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January 21, 2015

Woman Sentenced to 15 Years to Life in Prison For Murder of 90-Year-Old Father in Bellflower

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:11 am

A woman was sentenced today to 15 years to life in prison for killing her 90-year-old father nearly seven years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jurors found Linda Sue Copeland, 63, guilty of second-degree murder in November. Copeland killed Ralph Stofleth sometime between Feb. 1 and Feb. 8, 2008.

His body was found three months later covered with sheets and cardboard and partially buried near a shed in the backyard of a home where Copeland lived with her father. Neighbors called authorities after they hadn’t seen Stofleth for three months.

Deputy District Attorney Tina Hooks of the Elder Abuse Section said that evidence presented at trial showed that Copeland continued to collect her father’s retirement benefits even after he was killed.

Case VA105792 was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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January 19, 2015

California Firm Agrees to Stop Production of Adulterated and Misbranded Dietary Supplements and Unapproved New Drugs

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

As a result of a lawsuit filed by the United States, a federal court in California has issued an injunction shutting down Health One Pharmaceuticals Inc., a City of Industry, California, based manufacturer of dietary supplements and unapproved new drugs.  The firm and its president, Richard S. Yeh, agreed to shut down and resolve the lawsuit as part of a consent decree.  The Justice Department filed the injunction action in the Central District of California at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The consent decree forbids the company from operating unless and until it takes a number of steps to improve its compliance with federal law.  The defendants have represented to the court that they have already ceased operations.

“Protecting the health of American consumers is some of the most important work we do,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “We have an unwavering commitment to ensuring that the dietary supplements in this country are safe and have been manufactured in accordance with federal law.”

Based on the results of FDA inspections, the complaint alleged that the defendants violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act by delivering, or causing to be delivered for introduction into interstate commerce, dietary supplements that have been prepared, packed or held under conditions that do not meet current good manufacturing practice regulations.  Among other things, the complaint alleged that the defendants failed to meet current good manufacturing practices for dietary supplements by failing to conduct at least one appropriate test or examination to verify the identity of every dietary ingredient prior to using the ingredient.  Furthermore, the complaint alleged that the defendants’ dietary supplements were misbranded because their labels do not include all the information required by federal law.

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THIRD-STRIKER PAROLEE TO FACE TRIAL FOR STRANGLING-MURDER OF WOMAN IN RV

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

SANTA ANA – A third-striker parolee will face trial Tuesday for murdering a 21-year-old woman by strangling her to death in his recreational vehicle (RV). Ean Keith Brown, 41, is charged with one felony count of murder and sentencing enhancements for two prior strike convictions and serious felony priors for second degree robbery in 1995 and burglary in 2008. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 85 years to life in state prison. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, at 9:15 a.m., in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Brown was released from state prison in 2010 and was on parole for burglary. After his release from prison and at the time of the murder, the defendant is accused of living in an RV in the driveway of his parent’s Huntington Beach home.

Victim Dolores “Arias” Fagan, 21, was staying with relatives who lived on the same street as the defendant. At approximately 5:00 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2012, Fagan left her family’s home and was never seen again.

Sometime between Jan. 6, 2012, and Jan. 8, 2012, Brown is accused of murdering Fagan in his RV by strangling her and stuffing her body in a sleeping bag.

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JUDGE ENJOINS 13TH ORANGE COUNTY VIOLENT STREET GANG FROM TERRORIZING NEIGHBORHOOD IN SANTA ANA

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

SANTA ANA – A violent Santa Ana criminal street gang has been permanently enjoined from terrorizing the community and acting as a public nuisance, marking the 13th injunction to be brought against Orange County gangs and the second in the City of Santa Ana. This injunction is in response to decades of violent crimes committed by this gang and numerous residents pleading with law enforcement to eliminate the gang presence so that they no longer have to live in fear.

During the litigation on this case, a minor who was an active participant in the gang was murdered,  a witness suffered a brutal assault, a woman was shot while waiting for a bus, a loaded sawed-off shotgun was discovered concealed in bushes in the gang’s claimed territory, and the gang’s graffiti vandalism has continued to plague the area. Ten individuals still contesting the injunction will be given a court hearing to contest their gang involvement.

“Gang injunctions work to reduce crime, especially in neighborhoods where there have been a number of reports about gang activity and violence. We can’t abandon the residents who must live and work in these neighborhoods and lack the resources to help eradicate the problem,” said District Attorney Rackauckas. “This community deserves to live in peace and not have to have their lives endangered based on the actions of a criminal street gang.”

“Our main objective is to bring all available resources to bear on criminal street gangs impacting the safety of our community,” said Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas. “This gang injunction will give us a valuable tool in our efforts for a safer Santa Ana.”

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January 16, 2015

Former UPS Driver Who Stole Guns, Jewelry and Phones Being Shipped is Found Guilty of Federal Weapons Charges

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:24 am

RIVERSIDE, California – A former United Parcel Service driver was found guilty today of federal gun trafficking charges for stealing dozens of guns going through the shipping company’s Ontario hub and providing them to another man who sold the weapons on the street.

Curtis Ivory Hays II, 37, of Rancho Cucamonga, was convicted of firearms and other offenses following a six-day trial in United States District Court.

Hays, who was found guilty of 15 counts, faces a statutory maximum sentence of 115 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on March 30 by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

The associate who allegedly sold some of the firearms – Dennis Dell White Jr., 35, of Moreno Valley – previously pleaded guilty in the case and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Phillips on May 4.

