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September 25, 2013

Operation ‘Smokin’ Aces’ Targets Mexican Mafia Operations in Orange County

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:16 am

Federal and State Grand Juries Indict 129 Defendants who Allegedly Assisted the Prison Gang or Were Involved in the Business of Numerous O.C. Street Gangs

SANTA ANA, California – Hundreds of law enforcement officials this morning fanned out across Southern California to conclude Operation “Smokin’ Aces,” an investigation conducted by the Santa Ana Gang Task Force that targeted the Orange County wing of the Mexican Mafia, which allegedly exercises control over Latino street gangs and is a powerful force in the local jail system.

A total of 129 defendants have been named in indictments issued by county and federal grand juries. Each of the defendants is linked to an Orange County street gang that claims allegiance to the Mexican Mafia, which is also called the Eme. Some of the federal defendants also are associates of the prison gang who allegedly worked directly with one of the two Mexican Mafia members who oversee the Orange County wing of the criminal enterprise.

During the course of the investigation, task force members made undercover purchases of 67 weapons (38 handguns and 29 rifles). They also seized 22 pounds of methamphetamine, 1.5 pounds of heroin and three pounds of cocaine.

Over the past three months, a federal grand jury in Orange County has returned 26 indictments that charge a total of 86 defendants. The indictments allege a wide range of criminal conduct, including murder and assault, extortion and “tax” collection, and the street-level distribution of narcotics.



Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:10 am

SANTA ANA – Over 800 law enforcement personnel from Orange County, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested dozens of dangerous, indicted gang defendants throughout Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties as part of “Operation Smokin’ Aces.”  Approximately 70 locations were included during this morning’s operations. A total of 129 individuals are being indicted either federally or at the state level at the request of the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA), at the conclusion of a two and a half year investigation. Charges include: Federal racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, narcotic trafficking, and gun trafficking.

The Orange County Superior Court has unsealed an indictment on 43 defendants for their participation in assaults and an attempted murder on 12 inmates in the Orange County jail at the direction of a Hispanic California prison gang (Prison Gang). The OCDA presented a case to the Grand Jury for seven days involving 38 witnesses. The case against the 43 defendants is the largest state Grand Jury case in Orange County history. Three additional defendants have been charged in a separate but related case for murder.

Operation Smokin’ Aces Investigation

The Santa Ana Gang Task Force (SAGTF) comprised of members from the FBI, Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD), Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, initiated an investigation in May 2010. The focus was a neighborhood in the southeast portion of Santa Ana that was being plagued with gang crime that included gang related shootings and narcotic sales. The scope of the investigation widened after the local gangs were tied to associates of the Prison Gang and their narcotic suppliers.

The SAGTF conducted over 140 undercover operations and seized 67 firearms, 22 pounds of methamphetamine, one and a half pounds of heroin, and three pounds of cocaine during the course of the investigation. Five of the firearms seized were linked to drive-by/walk-up shootings in the southeast portion of Santa Ana.


Rite Aid Corporation to Pay More than $12 Million for Unlawful Disposal of Hazardous Waste

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:04 am

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced today that the Rite Aid Corporation was ordered to pay more than $12.3 million to settle a civil lawsuit alleging that some 600 California Rite Aid stores unlawfully handled and disposed of hazardous materials.

The judgment marks the culmination of a joint environmental protection lawsuit filed in September 2013 by the district attorneys of Los Angeles, San Joaquin and Riverside counties. In all, 52 California district attorneys and two city attorneys joined the civil action.

“This settlement changes the long-standing practices of a major corporation that illegally transported and disposed of hazardous materials from hundreds of locations throughout California,” District Attorney Lacey said. “Making sure that hazardous waste is properly discarded will help keep our children safe and healthy for generations to come.”

San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Linda L. Lofthus on Tuesday ordered the Rite Aid Corporation to pay $12,324,000 to settle the environmental case.

Deputy District Attorney Daniel Wright of the Environmental Law Section said the case began with an investigation by local environmental health agencies in fall 2009. The investigationexpanded when prosecutors, investigators and environmental regulators statewide came together to conduct a series of waste inspections at Rite Aid facilities and landfills throughout California.


September 24, 2013

Attorney Who Twice Helped Obstruct Investigations into $22 Million Ponzi Scheme Sentenced to Seven Years in Federal Prison

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:07 am

LOS ANGELES – A Santa Monica lawyer who was a partner at the Nixon Peabody law firm when he helped obstruct two separate investigations into an investment scheme that ultimately took $22 million from victims was sentenced this morning to 84 months in federal prison.

Attorney David Tamman, 46, was sentenced by United States District Judge Phillip S. Gutierrez, who also ordered the defendant to pay a $2,500 fine.

At today’s hearing, Judge Gutierrez said that, apart from the magnitude of the fraud Tamman helped cover up, the substantial sentence was warranted by the fact that the defendant lied to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and then compounded the matter by lying during his trial in 2012. Judge Gutierrez further indicated Tamman’s conduct was particularly troubling because he is a lawyer.

Following a bench trial last year, Tamman was found guilty of 10 counts that included obstruction of justice, altering records in a federal investigation, and being an accessory after the fact to the fraud scheme. The evidence presented at the trial showed that Tamman conspired with John Farahi, who operated the Ponzi scheme, to obstruct an SEC investigation into the fraud scheme. Tamman, who was suspended from practicing law earlier this year by the California State Bar, served as outside counsel for Farahi’s investment company, Newpoint Investment Services.


Monterey Park Physician, Two Employees Indicted on Insurance Fraud, Sale of Controlled Substance

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:04 am

District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced today that a Monterey Park pediatric physician and two employees have been indicted on allegations of Medi-Cal fraud, sale of a controlled substance, illegitimate prescribing of drugs and insurance fraud.

The 55-count Grand Jury indictment – BA414836 – was unsealed today after defendants Dr.  Thomas Lin, his physician’s assistant Nobel Lin (no relation), and employee Ricardo Chavarria pleaded not guilty.

Deputy District Attorneys John Niedermann and Ryan Dibble of the Major Narcotics Division are prosecuting the case.

Prosecutors said Thomas Lin (dob 11-06-69) owns and operates a pediatrics clinic known as “Kid’s M.D.” on Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park. Through his clinic, Lin allegedly provided diet pills known as phentermine, a controlled substance.


September 23, 2013


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:32 am

SANTA ANA - A pimp and a recruiter are scheduled to be arraigned today for trafficking a 16-year-old girl and having sex with her after meeting through a social networking website. Donshawn Eugene Miller, 30, San Diego, is charged with one felony count each of, human trafficking, pimping a minor, pandering with a minor over 16 years old by procuring, unlawful sexual intercourse, pimping, and pandering. Ivylynn Renee Reid, 21, Los Angeles, is charged with one felony count each of human trafficking, pimping a minor, pandering with a minor over 16 years old by procuring, and oral copulation of a minor. If convicted, Miller faces a maximum sentence of 14 years in state prison and Reid faces a maximum sentence of 12 years and 8 months in state prison. The defendants are being held on $250,000 bail and are scheduled for continued arraignment today, Sept. 20, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

In the pimp/prostitution subculture, pimps exploit women and/or children for financial gain often assign ranks to the women they exploit. They often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including requiring victims to speak only when spoken to, address the pimp as “Sir” or “Daddy,” assigning seats in the car based on “rank,” and setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical or emotional abuse.

Circumstances of the Case

Miller is accused of being a pimp/modern-day slave owner and Reid is accused of working for him as a prostitute and recruiting other women to engage in commercial sex for Miller. Reid is accused of being the highest-ranking of Miller’s prostitutes.

In August 2013, Reid is accused of meeting 16-year-old Jane Doe on a social networking website. Reid is accused of arranging a meeting with Jane Doe after discussing with the victim on being able to provide her a wealthier lifestyle.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:28 am

WESTMINSTER - A man was arraigned today on sex charges for groping four women by grabbing them on the buttocks in public. Matthew Andrew Linville, 19, Westminster, is charged with one felony count of false imprisonment by violence and four misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. Linville is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Sept. 30, 2013, 8:30 a.m. in Department W-1, West Justice Center, Westminster.

