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December 8, 2017

Attorney General Becerra Announces Takedown of Stockton Street Gangs

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

STOCKTON – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced the arrest of 47 individuals; seizure of 35 firearms, and 10 of them were assault rifles; nearly $44,000 in currency; and the seizure of 34 pounds of marijuana, 2 pounds of methamphetamine, and 2 pounds of cocaine as part of a takedown of gang members in Stockton.

This operation, which took place Tuesday, targeted criminal activities by members of the MOB, Flyboys, East Coast Crips, Conway Gangsters, Sierra Vista Project and Glock Team gangs. The alleged criminal activities included conspiracy to commit murder, robbery, drug trafficking, human trafficking, illegal weapons possession, and gang enhancements.

“Families in Stockton can breathe a little easier tonight knowing that gang members, drugs, and deadly weapons are off the streets,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The MOB and Flyboys have used violence to incite fear and intimidation in the south Stockton community for far too long. I want to thank all of the brave men and women who wear the badge for taking this important step in improving safety in south Stockton.”

The operation was the product of a joint investigation by the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation’s Special Operations Unit (SOU), Stockton Police Department Gang Suppression Unit, California Highway Patrol, and San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office. (more…)

December 4, 2017

Inland Empire Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Analogue of Powerful Opioid Fentanyl that Resulted in Overdose Death

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

LOS ANGELES – A Riverside man who sold a powerful opioid very similar to fentanyl to a friend – who then suffered a fatal overdose from the narcotic – has pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking offenses.

Adam Scott Caward, 33, pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon to two federal offenses – distribution of acetyl fentanyl resulting in death, and possession with the intent to distribute acetyl fentanyl.

The federal investigation into Caward began in June, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted a package sent to Caward from China. The shipment contained a compound known as 4-FIBF, which is an analogue of fentanyl – meaning that the narcotic is chemically similar to fentanyl and designed to cause an effect similar to the powerful synthetic opioid.

A subsequent investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration, in cooperation with the Riverside Police Department, led to the discovery of controlled substances at Caward’s Riverside home in July. The investigation linked Caward to other fentanyl analogues and synthetic opioids that he possessed nine months earlier at his then-residence in Chino Hills.

According to a plea agreement filed in United States District Court, Caward admitted exchanging a series of text messages with a friend on November 7 and 8, 2016, which culminated in Caward selling his friend a purple powder containing acetyl fentanyl. Within hours of purchasing the narcotic from Caward, the friend died of acute acetyl fentanyl intoxication. (more…)

Fugitive in Multi-Million Dollar Bank Fraud Scheme Named in Grand Jury Indictment Alleging Series of Fraudulent Real Estate Loans

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

LOS ANGELES – A longtime fugitive was named today in a nine-count indictment that alleges he participated in a $9 million loan fraud scheme that targeted Wells Fargo Bank.

Napoleon Olarte, 40, who is believed to be in Venezuela after fleeing the United States approximately eight years ago, was indicted late this afternoon by a federal grand jury.

The indictment alleges that Olarte carried out the mortgage fraud scheme with two co-conspirators – Juan Jose Calle and Nancy Karina Coleman – both of whom previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the scheme.

Olarte and his co-conspirators allegedly defrauded Wells Fargo Bank, where Coleman worked as a mortgage consultant. Olarte and Calle allegedly ran a rogue brokerage and escrow company in Northridge called Fast Escrow. Olarte resided in Reseda at the time of the alleged scheme.

According to court documents, Coleman accepted bribes and other favors in exchange for approving approximately $9 million in fraudulent loans for Olarte and Calle. The indictment alleges that Olarte submitted fraudulent loan applications to Wells Fargo that listed false information for borrowers’ income, assets and employment. In relation to some loans financed by Wells Fargo, Olarte and Calle allegedly failed to pay off existing loan holders and failed to record liens in favor of Wells Fargo, leaving the bank with no collateral when the loans defaulted. (more…)

November 3, 2017

Passports and International Megan's Law

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 2:49 pm

Passports and International Megan’s Law

Newsroom / OCTOBER 30, 2017

On February 8, 2016, Congress enacted the International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders (IML) (Public Law 114-119).

The IML prohibits the Department of State from issuing a passport to a covered sex offender without a unique identifier, and it allows for the revocation of passports previously issued to these individuals that do not contain the identifier (22 USC 212b).

The identifier is a passport endorsement, currently printed inside the back cover of the passport book, which reads: “The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c)(l).”  Since endorsements cannot be printed on passport cards, covered sex offenders cannot be issued passport cards.

Only the DHS/ICE Angel Watch Center (AWC) can certify an individual as a “covered sex offender.” Therefore, any questions by the applicant about such status must be directed to and resolved by AWC.

