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February 28, 2014

FLEEING DRUNKEN PAROLEE CONVICTED OF MURDERING INNOCENT DRIVER AND INJURING TWO WHILE RECKLESSLY EVADING POLICE IN HIS TRUCK

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:15 am

WESTMINSTER  – A fleeing parolee driving under the influence of alcohol was convicted today of killing an innocent driver and causing great bodily injury to two people while recklessly running from the police. Oscar Javier de la Torre Villalobos, 27, Menifee, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count each of second degree murder, driving under the influence and causing bodily injury, driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level of over .08 percent causing bodily injury, and evading the police while driving recklessly and causing serious bodily injury and death. The sentencing enhancement allegations for personally inflicting great bodily injury on non-accomplice victims, driving with a blood alcohol content over .20 percent, and two prior prison convictions of possessing a firearm as a felon and felony domestic violence were found true. He faces a maximum sentence of 21 years and four months to life in state prison at his sentencing May 2, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. in Department W-9, West Justice Center, Westminster.

At approximately 7:40 p.m. on June 15, 2009, Villalobos was driving a red 1999 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck in Anaheim. His passenger, 22-year-old Alejandro Serrano, exited the truck after getting into a verbal and shoving dispute with a man on the sidewalk. Following the dispute, Villalobos and Serrano drove to a nearby Home Depot parking lot. 

Within minutes, Anaheim Police Department (APD) officers located the pick-up truck in the Home Depot parking lot and began to approach the vehicle to question them about the incident. The Home Depot was open at this time and there were parked vehicles, moving vehicles, and customers going in and out of the store. Villalobos looked at one of the officers, started the engine, and refused to comply with the APD officer’s command to turn off the engine. Villalobos then sped off, spinning and squealing the tires, and led the police on a high-speed pursuit. APD officers driving in two fully marked black and white police vehicles, with activated sirens and lights, began following the defendant’s truck. Three other police vehicles later responded to assist in the pursuit. 

Villalobos drove out of the parking lot going eastbound on Gramercy Avenue and nearly collided with two other vehicles. While fleeing from police, Villalobos drove through multiple stop signs, weaved in and out of traffic, and nearly collided with several vehicles and pedestrians. He drove approximately 90 mph on Crescent Avenue, which has a 40 mph speed limit.                                               (more…)

DRUG SUPPLIER TO FACE TRIAL FOR SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES SHOOTING-MURDER AS REVENGE FOR STOLEN DRUGS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:12 am

SANTA ANA – A drug supplier will face trial today for the special circumstances kidnapping and shooting-murder following a drug deal where his drugs were stolen. Jose Felix Zepeda, 41, Los Angeles, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of a robbery, one felony count of kidnapping for ransom, reward, extortion, and to exact from another person money and other valuable things, and one felony count of conspiracy to commit a crime with a sentencing enhancement for possession of a substance to distribute exceeding one kilogram. If convicted, Zepeda faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Opening statements are scheduled to begin this morning, Feb. 27, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. in Department C-28, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On April 25, 2012, Zepeda is accused of supplying three pounds of methamphetamine to two men, who attempted to sell the drugs but instead were robbed in Montebello. Zepeda is accused of spotting John Doe acting as a lookout near the scene of the robbery. Zepeda, with the assistance of an unidentified accomplice, are accused of kidnapping John Doe and forcing John Doe to lead the defendants to the home of the men. Zepeda is accused of holding John Doe at gunpoint in the back of a vehicle while they went to Anaheim.

Upon arrival outside of the Anaheim apartment complex, Zepeda is accused of forcing John Doe to point out the men involved in the drug robbery. Zepeda’s fellow accomplices then shot and murdered Leder Sanchez in the street outside his home. Sanchez was shot two times, including one time in the neck.

