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May 28, 2013

Federal Indictments Charge 20 Members and Associates of 18th Street Gang Clique for Their Roles in Methamphetamine Distribution Network

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:06 pm

LOS ANGELES—An investigation by a joint task force resulted in federal charges against 20 gang members and associates with known ties to the Mexican Mafia for their roles in a methamphetamine distribution ring, announced Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; Charlie Beck, the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department; and Andre´ Birotte, Jr., the United States Attorney in Los Angeles.

The arrest operation on Tuesday marked the culmination of an investigation by a joint task force whose members include agents and officers with the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the Los Angeles County Department of Probation. In preparation and during Monday’s operation, the task force was assisted by the Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services; the Culver City Police Department; and the California Department of Parks and Recreation in northern California.

This investigation targeted the senior membership and “shot callers” of a local clique of the 18th Street Gang known as the Rancho Park Locos (RPK).

Multiple grand jury indictments, unsealed following the operation on Tuesday, were returned in United States District Court in Los Angeles charging a total of 19 defendants, several of whom were already in custody prior to today’s operation. A 20th defendant was charged in a federal criminal complaint.

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DANA POINT YACHT BROKER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR DEFRAUDING 26 VICTIMS OF OVER $1.5 MILLION

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:53 pm

SANTA ANA - A former Dana Point yacht broker will be arraigned today on charges of stealing over $1.5 million from 26 victims in an investment and fraudulent sale scheme.  Edward Sellers Fitzgerald, 60, formerly of Dana Point, is charged with eight felony counts of theft from an elder, 19 felony counts of using untrue statements in the purchase or sale of a security, 17 felony counts of grand theft, and 14 felony counts of issuing non-sufficient checks with the intent to defraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 58 years in state prison. Fitzgerald is being held on $1.6 million bail and is expected to be arraigned today, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

Between 2007 and July 2009, Fitzgerald is accused of being the owner of a Dana Point yacht brokerage, Dana Island Yacht Sales and Charters. He is accused of defrauding 26 victims of over $1.5 million in various investment schemes related to the buying and selling of yachts.

Fitzgerald is accused of defrauding some of his victims by securing loans from friends and acquaintances under the false pretense of purchasing boats for resale. He is accused of failing to purchase boats as promised, using new investors to pay off previous investors, and stealing the money to pay his personal expenses. In some cases, Fitzgerald is accused of selling yachts on behalf of clients, embezzling the sale funds from his escrow account, and either failing to return the funds to the victims or issuing checks to the victims that were returned as non-sufficient funds.  The defendant is also accused of stealing deposits put down by victims for the purchase of boats and failing to secure the sale or return the deposit.

In July 2009, the defendant is accused of cleaning out his bank accounts and moving away without telling any of his victims or providing his location or contact information.

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May 24, 2013

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Sentencing in Transnational Human Trafficking Ring

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 11:36 pm

SACRAMENTO — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the sentencing of three defendants in a human trafficking ring in which women from Mexico were used as prostitutes in five Northern California cities.

Nery Najarro-Rodriguez, 42, Jorge Perez-Hernandez, 37, and Luis Mata, 30, pled no contest to conspiracy to commit pimping and pandering as part of a multi-county investigation. The defendants were each sentenced in Sacramento County Superior Court to three years in county jail.

The charges stemmed from an extensive FBI investigation into a human trafficking network that spanned several northern California counties. Young women, ages 21 to 30, were trafficked from Mexico and sold for sex to as many as 20 clients in a single day. The sex acts occurred in brothels identified in Chico, Stockton, Yuba City, Fairfield and Sacramento.

“Human trafficking is a horrific crime that brutalizes millions of victims,” said Attorney General Harris. “It is important that we investigate, prosecute and imprison those who force this kind of cruelty and depravity upon women. These sentences send a message that human traffickers will be prosecuted and punished.”

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JUVENILE CHARGED AS ADULT FOR ATTEMPTING TO MURDER RELATIVE AS HE SLEPT IN THEIR TRABUCO CANYON HOME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 10:17 pm

NEWPORT BEACH – A juvenile was charged as an adult today for attempting to murder his relative as the victim slept in their Trabuco Canyon home. John Edward Kudla, 17, has been direct filed as an adult and is charged with three felony counts each of attempted murder, aggravated assault, unlawful taking of a vehicle and a sentencing enhancement for causing brain injury and paralysis. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. The defendant is in custody on $1 million bail and is scheduled for a continued arraignment June 14, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

Sometime before May 2013, Kudla is accused of moving into his relative’s Trabuco Canyon home, where another family member also lived. The victim, John Doe, is a reserve sergeant for Orange County Sherriff’s Department (OCSD), Search and Rescue.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. on May 22, 2013, Kudla is accused of waking up, taking a large construction hammer from the kitchen area that was under renovation, and walked upstairs to John Doe’s bedroom. The defendant is accused of hitting the sleeping victim in the head multiple times. Kudla is accused of then getting dressed, eating breakfast, and telling his other family member that John Doe was sick and would probably stay in bed all day. He is accused of stealing the victim’s wallet and keys and taking John Doe’s Volkswagen convertible to school. The defendant is accused of meeting his friends and driving and dropping them off at a McDonald’s restaurant, but did not go back to school.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., the family member found the victim injured and bleeding, and John Doe was transported by paramedics to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, where he remains comatose in critical condition after an emergency life-saving surgery was performed.

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THIRD-STRIKER SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON FOR ROBBING TWO BANK OF AMERICA EMPLOYEES OF $30,000 USING GUN AND FAKE BOMB

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 10:14 pm

FULLERTON – A third-striker was sentenced today to 25 years in state prison for robbing two employees of an Orange Bank of America branch and stealing $30,000 in cash by threatening staff and occupants with a firearm and fake bomb. Garry Allen Reeder, 50, Santa Fe Springs, pleaded guilty to the court, Jan. 14, 2013, to two felony counts of second degree robbery, one felony count of false bomb delivery, and one felony count of second degree commercial burglary, with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon, the personal use of a firearm, and four 1992 federal prior convictions for Los Angeles County bank robberies.

At approximately 2:45 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2011, Reeder entered a Bank of America branch in Orange under the pretense of opening a checking account. He sat down at a desk with a bank employee and opened a day planner containing what appeared to be a bomb. The bomb was later determined to be fake. Reeder threatened two employees that they had 30 seconds to provide him $30,000 in cash. As the employees went to the bank’s vault, Reeder lifted his shirt and showed a firearm to bank customers to dissuade them from moving. He stole $30,000 by force and fear, left the fake bomb on a desk, and fled on foot. Bank employees called 911.

The Orange County Bomb Squad, Orange Police Department (OPD), and Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene and investigated the case. Reeder was arrested Jan. 7, 2011, by OPD at a hotel in Corona. At the time of his arrest, Reeder was in possession of $19,000 in marked bills. Reeder had spent $11,000 of the stolen money on hotel rooms, rental cars, and other personal expenses.

Senior Deputy District Attorney John Christl of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.

Orange County District Attorney, Case # 11CF0063, May 24, 2013

May 23, 2013

MAN CONVICTED OF VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER OF TWO MEN IN LAKE FOREST PARKING LOT FIGHT

Filed under: California Defense Attorney, Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 10:12 pm

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of voluntary manslaughter of two men by stabbing both victims during a fight in a Lake Forest parking lot. The first victim died shortly after the attack and the second died six days later in the hospital. Justin Alvin Masao Tombleson, 30, Lake Forest, was found guilty by a jury of two felony counts of voluntary manslaughter and sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon.

The court will hear a bifurcated trial on the defendant’s prior convictions, June 7, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The defendant’s prior convictions stem from Case #05SF0072 in which he pled guilty, Nov. 7, 2005, to one felony count of battery with serious bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon likely to produce great bodily injury. Tombleson faces a maximum sentence of 34 years in state prison if convicted of the prior strike offenses.

At approximately 2:00 a.m. on June 11, 2011, 26-year-old Elvis Kechechian was at a Mexican restaurant in Lake Forest with 32-year-old friend Hossein Saidian, Kechechian’s brother, and another friend.

Kechechian and his brother became involved in a verbal altercation. During this argument, Kechechian’s brother spit on a woman. The argument escalated between Kechechian’s friends and the woman’s friends, and they were subsequently asked by the owner to leave the restaurant. The woman called her boyfriend, Tombleson, who was already on his way to the restaurant.

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May 22, 2013

MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER OF ARMY VETERAN ROOMMATE BEFORE DISPOSING OF BODY IN CANYON

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:05 am

SANTA ANA – A man was charged today with murdering his roommate and disposing of her body in a canyon. Kwang Chol Joy, 54, Orange, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. Joy is being held on $1 million bail and is expected to be arraigned today, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at 12:00 p.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Joy is accused of living in an Orange home with 36-year-old roommate Maribel Ramos. The victim was an Army veteran and a student at California State University, Fullerton.

