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October 3, 2014

Owner of La Habra Manufacturing Firm Charged with Illegally Manufacturing and Selling Key Component for AR-15-Type Rifles

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:34 am

LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury today indicted the owner of an Orange County manufacturing business on a federal charge related to the illegal manufacture and sale of lower receivers for AR-15-type rifles, as well as completed firearms.

The one-count indictment charges Joseph Roh with engaging in the business of manufacturing and dealing in firearms without a license, a felony offense that carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment alleges that Roh, 46, of Fullerton, did not have the proper license, but he manufactured and sold hundreds of lower receivers for AR-15-type firearms. In addition to the lower receivers, the indictment alleges that Roh illegally sold complete rifles and pistols.

Through his business, ROHG Industries in La Habra, Roh allegedly started with unfinished lower receivers for AR-15-style firearms. A lower receiver is the frame of a completed firearm that holds the trigger and hammer. An unfinished lower receiver, when machined further, constitutes a firearm. Roh and his employees would finish the lower receivers by machining the devices with a computer-numerically-controlled – or CNC – machine and drill presses that Roh maintained at the La Habra warehouse.

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Geographic Targeting Order Issued By FinCEN Aims At Money Laundering For Drug Cartels In Los Angeles Fashion District

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:22 am

LOS ANGELES – Federal authorities today announced that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued a Geographic Targeting Order (GTO) that imposes additional reporting and recordkeeping obligations on most of the businesses located in the Los Angeles Fashion District. The GTO will enhance law enforcement’s ongoing efforts to identify and pursue cases against persons and businesses engaged in money laundering that benefits international drug cartels.

The GTO, which will go into effect on October 9, was sought by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California as part of a sweeping investigation targeting the illicit movement of U.S. currency to Mexico and Colombia on behalf of prominent drug trafficking organizations. The Justice Department is working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division to fight money laundering schemes designed to allow international drug cartels in Central America and South America to reach drug proceeds generated in the United States.

A series of investigations have revealed evidence that money laundering activities and violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) are pervasive throughout the Los Angeles Fashion District, which includes more than 2,200 businesses. Much of the money laundering is conducted through Black Market Peso Exchange schemes – also known as trade-based money laundering – in which drug money in the United States is converted into goods that are shipped to countries such as Mexico, where the goods are sold and money in the form of local currency goes to the drug trafficking organizations.

There are approximately 2,300 businesses that are being served with notice of today’s order, including garment and textile stores, transportation companies, travel agencies, perfume stores, electronic stores (including those that only sell cell phones), shoe stores, lingerie stores, flower/silk flower stores, beauty supply stores, and stores bearing “import” or “export” in their name.

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TWO MEN TO BE ARRAIGNED ON INDICTMENT FOR SPECIAL-CIRCUMSTANCES MURDER IN COMMISSION OF KIDNAPPING AND RAPE OF FOUR WOMEN

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:14 am

SANTA ANA – Two men are scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow on an indictment for the special-circumstances murder in the commission of a kidnapping and rape of four women. Steven Dean Gordon, 45, and Franc Cano, 28, both of Anaheim, were indicted by the grand jury today Oct. 2, 2014. They are each charged with four felony counts of special circumstances murder during the commission of rape, kidnapping, lying in wait, and multiple murders. They are also each charged with four felony counts of forcible rape. If convicted, they face a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole and are eligible for the death penalty. The defendants are both scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment tomorrow, Oct. 3, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

The grand jury heard testimony from 16 witnesses over a three-day period and returned an indictment on the fourth day of the grand jury hearing. No additional information is being released at this time until the grand jury transcripts are unsealed.

The Anaheim Police Department and Santa Ana Police Department investigated this case.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 14ZF0337 / October 02, 2014

October 2, 2014

Flakeboard Abandons Its Proposed Acquisition of SierraPine

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

Flakeboard America Ltd. abandoned its plan to acquire one medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and two particleboard mills from SierraPine after the Department of Justice expressed concerns about the transaction’s likely anticompetitive effects in MDF.  The department said that the transaction likely would have substantially lessened competition in the market for the production of MDF sold to customers in the west coast states of California, Oregon and Washington.

MDF is a manufactured wood product widely used in furniture, kitchen cabinets, and decorative mouldings.  An increase in the price of MDF would likely result in significant harm to MDF consumers on the West Coast, the department said.

“This deal threatened to weaken competition and raise MDF prices for customers on the West Coast,” said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “The companies’ decision to abandon the deal is a victory for consumers, who will continue to enjoy the benefits of MDF competition between Flakeboard and SierraPine.”

Flakeboard and SierraPine are two of only four significant suppliers of MDF to the West Coast.  Both companies operate MDF mills in Oregon—Flakeboard in Eugene; SierraPine in Medford—and the nearest competing mill is several hundred miles away.  For many customers, Flakeboard and SierraPine are the two closest sellers of MDF.  The proposed merger would have given the combined firm a 58 percent market share for the thicker and denser grades of MDF that Flakeboard and SierraPine sell on the West Coast.

