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August 3, 2012

Oxnard Man Convicted of Federal Charges for Kidnapping Former Girlfriend, Bringing Her to Mexico and Threatening to Kill Her

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 6:26 pm

LOS ANGELES – A Ventura County man who kidnapped his former girlfriend and brought her to Mexico while threatening to kill her and dispose of her body was convicted today by a federal court jury, announced André Birotte Jr, the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, and Timothy Delaney, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division.

Rudy Soto, 25, of Oxnard, was found guilty of two counts – conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping.

Soto and his co-defendant, Erin Nicole Fisher, 22, of Santa Paula, were indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2010, for their roles in a conspiracy to kidnap the victim, who is identified in the indictment as “E.C.”

The evidence presented at trial showed that Soto contacted the victim on September 14, 2010, and told her that he had a “surprise” for her. When Soto arrived at the victim’s home near downtown Los Angeles, the victim refused to accompany him and told him that their relationship was over. After an argument, Soto abducted E.C. and threw her into a waiting pickup truck that allegedly was driven by Fisher. While Soto restrained the victim, Fisher allegedly drove the vehicle to Mexico. During this drive, Soto told the victim he was taking her to Mexico, where she was going to die. Soto also contacted the victim’s family during this time and advised the victim’s brother-in-law that he was taking E.C. to Tijuana and would dump her there. When the victim tried to fight or escape, Soto held a knife to the victim’s throat and threatened to kill her.

At the Otay Mesa checkpoint at the United States-Mexico border, Mexican authorities stopped the pickup truck, which prompted the victim to scream for help. After telling Mexican authorities about her plight and being threatened with a knife, Mexican authorities detained Soto, Fisher and the victim. After E.C. was examined by a Mexican army physician, she was released. Agents with United States Customs and Border Protection helped return her to the United States.

Soto, who has been in custody since his arrest in Mexico, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 3 by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II. As a result of today’s guilty pleas, Soto faces a statutory maximum penalty of life in prison.

Fisher is being prosecuted separately and will participate in a court-ordered diversionary program.

June 29, 2012

Last Defendant Sentenced for 2009 Kidnapping, Attempted Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 9:53 am

NORWALK – The last of three defendants convicted of the 2009 kidnapping and attempted murder of a woman left for dead in Turnbull Canyon was sentenced today to 33 years to life in prison.

Prior to sentencing 27-year-old Edward Meraz for the Aug. 4, 2009, attack on a Bellflower woman, Superior Court Judge Michael Cowell denied a defense motion for a new trial.

Deputy District Attorney Greg Cernok, who prosecuted the case, said no motive was determined for the attack.

Meraz was convicted Dec. 14 of one count each of attempted murder, kidnapping, conspiracy and assault with a deadly weapon, a knife. The victim was left for dead in the Turnbull Canyon area of Whittier after she was kidnapped, beaten and had her throat slashed.

The woman survived the attack and managed to call for help from nearby residents.

A separate jury convicted Vincent David Mendoza, 24, on Dec. 19 of the same charges. He was sentenced in February to 36 years to life in prison. The third man charged in the case, Jose Miguel Ayala, 29, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder and was sentenced in March 2011 to 39 years to life in prison.

March 18, 2012

Man Convicted of Kidnapping for Ransom, Attempted Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 7:53 pm

ALHAMBRA – A Chicago man who abducted a young San Gabriel Valley woman in 2010, then left her for dead when her father agreed to pay for her return, was convicted today of kidnapping for ransom and attempted first-degree murder.

Deputy District Attorney Stacie Mayoras said an Alhambra Superior Court jury deliberated a day before convicting DeQiang Song, 26. The jury found that the defendant used a knife to commit the crimes and that the victim suffered great bodily injury.

Superior Court Judge Candace J. Beason, who presided over the trial, scheduled sentencing for April 26. Song faces a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.

The victim was abducted on Sept. 9, 2010, when she asked Song, whom she knew through a mutual friend, to drive her to the Santa Anita Mall in Arcadia. After she shopped at the mall, he took her to an area off the 210 freeway and tied her up.

The defendant called the victim’s father and demanded ransom. While haggling over the amount, the defendant strangled the young woman, sliced her throat with a knife and left her for dead.

Song was arrested when he arrived to pick up the ransom money at a prearranged location. The victim was found in San Bernardino County and hospitalized.

The defendant has been in custody since his arrest by Sheriff’s deputies with the Metro Detail.

February 16, 2012

Two Men Convicted in Kidnapping of Victim who was Accidentally Shot Sentenced to Lengthy Federal Prison Terms

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 8:21 am

Victim Held Without Medical Care for Five Days while Captors Sought $1 Million

LOS ANGELES – Two men who participated in a kidnapping plot in which a Van Nuys man who was accidentally shot, shocked with a taser and held captive for five days without medical treatment while his kidnappers attempted to negotiate a $1 million ransom payment were each sentenced today to spend decades in federal prison.

Vagan Adzhemyan, 44, of Costa Mesa, was sentenced by United States District Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen to 30 years in federal prison. Galvin Shaun Gibson, 33, of Mira Loma, received a 27-year sentence from Judge Nguyen.

“No one deserves what defendants did to him,” Judge Nguyen said this afternoon. In issuing the 360-month prison sentence to Adzhemyan, Judge Nguyen said he showed “no conscience or remorse.”

Following a trial last year, Adzhemyan and Gibson were convicted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping. Gibson was additionally convicted of operating a marijuana grow at his house.

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January 24, 2012

Two Charged in Homeless Encampment Murders of Five

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , , , — fayarfa @ 2:25 am

LOS ANGELES – Two alleged members of a Watts criminal street gang were charged today with the 2008 shooting deaths of three men and two women slain in a homeless encampment flanking the 405 freeway in Long Beach.

Deputy District Attorney Eric Harmon of the Major Crimes Division said David Cruz Ponce, 31 (dob 09/24/80), and Max Eliseo Rafael, 25 (dob 08/25/86), are each charged with five special circumstance murders.

Ponce and Rafael are expected to be arraigned tomorrow in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. They are charged in case No. BA392902.

The complaint lists the special circumstance allegations of murder in the commission of the crime of kidnapping, murder of witnesses to a crime intentionally killed because of that fact and murder while the defendants were active participants in a criminal street gang.

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December 20, 2011

Jury Convicts One of Three Men Charged with Attempted Murder, Kidnapping

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:26 am

NORWALK – One of three men charged with the 2009 kidnapping and attempted murder of a woman left for dead in Turnbull Canyon was convicted today of attempted murder, conspiracy and other charges.

The jury deliberated less than a day before finding Edward Meraz, 26, guilty of all counts, including kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, a knife, said Deputy District Attorney Greg Cernok.

Meraz was convicted of kidnapping a Bellflower woman, who was 20 at the time of the attack on Aug. 4, 2009. She was beaten and her throat slashed and she was left for dead in the Turnbull Canyon area of Whittier. The woman survived the attack and managed to call for help from nearby residents.

A separate jury is still deliberating charges against a co-defendant, Vincent David Mendoza, 23. The third man charged in the case, Jose Miguel Ayala, 29, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder and was sentenced in March to 39 years to life in prison.

Cernok said no motive was determined for the attack.

Meraz faces 34 years to life in prison when he returns to court on Jan. 18 for sentencing by Superior Court Judge Michael Cowell.

December 8, 2011

MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING WOMAN AFTER DRAGGING HER INTO BUSHES NEAR PARK WALKING TRAIL

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 5:20 am

SANTA ANA - A man was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison for dragging a woman into the bushes near a park walking trail and sexually assaulting her. Alfredo Fraga, 23, Orange, was found guilty by a jury Oct. 5, 2011, of two felony counts of sexual penetration by foreign object by force with a sentencing enhancement allegation for kidnapping in the commission of a sexual offense.

At approximately 2:00 p.m. on May 25, 2009, then-58-year-old Jane Doe was walking alone on a trail in Esplanade Park in an unincorporated area of Santa Ana. Fraga grabbed the victim by her waist and dragged her into nearby bushes next to the trail. He sexually assaulted the victim by putting his hands down her pants and vaginally and anally penetrating the victim with his hand. Jane Doe screamed and struggled to get away, but was unable to free herself from Fraga.

A bystander nearby and a passing motorist stopped and rushed to help Jane Doe. Fraga attempted to flee the scene. The motorist, an off-duty Orange County Sheriff’s deputy and several witnesses observed the defendant attempting to flee, chased after him, and detained him.

During the sentencing today, Jane Doe, two of her siblings, and her husband gave victim impact statements to the court. Jane Doe explained that Fraga took from her a sense of safety and security. She also said that when she walked into the courtroom today she was a victim, but she would be walking out as a survivor.

December 6, 2011

17-YEAR-OLD GIRL TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR ENLISTING TWO GANG MEMBERS TO KIDNAP ROOMMATE’S 15-DAY-OLD BABY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 4:44 am

SANTA ANA - A 17-year-old girl, who was direct filed and will be tried as an adult, will be arraigned today for enlisting to criminal street gang members to steal her roommate’s 15-day-old newborn. Gladys Remigio, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, first degree residential robbery, first degree residential robbery, and attempted kidnapping with sentencing enhancements for  criminal street gang activity. If convicted on all charges, Remigio faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. The People will be requesting Remigio be held on $1 million bail at her arraignment today, Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

Co-defendants Steven David Quirino, 20, and Robert Henry Rodriguez, 19, both of Santa Ana, are charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, first degree residential robbery, first degree residential robbery, and street terrorism, with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. Quirino also faces an additional felony count charge of receiving stolen property. If convicted on all charges, they face a maximum sentence of life in state prison. The People will be requesting Quirino be held on $1 million bail at his arraignment today, Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. Rodriguez is scheduled for a continued arraignment Dec. 16, 2011, 8:30 a.m. in Department C-57.

