Best Defender Bytes:

October 30, 2015

MAN AND WOMAN CHARGED WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING, PIMPING, AND PANDERING TEENAGE GIRL BY USING SOCIAL MEDIA

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:53 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man and woman were charged today with human trafficking, pimping, and pandering of a teenage girl by using social media. John Williams, 34, and Jazmine CC Davenport-Culpepper, 23, both of Riverside, are charged with one felony count each of human trafficking, pimping, and pandering. If convicted, both defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison. Williams and Davenport-Culpepper are each being held on $250,000 bail and must prove that the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. Both defendants are scheduled for pre-trial, Nov. 5, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

Circumstances of the Case

Williams is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp and Davenport-Culpepper is accused of working for him as a prostitute and recruiting other women to prostitute for Williams. In the pimp/prostitution subculture, pimps exploit women for financial gain often assign ranks to the women they exploit. 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. They often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including requiring victims to speak only when spoken to, address the pimp as “Sir” or “Daddy,” assigning seats in the car based on “rank,” and setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill. The victims are often 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 or emotional abuse. Davenport-Culpepper is accused of being the highest-ranking of William’s prostitutes.

In October 2015, Williams is accused of using social media to contact Jane Doe. Williams is accused of pandering Jane Doe by telling the victim that he worked for a record label and that if she spent time with him, he could connect her to people in the music industry. Williams is accused of manipulating the victim in order to force her to engage in commercial sex for his benefit. Both of the defendants are accused of traveling with the victim to areas known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange County. Davenport-Culpepper is accused of telling the victim how to solicit commercial sex and taking sexually explicit photos of the victim to post on websites known for prostitution and human trafficking. Williams is accused of threatening Jane Doe with violence if attempted to leave or did not meet the $400 quota that he set. Williams is also accused of depriving the victim of food and/or sleep if she did not meet the quota and forcing the victim to work seven days a week.

The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) began investigating this case after the victim contacted an Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) deputy in Stanton. Both of the defendants were arrested by members of the OCHTTF that day in Buena Park.

(more…)

October 29, 2015

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WOMAN CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR STEALING VEHICLE AND DRIVING WITH ANOTHER WOMAN TO ORANGE COUNTY AND CONSPIRING TO PANDER HER

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:14 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Northern California woman was convicted and sentenced today for stealing a vehicle, driving to Orange County, and conspiring to pander another woman. Courtney Charell Amos, 26, Pittsburg, pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit pandering, one felony count of unlawful taking of a vehicle, one misdemeanor count of false evidence of documents, devices, or plates, one felony count of receiving stolen property, and one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license. She was sentenced to one year in jail and four years in prison stayed pending completion of five years formal probation.

Circumstances of the Case

On Oct. 9, 2015, Amos stole a vehicle that belonged to one of Jane Doe’s family members in Stockton. Amos is replaced the license plates on the stolen vehicle and drove with Jane Doe from the Bay Area to Orange County in the stolen vehicle. Amos conspired to pander Jane Doe to engage in commercial sex acts with sex purchasers to collect money from the victim in order to pay for food, hotel, and gas.

In the early morning hours on Oct. 18, 2015, Amos argued inside the stolen vehicle with Jane Doe in Santa Ana near an area known for prostitution and human trafficking. A witness near the vehicle contacted the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD), who arrived and arrested Amos.

Members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) and the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office work proactively to protect women and minors from falling victim to commercial sexual exploitation. This case was investigated by SAPD and OCHTTF. OCHTTF is a partnership between Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Huntington Beach Police Department, Irvine Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and community and non-profit partners.

Deputy District Attorney Bryan Clavecilla of the HEAT Unit is prosecuted this case.

(more…)

FORMER DEPUTY JUVENILE CORRECTIONAL OFFICER SENTENCED FOR RUBBING MINORS’ SHOES IN URINE WHILE ON DUTY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:10 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former deputy juvenile correctional officer was sentenced today for child abuse by rubbing the shoes of three minors in urine while the minors were in her care. Tamie Marie Bieker, 38, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of child abuse. Bieker was sentenced to four years of informal probation, 30 days of voluntary community service, must complete a one year child abuse program, and was ordered to pay restitution.

At the time of the crimes, Bieker was a deputy juvenile correctional officer at the Juvenile Hall in Orange. The defendant has now formally resigned from her position with the Orange County Probation Department (OCPD).

On July 21, 2014, after 14-year-old John Doe 1 urinated in his room, Bieker rubbed the victim’s shoes in the urine.

On July 28, 2014, Bieker denied 17-year-old John Doe 2 access to the restroom after he repeatedly asked for permission. The defendant denied the victim access to the restroom, prompting the victim to urinate in his room near the door after he could no longer wait. Once the urine seeped into the hall, Bieker approached the victim’s room, kicked his shoes into the urine and forced him to put the shoes on. The victim started to put on his shoes but hesitated because he could feel that they were wet, and Bieker insisted that he put them on and made him walk in them.