According to the department, the acquisition would have eliminated significant head-to-head competition between Flakeboard and SierraPine.  In addition, by gaining control over SierraPine’s MDF mill, the department said that Flakeboard would have been in a better position to raise prices by restricting the amount of MDF available to the West Coast.  The acquisition also would have enhanced the risk of coordination between Flakeboard and its few remaining rivals on output and prices, the department said. (more…)

MAN CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING TWO GIRLS BETWEEN AGES 9 AND 12 AFTER MEETING THEM AT CHURCH AND BEFRIENDING THEIR FAMILIES

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

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of sexually assaulting two girls between ages 9 and 12 after meeting them through church and befriending their families. David Elifar Verduzco, 35, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury of three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14, one felony count of sexual penetration with a child 10 years or younger, one misdemeanor count each of child annoyance and disorderly conduct. The sentencing enhancement allegations for substantial sexual conduct with a child and lewd acts on multiple children were found true. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years to life in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration at his sentencing on Oct. 17, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-43, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Verduzco was a parishioner of Agape House of Prayer in Anaheim, where he was a worship team leader and gave electronic keyboard lessons. The defendant met both of the victims and their families at the church and befriended them.

Between Jan. 1, 2011, and Sept. 27, 2011, Verduzco gave 12-year-old Jane Doe #2 keyboard lessons. During the lessons, the defendant kissed her on the cheek and inappropriately touched the victim’s thigh. Verduzco also sent Jane Doe #2 inappropriate text messages to her cell phone.

On Aug. 28, 2011, after befriending 9-year-old Jane Doe #1’s family, Verduzco began babysitting Jane Doe #1 and two other little girls while Jane Doe #1’s parents were at the hospital. After putting the two youngest girls to bed, Verduzco digitally penetrated Jane Doe #1 in her bed.

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Homeless Man Pleads No Contest in Fatal Attack of Woman in Hollywood

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:01 am

A transient has pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter for the fatal stabbing of a woman outside the Hollywood & Highland Center in June 2013, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Dustin James Kinnear, 27, entered the plea yesterday following a four-day trial in case BA412660.

Deputy District Attorney Ian Phan said Kinnear fatally stabbed Christina Calderon, 23, in Hollywood on June 18, 2013. Kinnear demanded money from Calderon and a friend after the pair had just taken photos of transients.

Two others were convicted in this case. Jason Joel Wolstone, 34, pleaded no contest to one count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. He was sentenced in April to two years in state prison.

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October 1, 2014

HUSBAND CONVICTED OF 1994 SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES POISONING- MURDER OF WIFE FOR FINANCIAL GAIN

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:43 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today for the special circumstances poisoning-murder of his wife for financial gain in 1994. Paul Marshal Curry, 57, Salina, KS, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain with a sentencing enhancement for murder by poisoning. He faces a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole on Oct. 31, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Late on the night of June 9, 1994, Paul Curry used nicotine to poison his wife of two years, Linda Curry. Paul Curry called 911 and told emergency personnel that the victim was in bed and not breathing. Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) deputies responded to the scene and medical personnel rushed Linda Curry to the hospital where she died hours later.

Paul Curry collected over $500,000 from his wife’s life insurance policies. At the time of the crime, Paul Curry was a suspect but the case went cold.

In 2007, OCSD and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office began reinvestigating the case. As a result of further investigation, Paul Curry was arrested in Kansas in 2010 by OCSD deputies. He was subsequently extradited from Kansas to face the charges in Orange County.

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Ex-Arcadia Police Officer Sentenced to 180 Days in Jail For Embezzling Funds

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:39 am

A former Arcadia Police Department officer was sentenced today to 180 days in county jail after pleading no contest to embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a police association to buy personal items, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Brandlin also placed Christian Blesch, 37, on probation for three years. Blesch paid $41,965.99 in restitution to the Arcadia Police Officers’ Association.

He was ordered to surrender Nov. 5.

In July, Blesch pleaded no contest to one count of grand theft by embezzlement in case BA416513.

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Man Charged With Making Bomb Threat At Downtown Criminal Courts Building

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:35 am

A man was charged today with making a false bomb threat at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center last week that caused the evacuation of a courtroom and the third floor, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

John Edward Watson (dob 8/25/71) of North Hollywood was charged with one count each of false report of a bomb to agency or business and malicious informing of false bomb in case BA429872.

Watson appeared this afternoon for arraignment in Department 30 but did not enter a plea. He was ordered to return Oct. 21 for a subsequent hearing.

Prosecutors said Watson walked into Department 32 on Sept. 26, carrying a small box. He placed the box next to him and stood up and said there was a bomb that was going to blow up, prosecutors added.

More than 30 people were evacuated from the courtroom and the entire floor was cleared as a precaution. Investigators determined there were no explosives inside the box.

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September 30, 2014

Cyberstalking Case involving Violent Threats against Art Dealers and Their Children Leads to 5-Year Federal Prison Term

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:45 am

LOS ANGELES – The owner of a Temecula art gallery who stalked, harassed and attempted to extort as much as $300,000 from art world professionals was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison.

Jason White, 43, of Temecula, who pleaded guilty in March to two counts of federal stalking, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson.

During today’s hearing, Judge Wilson called White’s crimes ”horrendous” and “very disturbing.”

White was arrested by the FBI on February 12 after engaging in a six-month stalking and extortion scheme that targeted art world professionals with whom he had had business relationships. When those business relationships ended, White posted derogatory information about his former associates on websites he had created, and then used threatening emails to demand hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for taking the websites down. White repeatedly made extortionate demands through harassing text messages and emails, and when his demands were not met, he threatened violence against the victim families, including their children.

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