Quirino and Rodriguez are accused of being members of a Hispanic criminal street gang. Remigio is accused of being friends with the two gang members.

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November 22, 2011

MAN SENTENCED TO 55 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR ATTEMPTING TO KIDNAP, KIDNAPPING, AND/OR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING THREE GIRLS

SANTA ANA - A man was sentenced today to 55 years to life in state prison kidnapping and/or sexually assaulting three different girls between the ages of 10 and 16 years old over a 5-month period using two different cars. Alfredo Granados Canchola, 29, Artesia, was found guilty by a jury Sept. 7, 2011, of five felony counts and a sentencing enhancement for the commission of a sexual offense against more than one victim.

Jane Doe #1
As to Jane Doe #1, Canchola was found guilty of one felony count of kidnapping to commit a sex offense and one felony count of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14. At approximately 7:45 a.m. on March 19, 2009, 13-year-old Jane Doe #1 was walking to school in Anaheim. The defendant approached the victim in his white 1988 Toyota Camry and repeatedly asked Jane Doe #1 if she wanted a ride. He finally convinced her to get in his car. He drove away from the school, touched her thigh, and attempted to prevent her from getting out of the car. The victim was able to jump out of the moving car and reported the incident to Anaheim Police.

Jane Doe #2
As to Jane Doe #2, Canchola was found guilty of one felony count of sexual penetration by foreign object by force and one felony count of aggravated kidnap with the intent to commit a sexual offense. At approximately 1:00 p.m. on May 19, 2009, 16-year-old Jane Doe #2 was driving in her car on Interstate 405. The defendant waved to her and asked her for directions. He pretended that he could not hear her and got Jane Doe #2 to follow him to an apartment parking lot. Canchola forced Jane Doe #2 into his burgundy Lexus, fondled her breasts, and forcibly digitally penetrated her. Jane Doe #2 was able to text a male friend for help and was able to get away. She reported what happened to a trusted adult and it was later reported to police.

Jane Doe #3
As to Jane Doe #3, Canchola was found guilty of one felony count of attempting to kidnap to commit a sexual offense. At approximately 3:00 p.m. on Aug. 15, 2009, 10-year-old Jane Doe #3 was helping her family clean out the garage of their home in an unincorporated area of Anaheim and went to take the trash out. As the victim rode her Razor Scooter down the driveway to the dumpsters at the rear of the complex, Canchola pulled up next to her in the same burgundy Lexus sedan as used in the case of Jane Doe #2. He pretended to look for someone and asked Jane Doe #3 if she knew the person. When Jane Doe #3 said “no,” Canchola drove to the end of the driveway, pulled over, and parked his car.

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October 23, 2011

MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KIDNAPPING TODDLER IN CAR SEAT DURING ALISO VIEJO CARJACKING

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 9:16 pm

SANTA ANA - A man will be arraigned today for kidnapping a toddler, who was strapped into a car seat, during a carjacking in Aliso Viejo. James Christopher Corr, 34, Mission Viejo, is charged with one felony count each of carjacking, kidnapping during the commission of a carjacking, child abuse, child stealing, second degree vehicle burglary, first degree robbery, aggravated assault, hit and run with injury, vandalism over $400, two felony counts of first degree residential burglary, one misdemeanor count of resisting an officer, and sentencing enhancements for non-accomplice present during a residential burglary and a prior prison conviction in Nevada for leaving the scene of an accident in 2007. If convicted, Corr faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. The People will be requesting Corr be held on $1 million bail at his arraignment today, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

Between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2011, Corr is accused of breaking into a Honda Accord parked in a lot in front of a business in Aliso Viejo and stealing a purse and its contents, including credit cards. He is accused of fleeing the scene.

Shortly after 8:00 a.m., Corr is accused of going into a nearby neighborhood. Victim Suzanne C., who was eight months pregnant, was preparing to leave her home and was in her garage with the garage door open. The victim put her Saint Bernard in the caged-off rear area of her Volvo sport utility vehicle (SUV) and then put her 2-year-old son, John Doe, in his child safety seat in the back seat of the car behind the driver’s seat. She placed her keys in the car and left the driver’s door and door next to her son open as she walked into her home through the internal garage access door for a matter of seconds to get her son’s sippy cup.

In the few seconds that Suzanne C. was inside her home, Corr is accused of getting into the driver’s seat of her car. The victim walked out and began screaming at Corr to let her get her son as John Doe cried in the back seat. The victim attempted to remove her son from his car seat through the open door, but the defendant is accused of backing out of the garage and knocking Suzanne C. to the ground with the SUV. He is accused of running over her foot as he rapidly reversed, leaving tire skid marks from his speed.

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