On Aug. 6, 2014, Bieker denied 13-year-old John Doe 3 access to the restroom after he asked for permission three times in two hours. When the victim notified the defendant that he couldn’t wait any longer, Bieker warned him not to urinate in his room. After he urinated, Bieker approached his room with gloves on. The defendant picked up the victim’s canvas shoes that were in front of his door, turned them over, rubbed the tops of both shoes in the urine, put them back beside the victim’s door, and smiled at him.

(more…)

MAN CHARGED WITH PIMPING AND PANDERING WOMAN HE MET USING SOCIAL MEDIA AND RESISTING AND OBSTRUCTING TWO OFFICERS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:05 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged yesterday for pimping and pandering a woman he met using social media and resisting and obstructing two officers. Jarvis Lowe, 32, Las Vegas, Nevada, is charged with one felony count of pandering by procuring, one felony count of pimping, and two misdemeanor counts of resisting and obstructing an officer. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison. Lowe is being held on $500,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. The defendant was arraigned yesterday and is scheduled for pre-trial on Nov. 4, 2015, at 9:00 a.m.in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Case
Lowe is accused of being a 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. Victims are often 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 physical and/or emotional abuse.

Lowe is accused of pandering Jane Doe by persuading her to perform commercial sex acts for his benefit. The defendant is accused of meeting Jane Doe through social media and convincing her to engage in commercial sex and collecting the money she made from performing commercial sex acts.

In the early morning hours on Oct. 25, 2015, Lowe is accused of arranging for the victim to meet with a sex purchaser in Santa Ana. At approximately 4:30 a.m., a Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officer approached Jane Doeafter noticing the victim quickly exit a vehicle in an area known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange County and began investigating this case.

(more…)

October 28, 2015

Man Who Hired Teenage Girl for Sex is Sentenced in Human Trafficking Case

Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — fayarfa @ 5:42 am

LOS ANGELES – A South Bay man who admitted lying to federal investigators about his conduct with a 16-year-old girl he met online and hired for commercial sex has been sentenced to 57 months in federal prison for obstructing a sex-trafficking probe being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Long Beach Police Department.

Charles Goswitz, 59, of Torrance, appeared Tuesday morning before U.S. District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell. Goswitz, a court videographer who used the online moniker “Baldy Cruiser,” pleaded guilty to the obstruction charge June 22. The case marks the first federal prosecution in the Los Angeles area of a so-called “John” in a teen sex-trafficking investigation and only the second such federal prosecution nationwide.

“Human trafficking inflicts tremendous harm on its victims, especially when those victims are children,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “We have a duty to protect children from these predators, which includes prosecuting those who purchase children for sex. The significant sentence the defendant received in this case should serve as a warning to adults who engage in this type of criminal conduct. Although this is the first case of its kind in this district, it will not be the last.”

The probe into Goswitz’s activities began in February 2013 after HSI special agents received a lead from the Long Beach Police Department about a missing teen whose father suspected she was involved in commercial sex. During the ensuing investigation, authorities located sexually explicit images of the victim in an advertisement Goswitz posted on Backpage.com soliciting sex.

(more…)

Huntington Park Man Sentenced to Prison for Sexually Abusing Girls

Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — fayarfa @ 5:39 am

A 68-year-old man was sentenced today to 24 years in state prison for sexually molesting three young girls, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Sept. 28, Alfredo Aguilar (dob 4/16/47) of Huntington Park pleaded guilty to five felony counts in case VA135194: three counts of lewd act upon a child and two counts of forcible lewd act upon a child.

At today’s sentencing, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Yvonne T. Sanchez also ordered the defendant to register as a lifetime sex offender.

Deputy District Attorney Amanda Luna, who prosecuted the case, said Aguilar sexually abused three girls between the ages of 5 and 12 years old.

The abuse occurred from October 2007 to November 2012, the prosecutor added.

(more…)

APL Ltd. to Pay $9.8 Million to Resolve Alleged False Claims Under the Department of Defense Shipping Contract

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:35 am

APL Limited has agreed to pay the government $9.8 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act in connection with a contract to provide GPS tracking of shipping containers in Afghanistan, the Justice Department announced today.  APL, an ocean carrier based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a wholly-owned American subsidiary of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines Limited.

The Department of Defense contract required APL to affix a satellite tracking device to each shipping container transported from Karachi, Pakistan to U.S. military bases in Afghanistan when the Department of Defense (DOD) requested the tracking services.  The United States alleges that APL billed the DOD for tracking services despite knowing that the tracking devices completely or partially failed to transmit data, or were not affixed to shipping containers.  The government also claims that APL attached a single satellite tracking device to two shipping containers despite being required to affix one device to every container.

