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December 27, 2016

Man Sentenced to Prison for Robbing Casino Guests

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

A 27-year-old man was sentenced today to eight years and eight months in state prison for following casino patrons to their homes and robbing them, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Oct. 31, a jury found Dominick Blair Roberson (dob 6/30/89) of Paramount guilty of five felony counts in case NA103012: four counts of second-degree robbery and one count of attempted second degree robbery.

Deputy District Attorney Brian Kang, who prosecuted the case, said at the time of the crime the defendant was an aspiring professional poker player.

On Oct. 8, 2015, Roberson targeted a 42-year-old man at the Hawaiian Gardens Casino and followed him to his Westminster home. While there, the defendant attempted to rob the man in his driveway, but the victim was able to get away, the prosecutor said.

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December 26, 2016

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Opens Investigations into the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the Bakersfield Police Department for Potential Civil Rights Violations

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:22 am

LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today opened separate civil pattern or practice investigations into the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the Bakersfield Police Department.  California Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys and investigators will focus on allegations involving police practices and accountability, among other related issues, within both the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the Bakersfield Police Department.  The Attorney General’s decision to investigate the two law enforcement agencies was informed by complaints by individuals and community organizations, as well as by media reports, which allege use of excessive force and other serious misconduct. Publically available data sources concerning officer-involved shootings and deaths in custody were also reviewed and considered over the course of more than a year.

The DOJ Civil Rights Enforcement Section will conduct the investigations with the assistance of DOJ’s Division of Law Enforcement.  Pattern or practice investigations are civil, not criminal investigations.  During the course of the investigations, DOJ attorneys and investigators will consider all relevant information from all affected parties, including the investigated law enforcement agencies, individual officers, local officials, prosecutors, public defenders and other criminal defense attorneys, community members, and other stakeholders.

“Excessive use of force and police misconduct erode and undermine the public’s trust in our law enforcement agencies,” said Attorney General Harris. “These investigations will objectively, impartially, and thoroughly examine whether the Kern County Sheriff’s Office or the Bakersfield Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive force or other civil rights violations. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Sheriff’s Office and the Police Department, as well as with the community, to address any civil rights violations or other issues that we may find during these investigations.”

The Attorney General’s office welcomes the views of anyone with relevant information concerning either agency.  Such individuals may contact the Civil Rights Enforcement Section by emailing, Police-Practices@doj.ca.gov.

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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces New Criminal Charges Against Backpage.com Executives for Money Laundering and Pimping

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:17 am

SACRAMENTO — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that her office has filed new criminal charges against Carl Ferrer, Chief Executive Officer of online advertising website Backpage.com, and Michael Lacey and James Larkin, controlling shareholders of Backpage.

Following the uncovering of new evidence, charges include 26 counts of money laundering and the complaint alleges that the defendants created multiple corporate entities to launder money and circumvent the refusal of financial institutions to process Backpage transactions because of overtly sexual material. Defendants are also charged with 13 counts of pimping and conspiracy to commit pimping.  In seven of the pimping counts, the victims are children. Additionally, the complaint alleges that the defendants created other sites to increase the company’s prostitution-related revenue and developed content for those sites by using victim’s photographs or information without their knowledge.

“By creating an online brothel– a hotbed of illicit and exploitative activity– Carl Ferrer, Michael Lacey, and James Larkin preyed on vulnerable victims, including children, and profited from their exploitation,” said Attorney General Harris.  “My office will not turn a blind eye to this criminal behavior simply because the defendants are exploiting and pimping victims on the Internet rather than on a street corner.”

Defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on the new felony charges on January 11, 2017 in Sacramento County Superior Court.

Anyone who was a victim of trafficking via Backpage is encouraged to file a report with the California Department of Justice by emailing backpage@doj.ca.gov.

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Lennox Man Charged with Woman’s Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:14 am

A 34-year-old man has been charged today with killing a woman with a hammer and burying her body in a backyard, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jackie Jerome Rogers (dob 10/10/82) of Lennox has been charged with one count of murder in case YA095374. The felony complaint includes a special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a hammer, during the commission of the crime.

Rogers is scheduled to be arraigned today at 1:30 p.m. in Department 5 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Inglewood Branch. Prosecutors are asking that bail be set at $2.02 million.

Prosecutors allege that on Dec. 18 Rogers fatally beat victim Lisa Marie Naegle with a hammer. Two days later, the defendant was arrested in connection with the killing.

If convicted as charged, Rogers faces a maximum possible sentence of 26 years to life in state prison.

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December 23, 2016

Los Angeles Man Arrested on Federal Charges of Attempting to Smuggle Heroin Wrapped in Christmas Paper through LAX

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:33 pm

LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles man facing federal drug trafficking charges for allegedly trying to smuggle at least a kilogram of heroin on a plane leaving Los Angeles International Airport is scheduled to make his first court appearance this afternoon.

James Mitchell, 25, who resides in Pico-Union, was arrested yesterday by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration after prosecutors on Tuesday filed a criminal complaint in United States District Court.

The complaint specifically alleges that Mitchell attempted to smuggle approximately 2.15 pounds of heroin through a security checkpoint at LAX on December 10. At that date, Mitchell had checked in for a Frontier Airlines flight to Cincinnati, Ohio, only two days after purchasing a one-way ticket. Mitchell checked one article of luggage that “alerted to an unknown dense material” during an “image scan” by the Transportation Security Administration. An inspection of the bag revealed “six packages of a suspicious gray brittle concrete-like substance,” one of which later tested positive for heroin. The packages were wrapped in Christmas-themed paper.