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TWO MEN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING AND CONSPIRING TO SELL COUNTERFEIT ELECTRONIC MERCHANDISE VALUED AT NEARLY $3 MILLION

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:12 am

WESTMINSTER – Two men are scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow on money laundering and conspiracy charges for selling counterfeit electronic goods valued at nearly $3 million, including counterfeit iPhones and iPads, following an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Fountain Valley Police Department (FVPD).

Rateb Said Najjar, 60, and his son, Eyad Rateb Najjar, 36, both of Westminster, are each charged with 134 felony counts of money laundering, six felony counts of manufacturing and sale of a counterfeit mark, two felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime with sentencing enhancements for property damage over $1.3 million, and money laundering in excess of $2.5 million. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 104 years in jail.

Eyad Najjar was arrested by HSI special agents and detectives from FVPD on Dec. 10, 2014. Rateb Najjar surrendered himself to the court on Dec. 17, 2014. Rateb Najjar and Eyad Najjar are out of custody on $750,000 bail. Both defendants are expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department W-1, West Justice Center, Westminster.

A third defendant, Amir Ali Shaerzadeh, 36, Irvine, is charged with the same counts as listed above and is currently a fugitive with an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

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Man Found Guilty Of Killing Homeless Former Baseball Player

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:53 am

A 33-year-old transient was found guilty today of killing a former professional baseball player in downtown Los Angeles last year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jurors deliberated for less than three hours before finding Billy Morales guilty of the second-degree murder of 55-year-old Rodney Craig. The panel also found true the special allegation that Morales personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife.

Deputy District Attorney Jacqueline Mac said Craig, who was living on the streets, tried to stay at a homeless encampment on Aug. 17, 2013. Other transients did not let Craig stay there and kicked him out.

As he left the encampment, he tried to kick a dog, the prosecutor said. Morales and Anthony Johnson chased after Craig, caught him and began kicking and punching him. Evidence presented at trial showed that Morales fatally stabbed Craig once in the chest.

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January 15, 2015

MAN SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS IN PRISON FOR TRAFFICKING AND PIMPING 19-YEAR-OLD WOMAN

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:50 am

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to six years and four months in state prison for trafficking and pimping a 19-year-old woman for financial gain, and the possession of an illegal firearm. Jeremiah Clifton Johnson, 35, Chula Vista, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of human trafficking, possession of a firearm by a felon, and two felony counts of pimping. Co-defendant Andrea Evelyn Wilkerson, 27, San Diego, pleaded guilty today to one felony count each of attempted pimping and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in public and was sentenced to two years in state prison.

Circumstances of the Case

On or about Oct. 26, 2014, Wilkerson befriended 19-year-old Jane Doe #1, and introduced her to Johnson, who approached and induced the victim to prostitute herself with the promise that she would receive money and a better life in exchange for commercial sex acts. Johnson then began trafficking Jane Doe #1 as a prostitute and collected the proceeds that Jane Doe #1 had received from performing commercial sex acts.

Johnson withheld all of the proceeds that Jane Doe #1 earned from performing commercial sex acts, and when she attempted to leave Johnson, he threatened her and would not permit her to leave. On or about Nov. 4, 2014, Anaheim Police Department began investigating this case and made contact with the defendants, each were in possession of illegally unregistered and loaded firearms in public.

Deputy District Attorney Brad Schoenleben of the HEAT Unit prosecuted this case.

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MAN CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING TEEN RELATIVE AND SOLICITING HER KIDNAPPING TO PREVENT HER FROM TESTIFYING

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:46 am

FULLERTON – A man was convicted today of sexually assaulting a teenage relative and soliciting her kidnapping to prevent her from testifying against him at trial. Jesus Acosta-Inchaorrondo, 61, Laguna Hills, pleaded guilty to a court offer of one felony count each of forcible rape, sodomy by force, solicitation to commit kidnap, dissuading a witness by force or threat, and one misdemeanor count of violating a protective order, with a sentencing enhancement for crime-bail-crime. The People objected to the offer which stipulates that the defendant could only receive a sentence of up to 18 years in state prison. The court determined that if the defendant deserved a higher sentence at his sentencing, Acosta-Inchaorrondo would be able to withdraw his guilty plea and elect to have a jury trial. Acosta-Inchaorrondo faces a maximum sentence of 32 years and eight months in state prison at his sentencing March 20, 2015, at 8:00 a.m. in Department N-13, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

On Aug. 23, 2012, Acosta-Inchaorrondo took his teenage relative, Jane Doe, to a hotel in Costa Mesa where he booked a room for the evening. While in the hotel room, the defendant physically assaulted the victim. ripped off her clothes, and forcibly raped her. He verbally threatened the victim and then forcibly sodomized her.

In the early morning hours, while the defendant was asleep in the hotel room, the victim snuck down to the hotel lobby and told the clerk about the sexual assault, who then contacted the Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD). CMPD investigated this case and arrested the defendant on Aug. 27, 2012.

On Sept. 7, 2012, Acosta-Inchaorrondo was released from custody after posting $100,000 bail using funds raised by his church congregation at Iglesia Cristo Rompe Las Cadenas de OC.

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Man suspected in Valley shooting rampage pleads not guilty

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:41 am

A Sylmar man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to killing four people during a five-day shooting rampage in the San Fernando Valley.

Alexander Hernandez, 34, has been charged with 22 counts in connection with the shooting spree last summer, according to Jane Robison, spokeswoman of the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.

He is charged with the deaths of Mariana Franco, 23, Michael Planells, 29, Gildardo Morales, 48, and 59-year-old Gloria Tovar.

Los Angeles police and sheriff’s investigator said Hernandez was the only suspect in the series of attacks.

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