“Today’s settlement demonstrates our commitment to ensure that contractors doing business with the military perform their contracts honestly,” said Principal Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “We will continue to ensure that there are appropriate consequences for those who knowingly fail to live up to their bargain and misuse taxpayer funds.”

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our partners to protect the public fisc from government contractors who fail to deliver what they promise,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch of the Northern District of California.

(more…)

October 27, 2015

Operation ‘Fright Night’ Targets Cosmetic Contact Lenses that are Illegally Sold without a Prescription and Pose Risk to Eyesight

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:31 am

LOS ANGELES – The owners and operators of 10 Southern California businesses were charged today in federal court with illegally selling cosmetic contact lenses without prescriptions. Some of the products that were purchased in connection with this investigation were contaminated with dangerous pathogens that can cause eye injury, blindness and loss of the eye.

The 10 criminal informations filed late this afternoon charge the store operators with selling “misbranded” contact lenses because they were sold without prescriptions. The products that were allegedly illegally sold were marketed as Halloween and beauty accessories under names such as Wonder Look, Red Rose, Black & White, Beauty World and Crazy Eagle.

“Contact lenses that fit the eye poorly could cause eye damage, including scratches on the cornea, corneal infection, conjunctivitis, decreased vision and blindness,” according to the charging documents. “Under California law, a California resident retailer could only sell and/or dispense contact lenses if the retailer was a licensed physician or surgeon, licensed optometrist, registered dispensing optician, or a pharmacist.”

“These products pose a serious danger to unsuspecting Halloween shoppers, and those who have already purchased these products should not use them,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “As required by the law, contact lenses should be used only when they are prescribed by a knowledgeable medical professional.”

The cases filed this week are the result of Operation “Fright Night,” which targeted retail stores – some of which were selling Halloween costumes and accessories – that sold cosmetic and decorative contact lenses without a prescription to unsuspecting consumers in Southern California. (more…)

SPEEDING DRIVER UNDER INFLUENCE OF DRUGS SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS IN STATE PRISON FOR KILLING WOMAN CROSSING STREET

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:27 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A speeding driver under the influence of drugs was sentenced today to 18 years in state prison for driving through a red light and killing a woman crossing the intersection at a shopping center. Paul Collins Pike, 33, Orange, pleaded guilty to a court offer Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated and sentencing enhancements for a prior strike conviction for first degree burglary in 2001 and prior prison convictions for first degree burglary in 2001 and possessing a weapon while incarcerated in 2007.

At approximately 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 23, 2014, Pike drove his Ford Explorer, while under the influence of methamphetamine, at a high rate of speed on La Palma Avenue in Buena Park. He sped through a red light at the intersection of La Palma Avenue and Buena Park Downtown East Street and struck 45-year-old Angela Clayton as she legally crossed the intersection in a marked crosswalk. Pike struck two other cars, caused a collision involving six other vehicles, and crashed his vehicle. The Buena Park Police Department, who investigated this case, arrested the defendant where he crashed his vehicle.

The victim was transported to University of California, Irvine Medical Center in Orange, where she died from her injuries sustained in the crash.

At the sentencing today, two of the victim’s sons delivered impact statements to the court pursuant to Marsy’s Law. One of her sons explained that while he served in Afghanistan, his mother always told him to be careful, but he never told her to be careful, thinking she would be safe here at home. He talked about how difficult it was to lose and save people while serving and thought he would be able to handle anything back home but losing his mother has been a real struggle. He added that there was at least a purpose behind the conduct that injured people where he served, while the act that took his mother’s life was just senseless.

(more…)

DRIVER UNDER INFLUENCE OF HEROIN CONVICTED OF MURDERING BICYCLIST IN HIT-AND-RUN CRASH IN NEWPORT BEACH

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:23 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man who was driving under the influence of heroin was convicted today of murdering a bicyclist in a hit-and-run crash in Newport Beach. Neil Storm Stephany, 24, Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of murder. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison at his sentencing Jan. 15, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-37, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 5:00 p.m. on Oct 19, 2014, Stephany drove a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, while under the influence of heroin, traveling westbound on East Coast Highway in Newport Beach. Near the intersection just east of Los Trancos, Stephany swerved into the bike lane and drove into the back of 30-year-old bicyclist Shaun Eagleson. The defendant continued to drive into the guardrail and left the scene without stopping the truck to render aid or assistance to the victim.

Nearby witnesses called 911 to report Stephany’s erratic driving prior to the collision and after the collision as he drove away from the scene. Paramedics arrived at the scene and transported Eagleson to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo where he later died from injuries sustained in the crash. At approximately 5:30 p.m. the Newport Beach Police Department, who investigated this case, located and arrested the defendant near Newport Center Drive and East Coast Highway.

Prior to the murder, Stephany had a 2011 DUI conviction and signed a Watson advisement which stated that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The defendant also signed this advisement again in 2013.

(more…)

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress