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November 12, 2013

Fugitive Who Faces Charges Related to Pipe Bombs Found in Residential Neighborhoods Arrested in Banning

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:58 pm

BANNING—A Desert Hot Springs man who was charged for illegally possessing pipe bombs he allegedly left in Palm Springs neighborhoods and who became a fugitive after escaping from custody over the summer was arrested Monday following a joint effort by the FBI and the Banning Police Department, announced Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

Over the weekend, the FBI received information that Costa had been living in the Banning area in the recent past. A joint effort by the FBI and the Banning Police Department to locate the exact whereabouts of Costa resulted in his capture on Monday in Banning, without incident.

Costa was held overnight in Banning, California, and was transferred to the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside County this morning. Costa is scheduled to have an initial appearance in United States District Court in Riverside this afternoon at 3:00p.m.

Edward Allen Costa, 48, was indicted on September 11, 2013, on six counts of possessing unregistered destructive devices (pipe bombs) and one count of escape from custody. Costa, who pleaded guilty last year to being a felon in possession of a firearm, allegedly walked away from a halfway house in Rubidoux in August 2013.

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November 11, 2013

Gang Leader Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison in RICO Case

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:33 am

LOS ANGELES—A Los Angeles man who was the leader of a criminal street gang that used violence and intimidation in an attempt to control the Pueblo del Rio Housing Projects in South Los Angeles was sentenced today to 25 years in federal prison.

Kevin Eleby, who was known on the street as “L,” 49, a longtime leader of the Pueblo Bishop Bloods street gang, was sentenced by United States District Judge S. James Otero. During a 10-year period of supervised release that will follow his prison term, Eleby will be banned from entering the Pueblo del Rio Housing Projects, the veritable headquarters of the gang.

Eleby was convicted in October 2012 of four felony charges: conspiracy to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) ACT; conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin; possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

The gun offense related to a shooting in which members of the gang used a Thompson submachine gun and other weapons to fire more than a dozen rounds into a residence in the projects where a rival gang member lived. Only the mother and 11-year-old brother of the intended victim were home at the time of the attack. Both victims survived, but the family moved out of the projects shortly thereafter. The evidence at trial showed that the shooting followed a gang meeting where Eleby passionately advocated that younger gang members needed to increase their retaliatory violence against rival gangs and drive Hispanic residents out of the projects.

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THREE DEFENDANTS ARRESTED FOR KIDNAPPING, TORTURE, AND SEXUAL MUTILATION OF MARIJUANA DISPENSARY OWNER

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:30 am

SANTA ANA - Three defendants have been arrested, including one who had fled to Iran, for the kidnapping, torture, and sexual mutilation of a marijuana dispensary owner whom they believed to be burying large amounts of cash in the desert.

Defendants Ryan Anthony Kevorkian, 34, and Naomi Josette Kevorkian, 33, were arrested today, Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, in Fresno by detectives from the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD). They are expected to be arraigned Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

Defendant Hossein Nayeri, 34, was arrested yesterday, Nov. 7, 2013, in Prague, Czech Republic, by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. He will face extradition proceedings in the Czech Republic at a later date to be determined.

Defendant Kyle Shirakawa Handley, 34, was arrested and charged in October 2012. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Nov. 15, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

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Reputed Gang Member Charged in Clerk’s Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:23 am

A 31-year-old reputed gang member was charged today with capital murder in the September fatal shooting of a 99-cent store clerk, the District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Eric William Atkinson (dob 4-10-82) is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30, in case BA418132. Prosecutors will ask that he be held without bail, said Deputy District Attorney Larry Droeger, assistant head deputy of the Hardcore Gang Division.

Prosecutors filed one count of murder with the special circumstance of robbery and personal use of a firearm allegation against Atkinson for the Sept. 17 murder of Martha Sanchez. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty.

The married mother of five children was working shortly before 9 p.m. when Atkinson allegedly entered the Happy Bargain 99 cent store in the 7400 block of South Broadway and pulled a gun on her. A store surveillance video captured the fatal shooting.

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Criminal Gang and Homicide Division investigated the case.

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office / case BA418132 / November 08, 2013

November 8, 2013

Northern California Real Estate Investor Agrees to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging at Public Foreclosure Auctions

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:33 am

A Northern California real estate investor has agreed to plead guilty for his role in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced.

Felony charges were filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland against Chuokee “Joseph” Bo of Pleasanton, Calif.

Bo is the 38th individual to plead guilty or agree to plead guilty as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California.

According to court documents, Bo conspired with others not to bid against one another, but instead designated a winning bidder to obtain selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Alameda County, Calif.   Bo was also charged with conspiring to use the mail to carry out a scheme to fraudulently acquire title to selected Alameda County properties sold at public auctions, to make and receive payoffs, and to divert money to co-conspirators that would have otherwise gone to mortgage holders and others by holding second, private auctions open only to members of the conspiracy.  The department said that the selected properties were then awarded to the conspirators who submitted the highest bids in the second, private auctions.  The private auctions often took place at or near the courthouse steps where the public auctions were held.  Bo is charged with participating in the conspiracies beginning as early as August 2009 and continuing until about October 2010.

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MAN DUBBED “SNOWBOARDER BANDIT” CONVICTED OF COMMITTING ROBBERIES IN 10 ORANGE COUNTY BANKS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:29 am

SANTA ANA – A man dubbed the “Snowboarder Bandit” was convicted today of committing robberies in 10 Orange County banks. Michael Brandon Franks, 30, Riverside, pleaded guilty to a court offer today to 10 felony counts of second degree robbery and two felony counts of attempted second degree robbery. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and six months in state prison at his sentencing, Jan. 17, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-34, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Between Dec. 20, 2011, and March 21, 2012, Franks committed 10 robberies at nine different banks in Orange County. The bank chains included Bank of America in Anaheim, Chase Bank in Laguna Hills and Laguna Niguel, Citibank in Irvine, two robberies at the Schools First Federal Credit Union branch in Anaheim, Union Bank in Newport Beach, US Bank in Irvine and Ladera Ranch, and Wells Fargo in Irvine.

Franks attempted to rob a bank teller at the Citibank branch in Irvine and the US Bank branch in Irvine where he committed robberies before.

In each of the cases, Franks carried out similar acts: entered the bank wearing distinctive headgear which included a motorcycle helmet or beanie and sunglasses, approached a bank teller, and slipped the teller a note which stated he had a gun and demanded money. He caused the tellers to give him the money out of fear. Franks took the money and walked out of the bank.

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November 7, 2013

Navy Commander Charged with Accepting $100,000 Cash and Prostitutes in Widening International Bribery Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:55 am

Third Navy Official Charged Along with Owner of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia

A third senior U.S. Navy official has been charged in a complaint unsealed today with accepting prostitutes, luxury travel and $100,000 cash from a foreign defense contractor in exchange for classified and internal U.S. Navy information, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California.

U.S. Navy Commander Jose Luis Sanchez, 41, was arrested in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday evening and made his initial appearance in federal court in the Middle District of Florida this morning.  Also named in a complaint unsealed today is Leonard Glenn Francis, 49, of Malaysia, the CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), who was arrested on Sept. 16, 2013, in San Diego.

Two other senior Navy officials – Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, 46, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service Supervisory Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau II, 44 – have been charged separately in connection with bribery allegations.  GDMA executive Alex Wisidagama, 40, of Singapore, has also been charged with participating in a related scheme to overbill the Navy for services provided in ports throughout Southeast Asia.

“As described in the corruption charges unsealed today, senior officials with the United States Navy abused their trusted positions as leaders in our armed forces by peddling favorable treatment—and even classified government information—for their personal benefit,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman.  “In turn, the GDMA executives who illicitly sought information and favors from those Navy officials boasted about their unlawful access to those officials and then traded on the influence that they illegally bought.  Day by day, this massive Navy fraud and bribery investigation continues to widen, and as the charges announced today show, we will follow the evidence wherever it takes us.”

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GANG MEMBER FACES TRIAL FOR 2006 COLD CASE MURDER OF COLLEGE SENIOR OUTSIDE HALLOWEEN PARTY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:51 am

SANTA ANA – A La Habra criminal street gang member faces trial today for shooting and murdering a college student outside of a Halloween party. David Anthony Parga, 27, formerly of La Habra, is charged with one felony count murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang, one felony count of attempting to dissuade a witness, and sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and criminal street gang activity. If convicted, he could face a sentence of life in state prison. Opening statements are scheduled to begin today, Nov. 6, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. in Department C-28, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On the night of Oct. 29, 2006, Parga is accused of being at or near a Halloween party at a house in La Habra. The majority of the attendees at the party were members of a criminal street gang. Victim Leland Washington was not in a gang and had no gang affiliations. Washington arrived at the party with a friend at the invitation of two other high school friends.

Outside of the house, Parga is accused of approaching Washington and shooting him without provocation several times in the torso. Parga is accused of murdering the victim for a criminal street gang purpose. Washington and Parga did not know each other, and the victim had no previous contact or conflict with anyone at the party.

After shooting Washington, Parga is accused of fleeing the scene on foot. Washington’s friends put him in the car, called 911, and drove him two blocks to the La Habra Police Department (LHPD) station. The victim was transported from the police department to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Washington was a student at California State University, Fullerton, and was one semester away from graduating.

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Woman Charged in Hit-and-Run Fatality of Bicyclist in Gardena

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:47 am

A 23-year-old woman charged in connection with a hit-and-run fatality in Gardena is scheduled to be arraigned today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Philip Norris of the Torrance Branch Office said Vanessa Marie Yanez  dob 9/3/90) of Gardena is scheduled to surrender to authorities for arraignment this morning in Department 4 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Torrance Branch.

Yanez is charged with one felony count each of leaving the scene of an accident and perjury by declaration and one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter. Yanez was charged on Oct. 30 in case YA088615.

The defendant allegedly collided with a bicyclist on June 26, 2013, while driving eastbound on El Segundo Boulevard in Gardena. Yanez is accused of leaving the scene of the collision and, the following morning, reporting her vehicle stolen.

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November 6, 2013

Former Member of Moreno Valley City Council Agrees to Plead Guilty to Federal Bribery Charge for Taking $2.3 Million Cash Payment

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:43 am

RIVERSIDE, California – In a case stemming from what is believed to be the largest bribe ever accepted by a public official in an undercover operation, a former member of the Moreno Valley City Council has agreed to plead guilty to a federal bribery charge for taking a $2.36 million cash payment from an undercover operative posing as a real estate broker.

Marcelo Co, 64, was charged this morning with one bribery count and one count of filing a false corporate tax return. In court documents filed this morning in United States District Court, Co agreed to plead guilty to the two charges that could send him to federal prison for as long as 13 years.

“Mr. Co orchestrated an elaborate and brazen scheme to undermine the democratic process in Moreno Valley,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “Whether he was motivated by power or greed, these crimes constitute a wholesale violation of his oath to work for the citizens who elected him.”

Co, who was elected to the City Council in November 2010 and resigned from his seat in August after being charged in state court in an unrelated welfare fraud case, is expected to make his initial court appearance in the federal bribery case early next month.

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