Zepeda is accused of returning to Montebello and extorting John Doe and the two men whom he supplied the drugs. Zepeda is accused of setting up an arrangement to receive the drugs and extortion money to avoid further violence.                          (more…)

February 27, 2014

SOCIAL SERVICES EMPLOYEE ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF STEALING NEARLY $150,000 FROM COUNTY IN IN-HOME CARETAKER FRAUD SCHEME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:17 am

SANTA ANA – An employee of the Orange County Social Services Agency (SSA) has been arrested and charged with defrauding the Orange County Social Services Agency of nearly $150,000. Fereshteh Shafiee, 52, Mission Viejo, is charged with one felony count each of misappropriation of public funds and medical insurance fraud with sentencing enhancements and allegations for over $100,00 in loss, property loss over $65,000, and aggravated white collar crime over $100,000. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison. Fereshteh Shafiee is being held on $150,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. The defendant is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Feb. 27, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

Co-defendant Nahid Bijaripour Vakilian, 55, Lake Forest, is charged with the same counts, sentencing enhancements, and faces the same maximum sentence as Fereshteh Shafiee.  A $150,000 warrant has been issued for her arrest. She is believed to be in Iran.

The defendant’s mother, Iran Shafiee, 72, Mission Viejo, is charged with one felony count of medical insurance fraud and faces the same sentencing enhancements as Fereshteh Shafiee. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison. A $150,000 warrant has been issued for her arrest.

Circumstances of the Case

At the time of the crime, Fereshteh Shafiee and Vakilian are accused of being friends and working for SSA. Vakilian was a supervisor for the In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program.                                   (more…)

MAN CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTING TO PANDER UNDERCOVER OFFICER

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:11 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of attempted pandering after communicating with an undercover officer, whom he believed to be a prostitute. Frankie Lee Brown, 30, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of attempted pandering by promise, threat, or violence to become a prostitute, and sentencing enhancements for a strike prior and a prison prior for residential burglary in 2009. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of seven years in state prison at his sentencing April 25, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-27, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Case

Brown is accused of being a pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain.

In April 2013, Brown began communicating in text messages and phone calls with an undercover officer from the Anaheim Police Department (APD). The defendant believed the undercover officer was a prostitute whom he could pimp.

Brown told the undercover officer about how the defendant would pimp the victim and stated that he would take a percentage of her money for posting sexual advertisements featuring her online.                                   (more…)

February 26, 2014

MAN CONVICTED OF SHOOTING AND KILLING FRIEND WHILE STOPPED AT INTERSECTION IN IRVINE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:17 am

SANTA ANA - A man was convicted today of shooting and killing his friend while stopped at an intersection in Irvine. David Benjamin Rodgers, 48, Lancaster, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of voluntary manslaughter.

The defendant has prior convictions for false imprisonment in 1989 and sexual assault of a minor in 1990 and faces a sentence ranging from 31 to 36 years to life in state prison if convicted of the prior strike offenses. The Court will hold a bifurcated trial on the defendant’s prior convictions March 21, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 11:00 a.m. on Dec. 22, 2002, Rodgers was driving his car with his friend, 44-year-old Jeanie Lynn Waterson, in the passenger’s seat. Rodgers stopped his car at the intersection of Sand Canyon Avenue and Alton Parkway in Irvine. While stopped at the intersection, Rodgers fired a total of five shots. He first fired one shot through the windshield of the car. Rodgers then killed Waterson by firing another shot, which entered and exited her left arm, then went through her heart and right lung. The defendant then fired several more shots, two additional shots through the windshield and one through his own right foot.  The car then rolled through the intersection into an open field.

Witnesses contacted police and the Irvine Police Department arrived at the scene. Rodgers waited approximately 14 minutes before he surrendered. Waterson was pronounced dead at the scene.                             (more…)

TRUCK DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR FAILING TO HELP WOMAN AFTER SHE FELL TO HER DEATH FROM HIS MOVING VEHICLE ON FREEWAY

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

SANTA ANA – A truck driver will be arraigned tomorrow on charges of failing to stop and render aid or call the police after a woman fell to her death from his moving vehicle on the freeway. Jaqwun Laerin Turner, 33, Hawthorne, is charged with one felony count of hit and run causing death and faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison if convicted. He is out of custody on $50,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On Dec. 8, 2013, Turner is accused of meeting 51-year-old Martha Rodenzo at a gas station and offering her a ride.

At approximately 2:15 a.m. on Dec. 8, 2013, Turner is accused of driving a semi-truck northbound on Interstate 5 with Rodenzo in the passenger seat. As they approached the California State Route 22 interchange in Santa Ana, the victim opened her door and fell from the moving vehicle, landing in the gore point between the two freeways. Rodenzo died as a result of the injuries she sustained in the fall.