TSA officials noted a “vinegar odor” emanating from one of the packages, which prompted Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA) police officers to seek assistance from a Hazardous Materials Unit. A portion of Terminal 3 was closed while personnel worked to detect and alleviate any potential chemical threat.

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Gang Member Who Executed Man for Violating Mexican Mafia Rules Related to Drug Sales Sentenced to 24 Years in Federal Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:30 pm

LOS ANGELES – An El Sereno man and former 18th Street gang member has been sentenced to 24 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a federal drug trafficking offense and admitting he murdered a man who had failed to pay “taxes” to the Mexican Mafia.

Eddie “Criminal” Garcia, 39, was sentenced on Monday by United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald. Following the completion of the 288-month prison term, Garcia will serve eight years of supervised release.

During Monday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Fitzgerald said it was “difficult to imagine a more egregious crime in federal court” and that the defendant had “stolen hope” from the victim’s family.

Garcia pleaded guilty last year to participating in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in a case that targeted the San Gabriel Valley-based Puente-13 gang. In addition to participating in drug trafficking activities that included collecting “taxes” or “rent” on behalf of the Mexican Mafia member who controlled Puente-13, Garcia admitted that he murdered another gang member who failed to make those extortion payments.

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Long Beach Sex Offender Faces Indictment that Charges Him with Attempted Sex Trafficking and Using Internet to Entice Minor

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:27 pm

LOS ANGELES – A convicted sex offender from Long Beach has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of attempted sex trafficking of a child for allegedly responding to an online advertisement that offered sex with a 15-year-old girl in exchange for $200.

Victor James Sporman, 46, who previously resided in Bellflower, was named in a two-count indictment that was returned yesterday afternoon by a federal grand jury. The indictment charges Sporman with attempted sex trafficking of a child and using the Internet to induce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.

The case against Sporman is the result of an undercover operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation (HSI). Authorities were conducting an anti-sex trafficking operation in Long Beach and posted an advertisement on the Craigslist website that was designed to attract individuals interested in engaging in commercial sex acts with minors.

“This defendant is charged with using the Internet to locate a child to rape in exchange for money,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This indictment reflects conduct that is abhorrent in a civilized society, and is the latest example of my office’s dedication to protecting vulnerable members of our society, especially children victimized by the sex trafficking industry.”

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December 22, 2016

Former Malibu Businessman Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Securities Fraud and Tax Offense

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:36 am

Los Angeles – A former Malibu businessman has been sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for conspiring to sell unregistered securities which generated $1,663,190 in illegal profits and a related tax fraud charge.

Mervin Barclay Davis, 69, who has been in federal custody since 2013, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge John F. Walter. In addition to the five-year prison term, Judge Walter ordered Davis to pay restitution of $225,000 to investor victims and $466,500 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Davis pleaded guilty in 2014 to one count of conspiracy and one count of subscribing to a false tax return.

According to court documents, beginning in 2005 and continuing through 2007, Davis conspired with others to sell unregistered stock through his affiliation with Clearvision, Inc., which purported to be a public relations and media company that specialized in promotional videos for small to mid-sized companies. Clearvision often received unregistered stock as payment for its services from its corporate clients.

Davis and others at Clearvision identified small, private companies interested in raising capital, including Powerlock International (Powerlock) and International Telecommunications, Inc. (ITLS). Davis offered to take the companies public through mergers with publicly traded shell companies. Davis and others told these companies that Clearvision could help them obtain new investors and funding for their business. As part of this arrangement, Davis required that the companies provide him and Clearvision with shares of company stock.

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Packaged Seafood Executive Agrees to Plead Guilty to Price-Fixing Conspiracy

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

The current senior vice president of trade marketing of a leading packaged seafood company has agreed to plead guilty for his role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of packaged seafood such as canned tuna sold in the United States, the Department of Justice announced.

According to a one-count felony charge filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, Kenneth Worsham and his co-conspirators agreed to fix the prices of packaged seafood from as early as 2011 until about 2013.  In addition to his guilty plea, which is subject to court approval, Worsham has agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate with the division’s ongoing investigation.

“The Antitrust Division and its law enforcement partners are once again sending a strong signal that high-ranking executives responsible for fixing the price of shelf-stable tuna must be held accountable,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “We will continue our work to root out the collusion among packaged seafood companies that targeted American consumers.”

According to the charge, Worsham and his co-conspirators discussed the prices of packaged seafood sold in the United States and agreed to fix the prices of those products.  The defendant and his co-conspirators negotiated prices and issued price announcements for packaged seafood in accordance with the agreements they reached.

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Man Sentenced to Life in Prison For Killing Four at Valley Village Restaurant

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

A 33-year-old man was sentenced today to life in prison for murdering four people at a restaurant in 2010, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Nerses Galstyan was sentenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo to two consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole as well as two additional life terms.

Galstyan was found guilty in March of two counts of first-degree murder and one count each of seconddegree murder, voluntary manslaughter and aggravated mayhem. He also was convicted of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter. Jurors found true the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders.

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Chung of the Major Crimes Division prosecuted the case.

On April 3, 2010, Galstyan was involved in a verbal dispute with several people who were attending a memorial service inside the restaurant. He left the eatery and returned with a gun, firing dozens of rounds at patrons. Killed were Hayk Yegnanyan, 25; Vardan Tofalyan, 31; Sarkis Karadjian, 26; and Harut Baburyan, 28.

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