Best Defender Bytes:

June 16, 2015

MAN EXTRADITED FROM REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA AFTER FLEEING UNITED STATES IN 2010 AND ARRAIGNED ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES INCLUDING THREATENING, ASSAULTING, AND FALSELY IMPRISONING FEMALE DOMESTIC PARTNER

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:54 am

SANTA ANA – A man was extradited from the Republic of Georgia and arraigned today after fleeing the United States in 2010 after being charged with domestic violence against a female domestic partner. Alireza Al Sazegari, 36, Lake Forest, is charged with one felony count each of domestic battery with corporal injury, kidnapping, criminal threats, aggravated assault, false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, or deceit, and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime with a sentencing enhancement allegation for the personal use of a deadly weapon. If convicted, Sazegari faces a maximum sentence of 12 years and three months in state prison. Sazegari is being held on $500,000 bail and his arraignment has been continued to, July 6, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Sazegari was in a romantic relationship with then 30-year-old Jane Doe and lived with the victim.

On July 6, 2010, Sazegari is accused of getting into a verbal argument with Jane Doe in his home. During the course of the argument the defendant is accused of slapping the victim in the face and then grabbing her by the hair and dragging her into the home’s bathroom. The defendant is accused of binding the victim’s wrists behind her back and ankles together with duct tape and placing a piece of duct tape over Jane Doe’s mouth. Sazegari is accused of locking the bathroom door and removing the door knob to prevent the victim from escaping.

Later that day, the defendant is accused of returning to the bathroom with a large knife and threatening the victim with violence if she attempted to leave or call the police. Sazegari is accused of forcing the victim to stay in a bedroom in the home.

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MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR CAUSING HIT-AND-RUN CRASH THAT KILLED WOMAN AND HER 2-YEAR-OLD GRANDDAUGHTER

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:44 am

SANTA ANA – A man is scheduled to be arraigned today for causing a hit-and-run crash that killed a woman and her granddaughter in Irvine. Alec Scott Abraham, 20, Costa Mesa, is charged with two felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, one felony count of hit-and-run with permanent injury or death, one felony count of reckless driving with bodily injury, and one misdemeanor count of petty theft by taking and carrying away, and sentencing enhancements for fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter and inflicting great bodily injury. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 14 years in state prison. He is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

At approximately 8:50 p.m. on June 10, 2015, Abraham is accused of driving a Ford Mustang and traveling westbound on Alton Parkway in Irvine. He is accused of speeding and failing to stop for a red light at the intersection of Alton Parkway and Barranca Parkway. Abraham is accused of slamming into the driver’s side of a Chevy Cruze being driven by Katherine Hampton, 54, who was traveling southbound on Barranca Parkway through a green light with her daughter and two grandchildren also in the car. The defendant is accused of causing the crash which forced the vehicles into a Honda Civic that was stopped at the red light going eastbound on Alton Parkway. The solo driver in the Honda Civic was treated for minor injuries at the hospital and released.

Shortly after the crash, the defendant is accused of approaching a bystander and requesting to use their cellphone. Abraham is accused of taking the bystander’s phone and fleeing from the scene on foot.

The Orange County Fire Authority arrived to the scene of the crash and transported the victims to local hospitals. Katherine Hampton died at the scene as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.

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Man Pleads Guilty For Downtown Fire, Marijuana Grow

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:35 am

A Los Angeles man pleaded guilty today to running a downtown drug operation that caused a fire last summer, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Rafael Sarkisyan, 34, pleaded guilty to one count each of manufacturing a controlled substance, recklessly causing fire to an inhabited structure and animal cruelty.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 4 when he is expected to receive six years, eight months in state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Ashley Rosen with the Major Narcotics Division, who prosecuted the case, said a blaze broke out last July at a six-story building in downtown Los Angeles. After police and firefighters arrived, they found a marijuana grow and extraction lab on site.

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June 15, 2015

Former DEA Agent Arrested At LAX On Fraud And Passport Charges

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:03 am

RIVERSIDE, California – A former special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration has been arrested on federal fraud charges for allegedly posing as an active FBI agent and helping a man who posed as a former federal prosecutor to defraud a man who enlisted their help in recovering money lost in two fraudulent investment schemes.

David Garcia Herrera, 70, of Torrance, was arrested last night at Los Angeles International Airport by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Herrera, who is expected to be arraigned on a nine-count indictment this afternoon in United States District Court in Riverside, was arrested as he returned from a trip abroad.

Herrera is one of two defendants charged in an indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury on June 5 with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud and one count making false statements in a passport application.

The second defendant in the case – Jerome Arthur Whittington, 65, of La Quinta, who allegedly posed as a successful attorney and told at least one victim that he was a former federal prosecutor – is currently in custody after being indicted in June 2014 in relation to two other fraud schemes.

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Multiple Life Sentences for Defendant in 2011 Halloween Murder of Good Samaritan

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:00 am

A 21-year-old man was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus multiple life terms for the murder of a good Samaritan in Canyon Country, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Bradley Lieberman said Diamonte Jerome McGhee of Canyon Country was found guilty on Oct. 30, 2014 of one count each of first-degree murder and second-degree robbery, four counts of attempted murder and five counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

The jury found true a special circumstance allegation that the murder occurred during the commission of a robbery. And McGhee also was found to have personally fired the handgun during the murder and attempted murder.