On May 2, 2013, the defendant is accused of getting into an argument with Ramos after she told him to move out of the home because he was not paying his rent. That night, Ramos was seen on video surveillance dropping off a rent check at the property manager’s office. It was the last time she was seen alive.

Sometime between May 2, 2013, and May 3, 2013, Joy is accused of murdering Ramos. He is accused of then disposing of her body off Santiago Canyon Road.

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May 21, 2013

Three Involved in Ventura County-Based ‘Ad-Toppers’ Ponzi Scheme that Cost Victims over $27 Million Sentenced to Federal Prison Terms

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:21 am

 LOS ANGELES – Three Ventura residents were sentenced today to federal prison – with one defendant being ordered to serve more than 17 years – for their roles in an investment scheme that victimized hundreds of investors across the United States and caused losses of more than $27 million.

 

The three defendants – two brothers and woman, all of whom share a house in Ventura – fraudulently raised money by telling victim-investors that funds would be used to purchase Ad Toppers, a video device that can be placed on ATMs or vending machines and used to display advertisements.

The defendants sentenced today were:

  • ! Alan G. Flesher, 65, the leader of the scheme, who was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison;
  • ! Wayne D. Flesher, 62, Alan’s brother, who was sentenced to 72 months in prison; and
  • ! Nancy Carol Khalial, 65, who was sentenced to 48 months in prison.

All three were sentenced by United States District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr., who also ordered the defendants collectively to pay $27,377,470 in restitution.

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Three Charged with Bank Robbery in Connection with 2012 Hoax Bomb Scenario in Los Angeles

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

LOS ANGELES—Three Los Angeles men have been charged federally for their roles in a bank robbery that occurred in Los Angeles, California, on September 5, 2012, in which a bank employee was outfitted with a hoax explosive device, announced United States Attorney in Los Angeles, Andre Birotte, Jr.; FBI Assistant Director in Charge Bill Lewis; and Huntington Park Police Chief Jorge Cisneros.

On April 25, 2013, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles returned an indictment filed under seal charging Reyes “Ray” Vega, Richard Menchaca, and Bryan Perez with conspiracy to commit bank robbery, bank robbery, and aiding and abetting each other by force, violence, and intimidation. The indictment was unsealed this morning.

The three defendants were arrested during the evening on Friday, May 17. Ray Vega, 34, was taken into custody by FBI Agents in Atlanta, Georgia, and was held in federal custody over the weekend. Richard Menchaca, 36, was arrested in Fontana, California, by members of the FBI’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team. Bryan Perez, 27, was arrested following a vehicle stop in Los Angeles by detectives with the Huntington Park Police Department. Menchaca and Perez were held at the Huntington Park Police Department over the weekend and were transferred to federal custody this morning. All three are scheduled to have an appearance today in United States District Court. Menchaca and Perez will appear in Los Angeles and Vega, in Atlanta.

The indictment alleges that Ray Vega planned and made arrangements to rob the Bank of America located at 941 South Atlantic Avenue in Los Angeles, where one of his girlfriends worked as an assistant branch manager. The girlfriend is identified in the indictment only by the initials “A.B.

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May 20, 2013

WOMAN AND SON SENTENCED FOR ROBBING AND MURDERING MAN LURED FROM NIGHTCLUB TO MOTEL ROOM

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:16 am

SANTA ANA - A woman and her son were sentenced today for robbing and murdering a man after luring him from a nightclub to a motel room with the promise of sex. Leticia Carrasco, 52, Buena Park, was convicted by a jury Jan. 31, 2013, of one felony count of murder and one felony count of second degree robbery. She was sentenced today to 25 years to life in state prison.

Leticia Carrasco’s son Noel Carrasco, 26, Buena Park, was found guilty by a jury April 3, 2013, of one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of a robbery and one felony count of second degree robbery. He was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility parole.

On the evening of Dec. 22, 2008, Leticia Carrasco met Matias Ojeda Vazquez at a bar in Stanton. Leticia Carrasco lured Vazquez back to her motel room under the pretense of having sex. Leticia Carrasco’s son, Noel Carrasco, plotted in advance with his mother and waited in the room to rob the victim.

When the victim arrived with Leticia Carrasco, Noel Carrasco ordered the victim to give them his money. When the victim refused, the defendants fatally attacked the victim. The victim suffered five stab wounds, asphyxiation, and blunt force trauma to the head. After the murder, Noel and Leticia Carrasco cleaned the motel room and wrapped bedding around the victim’s body, placed a trash bag over the victim’s head, and a dog food bag on the victim’s feet.

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