Best Defender Bytes:

June 10, 2016


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:00 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced today to 14 years in state prison for the human trafficking, pimping, and pandering of a woman, and attempting to pimp another woman by threatening both victims. The defendant received nearly $50,000 from the trafficking of one of the victims. Johnny Lee Guyton Jr., 46, Henderson, Nevada, was found guilty by a jury on May 17, 2016, of one felony count of human trafficking, one felony count of pimping, two felony counts of pandering, and one felony count of attempted pimping. Guyton also received mandatory lifetime sex offender registration as a term of his sentence.

On April 21, 2015, Guyton was charged in case 15NF1059 with two felony counts of human trafficking, two felony counts of pimping, two felony counts of pandering. This case was subsequently consolidated with case 15NF2346.

Circumstances of the Case

Guytonis a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women for financial gain. With the rise in popularity of social media and ease of meeting people on the Internet, many pimps and human traffickers utilize a variety of social media to locate potential victims. 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.

In August 2014, Guyton pandered Jane Doe 1 by persuading her to perform commercial sex acts for his benefit in Santa Ana. The defendant forced the victim to solicit commercial sex and verbally threatened her with violence if she did not give him all of the money she received from sex purchasers.

During that time, Guyton filmed himself attempting to pimp and verbally threatening Jane Doe 1 in Orange County, and sent the videos to associates to brag about pimping the victim.


June 9, 2016

Federal Jury Convicts Man of Smuggling nearly Two Tons of Marijuana from Ensenada to Santa Barbara County on Panga Boat

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:56 am

LOS ANGELES – A resident of Tecate, Mexico has been found guilty of federal drug trafficking charges for piloting a “panga” boat stuffed with nearly two tons of marijuana from Ensenada to the United States.

Following a three-day trial, the man, 24-year-old Jose Guadalupe Zepeda-Ramirez, was found guilty on June 2 of two felony counts – conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.

Zepeda and another man – Miguel Rodriguez-Doranme, 39, of La Paz, Mexico  – were found on March 27 near a panga that had landed on a private beach near Hollister Ranch, which is just west of Gaviota. A panga is an open-bowed fishing vessel that is often used by smugglers bringing marijuana north from Mexico.

According to the evidence presented at Zepeda’s trial, the two men brought the marijuana from Ensenada during a six-day journey. The men had planned to meet a second crew that would off-load the marijuana for further distribution.

The plan was thwarted when Zepeda and Rodriquez were spotted while landing on Alegria Beach. They were detained by a Hollister Ranch security guard until law enforcement arrived.


Hacienda Heights Man Sentenced to Federal Prison in Tax Refund Scheme that used Stolen Identities to Fraudulent Seek $2.6 Million

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:53 am

LOS ANGELES – A San Gabriel Valley man has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme that used stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service that sought more than $2.6 million in false tax refunds.

Heber Cotton, 40, of Hacienda Heights, received the prison sentenced Monday, and he was further ordered by United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald to pay $725,294 in restitution to the IRS.

Heber Cotton pleaded guilty in November to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by obtaining the payment of false claims, namely tax refunds.

Heber Cotton’s father and co-defendant – Adel Cotton, 64, also of Hacienda Heights – is currentlyserving a prison term of 51 months for his role in the scheme.

According to court documents, beginning in December 2008 and continuing through March 2010, the Cottons caused at least 275 fraudulent income tax returns to be filed with the IRS. Those fraudulent returns sought income tax refunds totaling more than $2.6 million.


Long Beach Lobbyist Agrees to Plead Guilty to Federal Tax Offense for Failing to Report Income Received from Illegal Marijuana Stores

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:49 am

LOS ANGELES – A Long Beach-based lobbyist, whose clients included illegal marijuana stores in Long Beach, has been charged with filing a false tax return and failing to report more than three-quarters of a million dollars in income over a six-year period.

Carl A. Kemp, 43, of Long Beach, the owner of the public relations firm The Kemp Group, was charged yesterday with subscribing to a false tax return for the year 2012.

“For years, Mr. Kemp failed to accurately report his income to the IRS, going so far as reporting zero taxable income for 2012 when his business brought in more than $200,000,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Everyone, no matter what business they are engaged in, has a responsibility to fully report their income on their income tax returns.”

