RED BLUFF, Calif. - Tehama County investigators arrested Rene Umali of Red Bluff. They say he increased his prices on N-95 masks by 400% at his store Amazing Finds at 616 Cedar Street, Red Bluff.
Officers arrested Umali Friday, Aug. 14, on charges of price gouging during a state of emergency. They're holding him on $3,000 bail.
The investigation started back in March when someone tipped off investigators Umali raised the price of 3M N95 masks from $1 to $5.
On March 31, investigators served a search warrant at Amazing Finds and seized some 1000 masks along with Umali's business records. Those records showed the original price was around the national average before Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency.
After that declaration, investigators say Umali increased the price by 400%.
Investigators say if you bought an N-95 mask from Amazing Finds in the last six months call Supervisor Kevin Hale at the DA Bureau of Investigation at 530-529-3590.
California law generally prohibits businesses from increasing prices more than 10% during a state of emergency.