Best Defender Bytes:

July 11, 2017


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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) strongly opposes three California State Senate bills that change firearm sentencing enhancement requirements, bail and pretrial release, and sex offender registration. Crime victims’ rights leaders Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III (Marsy’s Law) and Erin Runnion (The Joyful Child Foundation) joined the OCDA at the news conference to voice their opinions.

Senate Bill 620 – Firearm Sentencing Enhancements

In my lengthy experience as both a judge and a prosecutor, I have found that the ‘10-20-life’ law has been simple and effective. Let’s lock away the criminals who commit the worst crimes while using a gun.” – District Attorney Tony Rackauckas

California’s “10-20-life: Use a Gun and You’re Done” law, Penal Code 12022.53, was enacted in 1997 and provides a criminal enhancement to California state prison sentences for certain serious felonies including murder, kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, and rape when the perpetrator uses a gun during the commission of a crime. As the law stands today, a criminal who uses a gun while committing any of the above-mentioned crimes, is subject to an enhancement which adds 10 years in prison, 20 years for firing the gun, and 25 years to life for killing or seriously injuring someone during the commission of said crime. The enhancement is in addition to and consecutive to the underlying felony conviction.

SB 620 would allow the judge, at the time of sentencing, to strike or dismiss firearm sentencing enhancement otherwise required to be imposed by Penal Code 12022.5. Any person who uses a firearm during the commission of any felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term in prison of three, four, or 10 years, and currently, “The court shall not strike an allegation under this section or a finding bringing a person within the provisions of this section.”


Massage Therapist Pleads to Killing Patient in Illegal Cosmetic Procedure

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

A massage therapist accused of performing an illegal buttocks enhancement on a woman who later died pleaded no contest today to one count of involuntary manslaughter, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Lee Cernok said Sandra Yaneth Pérez-González, 48, was immediately sentenced to three years in jail.

Hamilet Suarez, 36, died after undergoing the cosmetic work at a Long Beach beauty salon on Feb. 12, 2014, the prosecutor said. Pérez-González, who is not a licensed doctor, performed the procedure.

The defendant advertised various cosmetic procedures such as buttocks and lip enhancements and “vampire facelifts.” She had previously performed a similar procedure on the victim’s family member, the prosecutor added.

Case NA105844 was investigated by the Long Beach Police Department.

Los Angeles County District Attorney / Case NA105844 / July 10, 2017

June 2, 2017

Pimp Pleads Guilty to Federal Sex Trafficking Charge Related to Young Woman Forced to Work as Prostitute in Inland Empire

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 2:55 am

SANTA ANA, California – A local pimp who recruited a woman through a social media website and advertised her services as a prostitute in an online publication has pleaded guilty to a federal sex trafficking charge.

Lawrence T. Gunn Jr., 33, whose last known residence was in Woodland Hills, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

Gunn pleaded guilty before United States District Judge David O. Carter, who scheduled a sentencing hearing on October 2. As a result of yesterday’s guilty plea, Gunn faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, and he could be sentenced to as much as life in federal prison.

Gunn, who is also known as “Classified,” forced the victim to get a tattoo of his moniker on her face after he recruited her on Facebook, according to a plea agreement filed in United States District Court.

Gunn admitted that he used force, threats of force, fraud and/or coercion that led the victim to engage in commercial sex acts between May 2015 and late February 2016.


January 4, 2017

Deputy arrested for allegedly having sex with teenage girl in Explorer program

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

Authorities say a deputy with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has been arrested on suspicion of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a teenage girl participating in the department’s youth Explorer program.

The department says in a statement Deputy David Israel Ceballos was arrested Friday on charges of sexual intercourse and sexual penetration with a foreign object on a minor. His bail was set at $100,000.

It says the 14-year veteran started a sexual relationship with the 17-year-old after meeting her in mid-2016. She is now 18.

They say other Explorer scouts reported Ceballos to a deputy serving as an Explorer advisor and that started an investigation. There are no other known alleged victims at this time.

The department says 34-year-old Ceballos was placed on paid leave pending a separate administrative investigation.


August 17, 2016

Final Defendant in RICO Indictment Targeting East Coast Crips Street Gang Pleads Guilty to Federal RICO and Narcotics Offenses

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

LOS ANGELES – The 16th and final defendant in a racketeering indictment that targeted the East Coast Crips (ECC) street gang, which claims a large swath of territory in South Los Angeles, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to federal charges.

Gregory Sutton Jr., 40, of South Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), conspiracy to distribute marijuana and being a felon in possession of a firearm. As a result of the guilty pleas, Sutton, who was an associate of the gang, faces a statutory maximum sentence of 35 years in federal prison when he is sentenced by United States District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell on November 7.

Previously in this case, 15 other ECC members and associates have pleaded guilty, with most of them admitting to being part of the RICO conspiracy. The ECC indictment was the third in a series of racketeering indictments brought by federal grand juries following investigations by the FBI into the criminal activities of Blood and Crips gangs that claim territories in Los Angeles

“Criminal street gangs make their livelihood by distributing narcotics and preying on the people that live in the neighborhoods they claim as territory,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Today’s guilty plea marks the end of one phase of the prosecution of the East Coast Crips, but my office will continue to bring cases like this one seeking to cripple street gangs operating in our community.”

The ECC racketeering indictment arises out of an investigation that started in March 2011 when the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) began looking into the racketeering activities of the gang, which claims a large swath of South Los Angeles running from 1st Street to 190th Street, between the 110 Freeway and Central Avenue. The ECC gang is believed to have approximately 850 members and is comprised of multiple “sets.” According to various court documents, members of the gang engage in a variety of violent crimes, home invasion robberies, firearms violations and the sale of narcotics, including crack cocaine and marijuana. According to court documents, members of the gang routinely engage in the distribution of crack cocaine near elementary schools.


June 17, 2016

Wanted by the FBI - East Area Rapist

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 1:34 am

Mollie Halpern: The FBI is offering an up to $50,000 reward for the conviction of the East Area Rapist.

The unknown suspect committed more than 45 rapes and a dozen homicides between 1976 and 1986.

Marcus Knutson: During that time frame, everybody was in fear. This guy was terrorizing the community. He did horrible things to people.

Halpern: That was FBI Special Agent Marcus Knutson.

The suspect’s hunting ground was near a now-shuttered air force base in Sacramento, California, where 21-year-old Brian Maggiore was a sergeant.

Maggiore and his wife, Katie, were shot and killed while walking their dog, Thumper, back in 1978.

For Katie’s brother, Kenneth Smith, the pain is still fresh.

Kenneth Smith: It doesn’t get any easier. I miss them dearly. She had a great outgoing personality, she was fun, she loved to smile and laugh.

Halpern: Report tips at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Knutson: Please call that number. Any little bit of information will help us out on this case.

Halpern: With Wanted by the FBI, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.


March 21, 2016

Jury Convicts Inglewood Man of Attempted Murder of Police Officers

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

An Inglewood man was convicted today of nine counts of willful, premeditated attempted murder of police officers, rape of a hostage and other counts following a nine-hour standoff more than two years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jurors, who deliberated just over two days, also found Christopher Warsaw, 47, guilty of nine counts of assault on a peace officer with a semiautomatic firearm, one count each of kidnapping and forcible rape of a 14-year-old child, two counts of false imprisonment of a hostage and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. The jury also found true the gun allegations.

Warsaw is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole plus multiple life terms when he returns to Department 101 on April 15 for sentencing before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen.

Deputy District Attorney Mary Murray with the Crimes Against Peace Officers Unit prosecuted the case.

On Nov. 27, 2013, Inglewood police were called after neighbors heard piercing screams from a 14-yearold girl who was being dragged at gunpoint into a residence in the 10700 block of 5th Avenue.


January 28, 2016

Long Beach Man Convicted of Killing His Children’s Grandmother

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

A 52-year-old man was convicted today of fatally stabbing the grandmother of his children at a park in 2013, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

The jury deliberated for five hours before finding defendant Steven Dwayne Brown of Long Beach guilty of first-degree murder in case BA425401.

Jurors also found true a special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during the commission of the crime.

The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced March 4 in Department S19 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Long Beach Branch. Brown faces a possible maximum sentence of 86 years to life in state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Diana Martinez, who prosecuted the case, said Brown had three children who were being cared for by their maternal grandmother, Kellye Lynnette Taylor. At the time of the crime, Taylor, 53, was working as a teacher at a Long Beach private elementary school.


January 17, 2016

Former Power Ranger Actor Charged with Roommate’s Murder

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

A 36-year-old man best known for his role in the Power Ranger series has been charged with the 2015 stabbing death of his roommate, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Ricardo Medina (dob 1/24/79) was arrested this morning on a felony complaint for arrest warrant in case MA067742. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday at the Antelope Valley Branch of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Department A01. Prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $1 million.

Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef with the Major Crimes Division is prosecuting the case.

Medina is charged with one count of murder for the Jan. 31, 2015, fatal stabbing of Josh Sutter at a house the two shared in Green Valley. The men allegedly got into an argument over Medina’s girlfriend. The argument turned physical and Medina allegedly stabbed Sutter multiple times with a sword.

If convicted, Medina faces 26 years to life in state prison.


January 12, 2016


Filed under: California Defense Attorney, Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 3:00 am

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – A man was sentenced Friday to six years in state prison for pimping multiple victims while operating multiple brothels in Southern California including a high-end, residential brothel in Irvine. Gin Woo Park, 44, Los Angeles, pleaded guilty Jan. 8, 2015, to five felony counts of pimping.

Co-defendant Heung Soon Kim, 57, Los Angeles, is charged with two felony counts of human trafficking, 13 felony counts of pimping, and 13 felony counts of pandering. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 40 years and eight months in state prison. He is out of custody on $750,000 on bail.

Co-defendant Miyoun Kim, 38, Newport Beach, is charged with six felony counts of pimping and six felony counts of pandering. If convicted. Miyoun Kim faces a maximum sentence of 12 years and eight months in state prison. She is out of custody on $250,000 bail. Heung Kim and Miyoun Kim are both scheduled for pre-trial on Feb. 11, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-7, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

Circumstances of the Case
Park was convicted and Heung Kim and Miyoun Kim are accused of the following:

Heung Kim is accused of funding Park with money to operate multiple brothels in Southern California. Park operated multiple brothels and had several women who worked for him as sex workers.


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