge of violating South Carolina's bail bondsman law. Details about the initial arrest in that case, which occurred in Summerville, were not available Thursday due to the police department's records office being closed for the Christmas holiday.
"Southern Bounty" promos state that the show was supposed to begin airing locally in October, the same month Greeno was arrested in North Dakota. He was there hunting fugitives and working on a "Northern Bounty" reality show, his Greeno Productions Facebook page stated.
Greeno and four others were accused of kicking in a Fargo woman's apartment door in late September while searching for a wanted man who wasn't there, The Forum news service of Fargo reported. The Forum reported that Greeno had been warned by Fargo police that he could face charges there for operating as a bounty hunter without a license.
Initially charged with a felony, Greeno pleaded guilty on Christmas Eve to misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass, providing false information to law enforcement and criminal mischief, court records state. He remained jailed late in the day, pending extradition proceedings.
Greeno's attorney, Scott Brand of Fargo, said his client took responsibility for his actions, apologized to the citizens of Fargo for his "genuine mistake" and is now looking to get on with his life.
"He intends on coming back and serving the citizens of Fargo and North Dakota by finding more fugitives," he said.
Christina Elmore contributed to this report. Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.
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