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August 10, 2017

Man Charged with Murder of Security Guard in Sylmar

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

A Sylmar man has been charged with the stabbing death of a strip mall security guard, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today

Santiago Madrigal (dob 1/25/93) faces one count of murder with an allegation that he used a knife as a deadly weapon.

Madrigal was arraigned yesterday and pleaded not guilty to the charge. He is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 28 to set a date for a preliminary hearing in Department S of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Fernando Branch.

The security guard, Joe Lopez, 28, was stabbed to death on Aug. 6, after the defendant allegedly stole from a supermarket located in the mall near the corner of Glenoaks Boulevard and Hubbard Avenue, prosecutors said.

Deputy District Attorney SuSu Scott is assigned to prosecute the case. (more…)

August 9, 2017

‘Shot-Caller’ of Boyle Heights Gang Controlled by Mexican Mafia Sentenced to 15-Year Prison Term in Federal Racketeering Case

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

LOS ANGELES – One of the leaders of the Hazard street gang – a Mexican Mafia-controlled criminal enterprise that has been responsible for criminal activity in and around the Ramona Gardens housing complex in Boyle Heights for decades – was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for his conviction on federal racketeering and drug trafficking offenses.

Victor Barrios, 43, a Mexican national who most recently resided in Boyle Heights, was sentenced by United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder.

Barrios pleaded guilty on April 26 to conspiring to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and conspiring to traffic narcotics. When he pleaded guilty, Barrios admitted he played “a leadership role for the gang’s criminal activities,” which included overseeing drug sales, the collection of extortionate “tax” payments from area drug dealers, and plots to commit acts of violence.

Barrios was one of 27 defendants named in a racketeering indictment unsealed in December 2014. The 110-page indictment outlined a wide range of criminal activity, including dozens of drug deals, acts of intimidation and violence against people believed to have cooperated with law enforcement, illegal weapons sales, and threats made against African-American residents of Ramona Gardens. Barrios is one of 18 defendants who have pleaded guilty. The remaining nine defendants are scheduled to go on trial on November 28. (more…)

Former School District Food Services Director Charged With Public Integrity Crimes

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

The former director of food services for the Los Angeles Unified School District has been charged with more than a dozen counts including misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement of public funds and conflict of interest, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

David Glenn Binkle (2/28/62) is expected to be arraigned today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. He is charged with 15 felony counts in case BA459686: three counts each of misappropriation of public funds by a public officer, embezzlement of public funds and conflict of interest; five counts of perjury; and one count of forgery.

Between 2010 and 2014, Binkle is alleged to have funneled approximately $65,000 from LAUSD to a culinary club that he controlled as president, prosecutors said. He also is alleged to have placed some of those funds into his personal bank account.

During this time period, the defendant also is accused of forging an application to become a vendor to LAUSD and misappropriating school district funds. Binkle additionally failed to report his outside financial interests, as is required of a public employee in his position.

(more…)

Newhall Man Pleads to Killing Childhood Friend

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

A 22-year-old man pleaded no contest today to killing a friend he knew since childhood, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

David Aldana pleaded no contest to one count of voluntary manslaughter and admitted a special allegation of personally using a handgun. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 18 when he faces 10 years in prison.

Deputy District Attorney Matthew Vodnoy prosecuted the case.

Aldana shot and killed Maximiliano Bernal, 22, in February 2016. The two had been friends since they were children.

Aldana turned himself in at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in San Ysidro shortly after the crime.

(more…)

August 8, 2017

Sinaloa Cartel Cell Leader Self-Surrenders

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

A cell leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel was arraigned in federal court today following his self-surrender to U.S. law enforcement authorities at the Calexico West Port of Entry in California, on July 27.

Damaso Lopez-Serrano, aka Mini Lic, 29, is believed to be the highest-ranking Mexican cartel leader ever to self-surrender in the U.S.  Lopez-Serrano was arraigned on an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in San Diego on Aug. 19, 2016, charging him and five of his close associates, including Nahum Sicairos-Montalvo, aka Kinceanero, with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Intended for Importation and Conspiracy to Import Controlled Substances.  U.S. District Court Judge Dana M. Sabraw arraigned Lopez-Serrano on these charges and unsealed the indictment against these two defendants.

The announcement was made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson for the Southern District of California and Special Agent in Charge William R. Sherman of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s San Diego Field Office.

The U.S. also announced today the unsealing of an additional indictment returned Dec. 14, 2016, in the Eastern District of Virginia by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section charging father and son, Damaso Lopez Nunez and Damaso Lopez Serrano, respectively, with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Intended for Importation.  Damaso Lopez Nunez was arrested by Mexican authorities on May 2, and the U.S. is in the process of seeking his extradition on the December 14 indictment.  Lopez Serrano will be arraigned on this indictment at a future date.

(more…)

FELON SENTENCED TO OVER 75 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR SHOOTING-MURDER OF HIS UNCLE AFTER ARGUMENT AT BIRTHDAY PARTY

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A felon was sentenced to over 75 years to life in state prison for shooting and murdering his uncle after an argument at a birthday party.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Daniel Lee Duvall, 40, Westminster Found guilty by a jury on Feb. 23, 2017 of felony:

  • First degree murder

Sentencing Enhancement

  • Personal discharge of a firearm causing death

Prior Convictions

  • Second strike, serious felony - Possession of a firearm by a felon in 2002
  • Residential burglary in 1996
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon in 2007
75 years to life + five years in state prison

Co-defendant Tina Pauline Arbogast, 49, Westminster, is charged with one felony count of accessory after the fact. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. Arbogast is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 20, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Circumstances of the Case (more…)

North Hollywood Man Pleads to Raping Two Elderly Women

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

A 33-year-old man pleaded no contest today to raping two elderly women on separate occasions, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Danilo Arturo Gonzalez entered his plea to two counts of forcible rape as well as two counts of assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury. He is scheduled to be sentenced to 50 years to life in state prison on Aug. 30 in Department F of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Fernando Branch.

Deputy District Attorney Elena Abramson of the Elder Abuse Section is prosecuting the case.

In May 2016, Gonzalez broke into a senior living center in Northridge during the night and raped an 89-year-old woman. A caretaker came to the victim’s aid and called 911. (more…)

August 7, 2017

Longtime Con Man Sentenced to 8 Years in Federal Prison for Role in $3 Million Gold Investment Scheme that Bilked 7 Investors

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

LOS ANGELES – A Beverly Hills man who has a long history of swindling investors and admitted most recently to participating in a scheme involving bogus gold contracts – and giving fake gold bars as “collateral” to victims – has been sentenced to 96 months in federal prison.

Mark Ross Weinberg, 63, was sentenced on Monday by United States District Judge Manuel Real. In addition to the prison term, Judge Real ordered Weinberg to pay $2,982,181 in restitution to his victims.

The sentencing followed Weinberg’s guilty pleas in May to conspiracy and wire fraud charges.

A second man charged in relation to the scheme – Dale Washam Talbert, 63, also of Beverly Hills – was sentenced by Judge Real in June to five years in federal prison, which was the statutory maximum sentence for the conspiracy count to which he pleaded guilty.

The victim who sustained the largest losses in the scheme, a lifelong friend of Talbert, was induced to invest $2.4 million and lost nearly all of that money. After this victim referred the scheme to the FBI, which seized some of the defendants’ assets, Weinberg and Talbert solicited the other six victims in the Los Angeles area and convinced them to invest more than $645,000. (more…)

IN-N-OUT EMPLOYEE AND OWNER OF INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS COMPANY CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING IN-N-OUT OVER $150,000 THROUGH SUBMITTING MISCELLANEOUS INVOICES FOR PERSONAL ITEMS

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – An In-N-Out Burger (INOB) employee and the owner of Industrial Material Handling Express (IMHE) were charged with forgery and grand theft for ordering merchandise from IMHE for personal use and submitting fraudulent invoices to INOB.

Defendant Charges Maximum Sentence Court Date
Kevin Anthony Koerner, 44,

Lakewood

Louie Garcia,

47, Downey

Felony

  • (1) Grand Theft
  • (34) Forgery

Sentencing Enhancements

  • Loss over $65,000
  • Aggravated White Collar Crime over $100,000
26 years and eight months in state prison Arraignment

Aug. 4, 2017, 10:00 a.m.

Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana

Bail: $158,000

Circumstances of the Case

  • At the time of the crime, Koerner was employed by INOB as a forklift mechanic and entrusted with ordering forklift parts on behalf of INOB and Garcia was the owner Industrial Material Handling Express (IMHE), a third party vendor which provided forklift parts to INOB.
  • Between Feb. 16, 2005, and July 6, 2014, Koerner is accused of ordering merchandise from IMHE for personal use and picking up the items directly from Garcia. (more…)

MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER AFTER PUNCHING SEAL BEACH BAR PATRON IN THE FACE WHICH RESULTED IN VICTIM’S DEATH

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man is scheduled to be arraigned today for involuntary manslaughter after punching a bar patron in the face, resulting in the victim’s death.

Defendant Charges Maximum Sentence Court Date
Matthew Paul Meier, 32, Seal Beach Charged today with the following felony counts:

  • Involuntary manslaughter
  • Assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury

Sentencing Enhancement

  • Causing great bodily injury (coma)
Nine years in state prison Arraignment

Aug. 4, 2017, time to be determined

Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana

Bail: $250,000

Circumstances of the Case

  • On July 18, 2017, at approximately 1:20 a.m., Meier is accused of socializing at a Seal Beach bar called Clancy’s, where he was also employed.
  • The defendant is accused of punching 46-year-old James Tinsman once in the face with a closed fist, causing the victim to lose consciousness, fall backwards, and strike his head on the pavement outside of the bar. (more…)

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