In a plea agreement also filed yesterday, Kemp agreed to plead guilty to the tax offense. As part of the plea agreement, Kemp admits receiving a total of $754,783 in income that he failed to report on his taxes for the years 2007 through 2012. Kemp admits that he owes the Internal Revenue Service a total of $210,661 to cover the back taxes due for those six years, as well as a civil fraud penalty.


June 8, 2016

Los Angeles Man Arrested on Federal Fraud and Identity Theft Charges Related to Lottery Scam that Targeted Elderly Victims

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:42 am

LOS ANGELES - A South Los Angeles man was arrested today on federal fraud charges for participating in a lottery scam that allegedly targeted elderly victims with promises of cash prizes and cars – as long as they paid taxes and fees.

Carl Dean Bullock, 65, was arrested at his residence this morning without incident by inspectors with the United States Postal Inspection Service. Bullock is expected to be arraigned on a 20-count indictment this afternoon in United States District Court.

A federal grand jury on June 3 returned an indictment that charges Bullock with 13 counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft.

Bullock allegedly participated in a scheme to defraud mostly elderly victims in the United States. Using false promises that the victims had won large lottery or sweepstakes prizes, members of the scheme fraudulently told victims that, in order to obtain their “winnings,” they would need to send money to pay for taxes, fees and other expenses. Hoping to collect the winnings, victims sent money to members of the scheme via wire transfer, money orders and cash. The money was sent through the United States mail, as well as through the Western Union and MoneyGram systems.

Bullock allegedly received some of the fraudulently obtained money, and then sent a portion of it to his co-schemers, most of whom were in Jamaica.


California Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Attempting to Join ISIL

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:39 am

Nicholas Michael Teausant, 22, of Acampo, California, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez of the Eastern District of California to 12 years in prison for attempting to provide material support to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization, announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert of the Eastern District of California.

According to court documents, on March 17, 2014, Teausant was arrested traveling to Canada, near the border, with the intent of continuing to travel to Syria to join ISIL.  On March 26, 2014, Teausant was indicted on one count of attempting to provide material support or resources to a terrorist organization.  He pleaded guilty to the single count in the indictment without a plea agreement.  In addition to the prison term, Judge Mendez also sentenced Teausant to 25 years of supervised release.

“With this sentence, Nicholas Michael Teausant will be held accountable for attempting to travel overseas to join ISIL and to provide material support to the designated terrorist organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “The National Security Division’s highest priority is countering terrorist threats, and we will continue to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters abroad and bring to justice those who attempt to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”

“Mr. Teausant was fixated on violence as documented by his social media posts, his pre-arrest statements, and the nature of the group he attempted to join,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Talbert.  “His conduct was misguided and unacceptable.  We appreciate the court’s thoughtful consideration of this case and its recognition of the seriousness of the offense.  With the assistance of our investigative partners, we will continue to vigorously prosecute those who seek to provide material support to terrorist organizations.”


Former School Counselor Charged with Sexually Abusing Middle School Student

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:36 am

A former counselor at Vista Middle School was arraigned today on charges of sexually abusing a boy over a four-year period, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

William Webb (dob 12/26/64) of Van Nuys pleaded not guilty to one felony count each of lewd act upon a child 14 years old, oral copulation of a person under 18 and sodomy of person under 18.

Deputy District Attorney Angela Jordan said Webb is scheduled back in court on June 16 to surrender his passport in Department 112 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch. Case LA083333 was filed for warrant on May 4.

According to the criminal complaint, the sexual abuse occurred on or between March 15, 2005 and March 15, 2009. In 2005, the alleged victim was an eighth grade student at the middle school in Panorama City, the prosecutor said.

Webb faces a possible maximum sentence of more than four years in state prison if convicted as charged.


June 7, 2016

Glendale Man Who Stole and Distributed Trade Secrets Belonging to Former Employer Sentenced to One Year in Federal Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:29 am

LOS ANGELES – An electrical engineer from Glendale who was found guilty of violating the Economic Espionage Act for stealing and distributing trade secrets belonging to his former employer was sentenced today to federal prison.

