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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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December 21, 2016

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, California Air Resources Board Announce $66 Million Agreement with Volkswagen Over “Defeat Devices” in 3.0-Liter Diesel Vehicles

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

SAN FRANCISCO - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) today announced an additional $66 million settlement with Volkswagen over the company’s use of “defeat device” software to bypass emissions controls in its Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche 3.0-liter diesel vehicles, in violation of California’s environmental laws.

The settlement, in which California will receive $66 million to mitigate environmental harm, including $25 million to provide incentives for the purchase of zero emission vehicles, is part of a $225 million nationwide agreement, which the California Attorney General’s office negotiated alongside the California Air Resources Board, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  This is the third partial settlement following a landmark $14.7 billion agreement with Volkswagen over defeat devices in its 2.0-liter diesel vehicles (of which $1.18 billion will flow to California) and a settlement California obtained from Volkswagen for $86 million in civil penalties.

“Volkswagen exploited Californians seeking environmentally friendly vehicles, harming consumers and our environment in pursuit of profit,” said Attorney General Harris. “We will continue to pursue every possible avenue to hold Volkswagen accountable for violating our environmental protection laws, mitigate the damage that was done, and secure relief and compensation for consumers who were deceived.”

This partial settlement is specific to Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche 3.0-liter vehicles, and it is intended to mitigate the environmental harm caused by these vehicles.  It preserves CARB’s claims for civil penalties and prospective injunctive relief.

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Volkswagen to Recall 83,000 3.0 Liter Diesel Vehicles and Fund Mitigation Projects to Settle Allegations of Cheating Emissions Tests on Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche Vehicles

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

In a second partial settlement announced today by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of California, automakers Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Porsche AG and related entities (collectively referred to as Volkswagen), have agreed to recall 83,000 model year 2009 through 2016 3.0 liter diesel vehicles sold or leased in the U.S. that are alleged to be equipped with “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests, in violation of the Clean Air Act and California law.

For the older vehicles, Volkswagen is required to offer to buy back the vehicles or terminate leases, and must also offer an emissions modification to substantially reduce emissions if one is proposed by Volkswagen and approved by regulators.  For the newer vehicles, if Volkswagen demonstrates it can make the vehicles compliant with the certified exhaust emission standards, it will have to fix the vehicles and will not be required to buy the vehicles back. Volkswagen is also required to spend $225 million to fund projects that will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx).

Today’s partial settlement does not resolve any pending claims for civil penalties, nor does it address any potential criminal liability.  The settlement also does not resolve any consumer claims, claims by the Federal Trade Commission or claims by individual owners or lessees who may have asserted claims in the ongoing multidistrict litigation.  The state of California has secured a separate resolution for the 3.0 liter violations that addresses issues specific to vehicles and consumers in California.

The affected older vehicles (referred to as “generation 1” vehicles) are the 2009 through 2012 Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7 diesel models.  The affected newer vehicles (referred to as “generation 2” vehicles) are the 2013-2016 Volkswagen Touareg diesels, 2013 through 2015 Audi Q7 diesels, 2013 through 2016 Porsche Cayenne diesels and 2014 through 2016 Audi A6 quattro, A7 quattro, A8, A8L and Q5 diesel models.

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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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December 20, 2016

GRAFFITI-TAGGING CREW MEMBER CONVICTED OF STABBING-MURDER OF 12-YEAR-OLD BOY WHO WAS WALKING HOME FROM SCHOOL

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A graffiti-tagging crew member was convicted today of the stabbing-murder of a 12-year-old boy who was walking home from school. Bryan Ocampo, 24, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of second-degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife. He faces a maximum sentence of 16 years to life in state prison at his sentencing on March 10, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-28, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Ocampo was an 18 year old member of a graffiti-tagging crew.

On the afternoon of June 13, 2011, the victim, 12-year-old Juan Martinez, was walking home from school on La Palma Avenue in Anaheim. He was a seventh grade student at Sycamore Junior High School. Ocampo walked up to the victim and engaged in a physical altercation with him. The defendant pulled out a knife from his pocket and stabbed Martinez in the abdomen two times and once in the chest. The victim ran away from Ocampo and collapsed due to his injuries.

Anaheim Police Department (APD) officers arrived at the scene and found the victim in the parking lot of an apartment complex. Martinez was transported to University of California, Irvine Medical Center in Orange, where he died as a result of the stab wounds. Witnesses at the scene identified Ocampo, who was arrested later that night by APD.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Herrera of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

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