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July 31, 2014

41 Linked To El Monte Street Gang Charged In Federal Racketeering Indictment That Alleges Murders, Robberies And Narcotics Trafficking

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

LOS ANGELES – More than 400 law enforcement officers this morning conducted an operation that led to the arrest of 17 members and associates of the El Monte Flores gang, an organization that takes direction from the Mexican Mafia prison gang and controls criminal activity in the cities of El Monte and South El Monte.

Those taken into custody today are among 41 defendants named in a 167-page racketeering indictment that alleges “El Monte Flores gang members commit crimes, including acts of violence (ranging from battery to murder), drug trafficking offenses, robbery, burglary, carjacking, witness intimidation, kidnapping, weapons trafficking, credit card fraud, identity theft, and hate crimes directed against African-Americans who might reside or be present in the cities of El Monte and South El Monte in an effort to rid these cities of all African-Americans.”

Other gang-related crimes are outlined in the 62-count indictment, including the execution of a former Mexican Mafia member and the fatal shooting of four others in an El Monte residence in 1995. The indictment also outlines an ongoing dispute involving members of the Mexican Mafia who are attempting to exercise control over the gang. One of those Mexican Mafia members – James “Chemo” Gutierrez, 52, who is currently in federal custody after his supervised release following a 20-year sentence in a federal homicide case was revoked – is the lead defendant in the indictment. Other Mexican Mafia members serving life prison terms are not charged in the indictment, but they are listed as co-conspirators.

The gang maintains a significant presence at the Boys & Girls Club of America – San Gabriel Valley Club on Mountain View Road, where gang members openly sold drugs, held gang meetings and even held a car wash fundraiser, according to the indictment. Members of the gang also regularly use and threaten to use violence to extort “taxes” from drug dealers at “Crawford’s Plaza” (at Valley Boulevard and Garvey Avenue) and the “Klingerman” apartments, as well as from fraudulent document vendors who operate at Crawford’s Plaza. The indictment further alleges several incidents dating back to early 2001 in which African-American victims in El Monte were attacked, threatened and subjected to racial epithets.

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THREE DEFENDANTS SCHEDULED TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING, KIDNAPPING, AND TORTURING WOMAN

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

SANTA ANA – Three defendants are scheduled to be arraigned today for human trafficking, kidnapping, and torturing a woman. Renice Stevenson Flores-Davis, 26, Costa Mesa, is charged with two felony counts each of torture, kidnapping, mayhem, and one felony count each of human trafficking, aggravated assault, pimping, and pandering, with sentencing enhancement and allegations for personal infliction of great bodily injury and great bodily injury. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 56 years to life in state prison.

Oscar Gonzalez-Salinas, 33, Costa Mesa, and Cierra Rose Thompson, 27, Silverton, OR, are both charged with two felony counts of kidnapping, one felony count each of torture, human trafficking, mayhem, aggravated assault, pimping, and pandering, with sentencing enhancement and allegations for personal infliction of great bodily injury and great bodily injury. If convicted, Gonzalez-Salinas and Thompson each face a maximum sentence of 39 years to life in state prison. The People will be requesting the three defendants be held on $1 million bail at their arraignment this afternoon in Department CJ-1, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

Circumstances of the Case

Flores-Davis is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical and/or emotional abuse.

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“Spiritual Healer” Sentenced to Prison for Rape

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

A “spiritual healer” convicted of rape was sentenced today to nine years in state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jose Romulo Felix, 42, of Victorville pleaded no contest on July 1 to two felony counts: rape and sexual battery by fraud.

At the sentencing, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Knupp also ordered Felix to register as a sex offender for life.

Deputy District Attorney Heba Matta, who prosecuted the case, said Felix advertised in Spanish newspapers that he was a “spiritual healer” who could solve love issues for women.

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July 30, 2014

Owner Of Home Health Agency Sentenced To Nearly Five Years For Bilking Medicare Out Of $5 Million In Health Care Fraud Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

LOS ANGELES – A registered nurse who operated GreatCare Home Health, Inc., a home health agency based in the Westlake district of Los Angeles, has been sentenced to 57 months in federal prison for orchestrating a $5 million Medicare fraud scheme involving kickbacks to doctors and patients who did not qualify for in-home health services provided by GreatCare.

Hee Jung Mun, who often used the name Angela Mun, 52, of Rancho Palos Verdes, was sentenced late yesterday by United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson. In addition to the prison term, Judge Pregerson also ordered Mun to pay $5.144 million in restitution to Medicare.

As part of the investigation, authorities previously seized $1.2 million from bank accounts owned by Mun and GreatCare. Another federal judge ordered Mun to pay nearly $15 million to resolve a “whistleblower” lawsuit associated with the scheme (see: http://www.justice.gov/usao/cac/Pressroom/2013/116.html).

Mun pleaded guilty in 2012 and admitted orchestrating a three-year scheme to defraud Medicare. In her plea agreement, Mun admitted that she bilked Medicare out of millions by 1) paying illegal kickbacks to doctors and individuals known as “cappers” or “marketers” for patient referrals, and to patients themselves to sign up for home health services, 2) billing Medicare for patients who were not homebound or who otherwise did not quality for home health services, and 3) billing Medicare for services provided by unlicensed individuals or not provided at all.

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Four Teens Charged with Murder in USC Grad Student Death

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

Three males and a female, all under 20, were charged today with capital murder in the beating death of a 24-year-old USC graduate student whose body was found Thursday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jonathan Del Carmen (dob 6/02/95), Andrew Garcia (dob 12/19/95), Alberto Ochoa (dob 1/23/97), and Alejandra Guerrero (dob 6/02/98) are scheduled to be arraigned after 1:30 p.m. today at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Department 30. Prosecutors will ask that they be held without bail.

Deputy District Attorney John McKinney with the Major Crimes Division is assigned to the case.

The four are charged in case BA427590 with one count each of murder of Xinran Ji with the special circumstance of murder during an attempted robbery. Ochoa, Garcia and Guerrero are each charged with a special allegation that they personally used a dangerous weapon, a bat.

Ji, an engineering student from China, was walking home from a study group when he was attacked by a group of three males and one female juvenile who tried to rob him. The attack occurred about 12:45 a.m. Thursday near the corner of 29th Street and Orchard Avenue, a few blocks from the USC campus. (more…)

MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING ARMY VETERAN ROOMMATE AND DISPOSING HER BODY IN CANYON

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of murdering his roommate and disposing of her body in a canyon. Kwang Chol Joy, 55, Orange, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of second degree murder. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison at his sentencing Sept. 12, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Joy lived at a home in Orange with 36-year-old roommate Maribel Ramos. The victim was an Army veteran who had served two combat tours in Iraq and was also a student at California State University, Fullerton.

On May 2, 2013, the defendant got into an argument with Ramos after she told him to move out of the home because he was not paying his rent. That night, Ramos was seen on video surveillance dropping off a rent check at the property manager’s office. It was the last time she was seen alive.

Sometime between May 2, 2013, and May 3, 2013, Joy murdered Ramos and disposed of her body in Santiago Canyon.

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July 29, 2014

Historic Clean Water Act Settlement Will Prevent Millions of Gallons of Sewage Discharges into San Francisco Bay

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

Seven East Bay Communities, Municipal Utility District to Repair Systems, Pay Civil Penalties

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a Clean Water Act settlement requiring the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and seven East Bay communities to conduct extensive system repairs aimed at eliminating millions of gallons of sewage discharges into San Francisco Bay.  Under today’s agreement, EBMUD and the communities will assess and upgrade their 1,500 mile-long sewer system infrastructure over a 21-year period.  The work is expected to cost approximately $1.5 billion.  The entities will pay civil penalties of $1.5 million for past sewage discharges that violated federal environmental law.

Since 2009, EPA, state and local regulators and environmental groups have worked to reduce sewage discharges from East Bay communities.  During that period, interim actions required EBMUD and the East Bay communities to improve their sewer maintenance practices and gather information to identify priorities for investment.

The San Francisco Bay covers 1,600 square miles and is the largest Pacific estuary in the Americas, a host for millions of migratory birds and a hub of commerce and recreation for more than 7 million Bay Area residents.  Unfortunately, the bay is under threat from many sources of pollution, including crumbling wastewater infrastructure that allows sewage to escape from the system.  During rainstorms, in particular, older sewer systems can be overwhelmed, releasing rivers of sewage before fully treated.

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MAN SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN PRISON FOR TRAFFICKING 17-YEAR-OLD GIRL AND THREATENING HER

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to five years in state prison for human trafficking and threatening a 17-year-old girl. Marsalis Joseph Smith, 27, Gardena, pleaded guilty today to one felony count each of human trafficking and criminal threats.

Circumstances of the Case

Smith is a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain.

On Jan. 21, 2014, Smith met 17-year-old Jane Doe in Gardena while the defendant was with a group of friends. Smith lured the victim to perform commercial sex acts for his benefit by promising Jane Doe money, clothing, and other material items. He gave the victim instructions on interacting with sex purchasers and trafficking her from Los Angeles County to Orange County. Smith threatened the victim with violence if she did not comply with his orders.

On Jan. 24, 2014, the victim made with contact with the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD), who investigated this case with assistance from the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) and arrested Smith.

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Former Bell Councilmember Sentenced To Two Years in State Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:01 am

Former Bell City Councilwoman Teresa Jacobo was sentenced today to two years in state prison and  ordered to pay more than $242,000 in restitution to the city, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jacobo, 61, is the third of five former council members to be sentenced in a massive public corruption case that nearly bankrupted the city of 35,000.

Deputy District Attorneys Sean Hassett and Edward Miller with the Public Integrity Division were seeking a four-year prison term.

Jurors in March 2013 convicted Jacobo of five counts of misappropriation of public funds. In April of this year, she pleaded no contest to two additional counts of misappropriation of public funds to avoid a retrial.

Jacobo, along with former Mayor Oscar Hernandez and former Councilmembers George Mirabal, George Cole and Victor Bello, were convicted of stealing a total of nearly $1 million. (more…)

July 28, 2014

UPS Driver Accused of Stealing Guns from the Shipper and Giving Firearms to Associate for Sale on Streets

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:21 am

RIVERSIDE, California – A United Parcel Service driver was arrested this afternoon on federal gun trafficking charges for allegedly stealing dozens of guns going through the shipping company’s Ontario hub and providing them to an associate who sold the weapons in underground transactions.

Curtis Hays, 36, of Rancho Cucamonga, was arrested without incident by special agents with the ATF. Hays is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court.

The associate who allegedly sold some of the firearms – Dennis Dell White Jr., 35, of Moreno Valley – will be summoned to appear in federal court for an arraignment in the coming weeks.

The 16-count indictment, which was filed on July 23, alleges that Hays stole a series of packages containing guns that were supposed to be delivered to Turner’s Outdoorsman in Rancho Cucamonga. The indictment also accused Hays of stealing jewelry and mobile phones that were supposed to be delivered to other retailers, and this merchandise also was allegedly given to White.

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