Applicants who have questions for AWC regarding their status or believe they have been wrongly identified as a covered sex offender as defined in Title 22 United States Code 212b(c)(1) should contact AWC at DHSintermeganslaw@ice.dhs.gov.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/news/passports-international-megans-law.html

October 2, 2017

O.C. Day Care Agrees to Administer Emergency EpiPen Injections When Needed to Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

LOS ANGELES – A Garden Grove preschool has entered into a voluntary civil settlement agreement with the United States to resolve allegations that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to agree to provide EpiPen injections when required and requested at its facility.

OC Kids Infant and Preschool agreed last week to modify its policies to allow its staff to administer emergency EpiPen injections to children experiencing severe allergic reactions.

The agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office resolves allegations that OC Kids was violating Title III of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination by places of public accommodation, including day care facilities, against individuals with disabilities.

“Children with disabilities, including severe food allergies, must be given equal opportunities to attend day care,” said Acting United States Attorney Sandra R. Brown.  “I want to thank OC Kids for acknowledging its responsibility to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The policies and changes that OC Kids has agreed to implement should serve as a guide for other day care centers to ensure that their admissions policies and practices do not discriminate against children with disabilities.” (more…)

September 25, 2017

OCDA STATEMENT ON SCOTT DEKAAI SENTENCE

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Today is an important day for the people of Orange County, as mass murderer Scott Dekraai has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) secured the conviction for eight counts of first degree premeditated murder, and one count of attempted murder — plus the special circumstance of multiple murders, which made the defendant eligible for the death penalty. The OCDA fought for the death penalty because it is hard to fathom how anyone who has heard Dekraai’s chilling recorded confession immediately following his arrest would think that this evil person should get anything less than the death penalty. The California Attorney General’s Office independently examined the evidence and supported the OCDA’s decision. The OCDA disagrees with Judge Goethals’ decision to remove the possibility of the death penalty for the man who will go down as the largest mass murderer in Orange County history.

The OCDA believes the defendant’s crimes were so wicked as to deserve the ultimate penalty. The aggravating circumstances in this case include the following:

  • The defendant killed eight people, and wounded a ninth, in execution-style fashion from close range.
  • The victims were unarmed, particularly vulnerable, and posed no threat to the defendant when he shot them.
  • The manner in which the crimes were committed disclose that the defendant acted with a high degree of cruelty, viciousness, and callousness.
  • The defendant was remorseless while committing the crimes and remained so after being arrested. (more…)

September 1, 2017

Tips on Avoiding Fraudulent Charitable Contribution Schemes

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 8:59 am

The National Center for Disaster Fraud reminds the public to be aware of and report any instances of alleged fraudulent activity related to relief operations and funding for victims. Unfortunately, criminals can exploit disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey, for their own gain by sending fraudulent communications through email or social media and by creating phony websites designed to solicit contributions.

Tips should be reported to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at (866) 720-5721. The line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, e-mails can be sent to disaster@leo.gov(link sends e-mail), and information can be faxed to (225) 334-4707.

The U.S. Department of Justice established the National Center for Disaster Fraud to investigate, prosecute, and deter fraud in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when billions of dollars in federal disaster relief poured into the Gulf Coast region. Its mission has expanded to include suspected fraud from any natural or manmade disaster. More than 30 federal, state, and local agencies participate in the National Center for Disaster Fraud, which allows the center to act as a centralized clearinghouse of information related to disaster relief fraud.

The public should remember to perform due diligence before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations or individuals offering to provide assistance to those affected by the hurricane and tornadoes. Solicitations can originate from social media, e-mails, websites, door-to-door collections, flyers, mailings, telephone calls, and other similar methods.

Before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, including: (more…)

August 28, 2017

La Cañada Man Convicted of Molesting Two Children

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

A man was convicted today of sexually assaulting two family members, a young boy and a girl, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jurors deliberated for three days before finding 45-year-old Michael Dane Ward of La CañadaFlintridge guilty of four counts of lewd act on a child, two counts of forcible lewd act on a child under 14, three counts of oral copulation of a child 10 years old or younger and one count of sodomy with a child under 10.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 19 when Ward faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.

Deputy District Attorney Guillermo Santiso of the Sex Crimes Division prosecuted the case.

Both victims were under the age of 10 when the sexual assaults occurred between October 2013 and November 2015. The two victims testified at trial against Ward, a former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department psychologist.

Case BA446469 was investigated by LASD’s Special Victims Bureau.

Los Angeles District Attorney / Case BA446469 / August 25, 2017

July 11, 2017

ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY STRONGLY OPPOSES STATE SENATE PROPOSED BILLS THAT CHANGE FIREARM ENHANCEMENTS, PRETRIAL RELEASE, AND SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION

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.”

(more…)

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

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