Eric Michael Edwards, 21, of Lancaster was found guilty of one count each of first-degree murder and second-degree robbery and four counts each of attempted murder and assault with a semiautomatic firearm in case PA071844.

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Man Convicted of Assaulting, Killing Ex-Girlfriend in Watts

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:55 am

A 51-year-old man was convicted today of assaulting his ex-girlfriend in 2013 and killing her in 2014, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

The jury deliberated for less than two days before finding Mark Anthony Little (dob 12/6/63) guilty of first-degree murder, two counts each of corporal injury to a cohabitant and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, and one count each of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, simple battery of a cohabitant and criminal threats in case TA133341.

Additionally, jurors found true a special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during the commission of the killing.

Little is scheduled to be sentenced July 20 in Department C of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Compton Branch. The defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of 122 years to life in state prison.

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June 12, 2015

MAN FACES MULTIPLE ADDITIONAL CHARGES FOR USING FACEBOOK TO RECRUIT FOUR UNDERAGE GIRLS AND NINE ADULT WOMEN TO WORK AS COMMERCIAL SEX WORKERS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:31 am

SANTA ANA – A man faces multiple additional charges for using Facebook to recruit four underage girls and nine adult women to work for the defendant as commercial sex workers. Allen Kahrion Jackson, 22, Stockton, was charged yesterday June 10, 2015, with 10 felony counts of pandering by procuring, four felony counts of human trafficking of a minor, three felony counts of pandering with a minor over 16 years old by procuring, one felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse, and one felony count of pandering with a minor over 16 years old as inmate in house of prostitution. If convicted on all the new charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 33 years and 11 months in state prison. He was previously charged on Feb. 23, 2015, with two felony counts of pimping and two felony counts of pandering as inmate in house of prostitution. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison for these charges. Jackson is being held on $100,000 bail and must prove the funds are from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. He is scheduled for pre-trial on the previous charges and a continued arraignment on the new charges. Both cases will be heard on July 29, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Case
Jackson is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women and/or children 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. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

Between April 4, 2014, and Feb. 15, 2015, Jackson is accused of using Facebook to reach out and recruit four 17-year-old girls and nine women throughout the state to work for the defendant as commercial sex workers. The defendant is accused of having a sexual relationship with one of the underage girls.

Between Feb. 14, 2015, and Feb. 19, 2015, Jackson is accused of arranging a date at an Anaheim motel for 27-year-old Jane Doe 1 to perform commercial sex acts with a man who was an undercover officer. Jackson is accused of walking out of the motel room with 19-year-old Jane Doe 2 when the undercover officer arrived. Members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF), who investigated this case, arrested the defendant at the motel. The investigation in this case is ongoing.

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Former DWP Employee Charged with Conflict of Interest, Misappropriation

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:28 am

A former audio-visual technician for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) has been charged with more than two dozen felony counts for allegedly misappropriating more than $4 million in public funds, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Thatcus Carl Richard (dob 5/23/51) of Moreno Valley is expected to be arraigned next week in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

He is charged with 27 counts: nine counts each of conflict of interest, public officer crime and embezzlement by a public officer with an excessive-taking allegation of more than $1 million.

Deputy District Attorneys Kennes Ma and Susan Choi of the Public Integrity Division are prosecuting the case.

The defendant was in charge of managing video and audio jobs for the utility. Between July 1996 and March 2014, Richard allegedly enlisted friends to establish audio-visual companies and then he helped award DWP contracts to them, the prosecutor said.

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Compton Man Charged with Severely Beating Toddler

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:24 am

Prosecutors have charged a 23-year-old man accused of beating his girlfriend’s young son, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Rodrigo Hernandez (dob 1/16/92) of Compton has been charged with two felony counts: attempted murder and assault on a child becoming comatose in case TA137386.

The felony complaint includes a special allegation that the defendant inflicted great bodily injury on the victim, who was under the age of five years, during the commission of the crime.

Hernandez is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 12 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Compton Branch.

Prosecutors said on June 7, Hernandez was reportedly watching his girlfriend’s 13-month old son while the mother was in another room in the apartment.

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June 11, 2015

San Diego Man Who Ran Investment Scam That Promised ‘Reverse Life Insurance’ Policies Sentenced To Over 10 Years In Federal Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:54 am

SANTA ANA, California – The founder and chief executive officer of a firm that solicited more than $5 million from victims who thought they were investing in “reverse life insurance” policies has been sentenced to 121 months in prison.

Daniel Christian Stanley Powell, 34, of San Diego, was sentenced on Friday by United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton. In addition to the prison term, Judge Staton ordered the defendant to pay $4,447,290 in restitution to 59 victims.

In imposing the sentence, Judge Staton cited the impact on the victims: “Many [victims] were devastated financially and emotionally, and robbed of their futures and their children’s futures.”

Following a three-week jury trial last November, Powell was convicted of five counts of mail fraud, five counts of wire fraud and three counts of obstruction of justice.

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