At approximately 6:45 a.m. on Aug. 28, 2013, Linville is accused of approaching 34-year-old Jane Doe #1 as she was jogging through a neighborhood in Huntington Beach. The defendant is accused of grabbing the victim on the buttocks, pushing her to the ground, and groping her. The defendant is accused of fleeing from the scene after a neighbor heard the victim’s screams and came out and yelled at defendant.

At approximately 10:40 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2013, Linville is accused of approaching 43-year-old Jane Doe #2 at a Burlington Coat Factory in Bella Terra in Huntington Beach. The defendant is accused of grabbing the victim’s buttocks as she was shopping and fleeing from the scene. The defendant is also accused of touching the victim’s left breast with his hand over her dress.

At approximately 11:20 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2013, Linville is accused of approaching 34-year-old Jane Doe #3 at a parking structure across the street from the Bella Terra outdoor shopping mall. The defendant is accused of lifting the victim’s skirt up from behind and causing her to fall. Linville is accused of grabbing the victim’s buttocks and fleeing the scene.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:22 am

SANTA ANA - A man was charged today with shooting-murder of a fellow patron at Stanton bar. Leobardo Villadares, 43, Anaheim, is charged with one felony count of murder and a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. Villadares is being held on $1 million bail and is expected to be arraigned on Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

On the night of Sept. 15, 2013, Villadares is accused of going to Oasis Bar in Stanton. He is accused of frequenting the bar and being acquainted with the staff. The defendant is accused of starting an altercation outside the bar with 48-year-old Francisco Salgado T. Villadares is accused of fatally shooting the victim twice before fleeing the scene on foot.

On Sept. 17, 2013, The Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), who investigated this case, issued a press release with a photo of the defendant.

At around 3:00 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2013, Villadares is accused of turning himself in just as members of the OCSD Special Weapons And Tactics Team were preparing to enter his home after a 3-hour standoff, during which Villadares is accused of declining officers’ requests to communicate. The Garden Grove Police Department assisted in the defendant’s arrest.


September 20, 2013


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:18 am

SANTA ANA – A drunken driver was sentenced yesterday to four years and four months in state prison for killing his brother and injuring his nephew by crashing his truck while driving at an unsafe speed. Felix Jacobo Brito, 37, Costa Mesa, pleaded guilty to the court yesterday, Sept. 19, 2013, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while

intoxicated without gross negligence, one felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, one misdemeanor count of driving a motor vehicle without a valid license, and sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing bodily injury and death to more than one victim and causing great bodily injury.

At approximately 12:30 a.m. on March 11, 2013, Felix Brito was driving under the influence of alcohol at an unsafe speed on Fairview Street in Santa Ana. His 47-year-old brother, Felipe Brito, rode in the front passenger seat and 27-year-old nephew, John Andrade, rode in the back seat.

As the defendant approached another vehicle that was lawfully traveling in front of him in the same lane, he veered to the right in his Toyota truck, crossed a curb, and struck a light pole and a palm tree. He drove through a chain link fence and came to a stop when the truck landed on its passenger side in a flood control channel.

Felipe Brito was pronounced dead at the scene. Andrade was taken to the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Medical Center to be treated for several broken ribs and other injuries.


Man Convicted of Murdering High School Soccer Player

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:10 am

A 26-year-old Calabasas man was convicted today of the first-degree murder of a popular 17- year-old El Camino Real High School soccer player, who was shot and killed in front of his Woodland Hills home last year, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman with the Major Crimes Division said the jury

deliberated less than a day before finding Jason Alejandro Schumann guilty of the Jan. 11, 2012 fatal shooting of Francisco “Pancho” Rodriguez. The jury also found true all gun allegations.

Rodriguez, a goalie, had returned home from a soccer game when he answered a knock on the family’s door in the 6900 block of Cozycroft Avenue. When he went outside, Schumann shot the teen three to four times in the chest and back. Silverman said Schumann was jealous the teen was involved sexually with Schumann’s girlfriend, who testified at the trial.

Schumann faces 50 years to life in prison when he returns Oct. 1 for sentencing before Judge Michael Jesic.

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office / September 19, 2013

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