Derek Wai Hung Tam Sing, 45, was sentenced by United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder to serve one year and one day in prison.

Judge Snyder presided over a bench trial in September and found Sing guilty in a written ruling issued in January. In her 28-page ruling, Judge Snyder convicted Sing of 32 counts of violating the Economic Espionage Act by transmitting and possessing numerous trade secrets.

Sing worked at the Pasadena-based Rogerson Kratos (RK) in 2012. Until he was fired by the aircraft avionics company, Sing had access to RK trade secrets, and he signed a confidentiality agreement that prohibited him from disclosing any confidential information and trade secrets that belonged to the company.

According to a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors, Sing’s short tenure at RK was “tumultuous…he was late on assignments, showed up late to work, and had a bad attitude. He created disparaging paraphernalia, such as mugs and bottle openers referring to RK employees as imbeciles, and distributed them to his colleagues. Eventually, he was fired, but not before he took home with him a trove of documents related to RK’s confidential trade secrets, including at least 27 schematics.”



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:26 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Florida inmate was sentenced today to two life sentences to be served consecutively to 10 years and eight months in state prison for assaulting, kidnapping, and sexually assaulting three women near a park in Westminster. Arnold Eduardo Martinez, 35, Blackwater Correctional Facility, Florida, was found guilty by a jury on May 4, 2016, of one felony count of attempted kidnapping to commit a sexual offense, three felony counts of assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense, two felony counts of kidnapping to commit a sexual offense, one felony count of battery with serious bodily injury, and one felony count of false personation. Sentencing enhancements for great bodily injury and great bodily injury to a sexual assault victim were found to be true.

In the early morning hours of July 18, 2008, Martinez drove a sedan near Sigler Park in Westminster and parked near Jane Doe 1, who was seated on a park bench. The defendant then got out of the vehicle and sat near Jane Doe 1. Martinez engaged in a brief conversation with Jane Doe 1. After Jane Doe 1 began to walk away from the bench, Martinez walked up behind Jane Doe 1 and put his hand over the victim’s mouth before forcing her toward his vehicle with the intent of sexually assaulting her. Martinez fled the scene after Jane Doe 1 screamed and attempted to get away from the defendant.

At approximately 4:30 a.m. on July 24, 2008, Martinez parked his vehicle near Sigler Park where Jane Doe 2 was walking. Martinez approached Jane Doe 2, grabbed the victim, and attempted to drag her toward his vehicle. The defendant dragged Jane Doe 2 into some bushes with the intent of sexually assaulting her. Martinez then punched Jane Doe 2 multiple times when she attempted to escape before fleeing the scene in his vehicle. Jane Doe 2 suffered bruises, swelling, and abrasions.

At approximately 4:55 a.m. on Jan. 14, 2009, Martinez drove behind Jane Doe 3 as she was walking to church near Sigler Park. The defendant exited the vehicle and forced Jane Doe 3 into the passenger seat. Martinez chased after Jane Doe 3 after she escaped from the vehicle and dragged her into nearby bushes nearby. The defendant punched Jane Doe 3 and hit the victim’s head against the ground when she screamed and attempted to resist. Martinez fled the scene after attempting to sexually assault Jane Doe 3. Jane Doe 3 suffered bruises, swelling, and a cut to her head.

The defendant left California after the assault of Jane Doe 3.


Jurors Recommend Death for “Grim Sleeper” Serial Killer

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:20 am

The same jury that found Lonnie David Franklin Jr. guilty of killing nine young women and a teenage girl over a 22-year period today recommended that he be sentenced to death, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated about eight hours before returning their verdict in the penalty phase. Franklin, 63, returns to court on Aug. 10 for sentencing before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy in case BA382700.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman of the Major Crimes Division and Deputy District Attorney Marguerite Rizzo of the Forensic Science Section prosecuted the case.

During the penalty phase, prosecutors called a woman from Germany who was kidnapped and raped by Franklin and two Army buddies on April 17, 1974. Prosecutors also introduced evidence tying Franklin to four additional murders of women between 1984 and 2006.

urors found the former city sanitation worker guilty on May 5 of all 1o counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of multiple murders to be true. Jurors also found Franklin guilty of one count of attempted, willful, deliberate and premeditated murder.


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