Turner is accused of failing to stop to assist the victim. He is accused of driving away from the scene and failing to report the accident to police.                                  (more…)

WOMAN CHARGED WITH STABBING-MURDER OF CARE HOME ROOMMATE

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

WESTMINSTER – A woman has been charged with the stabbing-murder of her roommate in a Garden Grove care home. Lucie Wardell, 49, is charged with one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison. The People will be requesting Wardell be held on $1 million bail at her arraignment today, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. at the West Justice Center, Westminster. The Department is to be determined.

On Feb. 21, 2014, Wardell is accused of living in the same room as victim Hoa H. at Chapman Board & Care in Garden Grove. The defendant is accused of murdering the victim by stabbing her repeatedly.

The investigation by the Garden Grove Police Department is ongoing.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Herrera of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # TBA / February 25, 2014

February 25, 2014

Co-workers testify about man accused of workplace execution

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:12 am

RANCHO CUCAMONGA  - Juan Arias, who is on trial for killing a co-worker in 2011, was always singing at work.

Sometimes the songs he sang were inappropriate, co-workers said.

Once Arias was heard singing, “My enemies better watch out.”

Nearly 10 days later, Robert Davalos was shot to death in his office at Arlon Incorporated in Rancho Cucamonga.

Arias, 55, is suspected of killing Davalos, 36, of San Bernardino, after being fired from the manufacturing company he worked for about 33 years.

On Dec. 1, 2011 Arias was escorted off the property. But he returned to the company less than an hour later, entered the building, and shot Davalos in his office, prosecutors said.

(more…)

February 24, 2014

California State Senator Ronald Calderon Charged with Taking Bribes in Exchange for Official Acts on Behalf of Hospital Owner and Independent Film Studio that Was Actually an FBI Front

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:45 am

LOS ANGELES – Ronald Calderon, a member of the California State Senate, has agreed to surrendered to federal authorities on Monday after being named in a federal grand jury indictment that accuses him of taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from a businessman and from people who were associated with a Hollywood film studio, but who were in actuality undercover FBI agents.

Ronald S. Calderon, 56, of Montebello, is charged in a 24-count indictment that was returned late yesterday by a federal grand jury with mail fraud, wire fraud, honest services fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.

The indictment also charges Thomas M. Calderon, 59, also of Montebello, who is Ronald’s brother and a former member of the California State Assembly. Along with his brother, Thomas Calderon is charged in the money laundering conspiracy and with seven substantive counts of money laundering.

Tom Calderon self-surrendered this morning after being informed of the indictment and is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court.

Ron Calderon is travelling and has agreed to surrender Monday morning. Ron Calderon’s arraignment will be Monday afternoon.                                     (more…)

Former Owner of Long Beach Hospital Charged in Health Care Fraud Scheme that Paid Tens of Millions of Dollars in Kickbacks for Referrals for Spinal Surgeries Billed to Workers’ Comp Programs

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:40 am

Santa Ana, California – The former owner of Pacific Hospital in Long Beach was charged today in a long-running health care fraud scheme that involved tens of millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks in exchange for referrals of thousands of patients who received spinal surgeries. The referrals to the hospital led to more than $500 million in bills being fraudulently submitted during last five years of the scheme, much of which was paid by the California worker’s compensation system.

Michael D. Drobot, 69, of Corona Del Mar, was charged this morning in a criminal information with orchestrating a wide-ranging conspiracy and with paying illegal kickbacks.

In a plea agreement also filed this morning, Drobot agreed to plead guilty to the two counts which could send him to federal prison for as long as 10 years.

From 1997 to 2013, Drobot, who owned Pacific Hospital until late last year, ran a scheme in which he billed workers’ compensation insurers hundreds of millions of dollars for spinal surgeries performed on patients who had been referred by dozens of doctors, chiropractors and others who were paid illegal kickbacks. For referrals for spinal surgeries, Drobot typically paid a kickback of $15,000 per lumbar fusion surgery and $10,000 per cervical fusion surgery. Some of the patients lived as much as hundreds of miles away from Pacific Hospital, and closer to other qualified medical facilities. The patients were not informed that the medical professionals had been offered kickbacks to induce them to refer the surgeries to Pacific Hospital.                                                  (more…)

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