Thursday, February 9, 2017
In 2008, California voters passed the act, also known as Proposition 2, with 63.5 percent support which requires that an egg-laying hen must be able to fully spread her wings without touching another animal or side of the enclosure.
In addition to the Proposition 2 violations, Hohberg's Poultry Ranches was charged with 16 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty under Penal Code 597(b).
According to Deputy District Attorney Debbie Ploghaus, who oversees the Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit, the animal cruelty charges stem from a Jan. 2016 report to Inland Valley Humane Society that chickens at the location were being kept in “inhumane” and “deplorable” conditions.
As a result of an investigation conducted by Inland Valley Humane Society and Ontario Police Department a warrant was served and executed at Hohberg's Poultry Ranches on Feb. 20, 2016.
During the execution of the search warrant, investigators from the District Attorney’s Animal Cruelty Prosecution Unit, Ontario Police Department, The Humane Society of the United States, and Inland Valley Humane Society found birds in overcrowded cages in which the birds were not able to fully spread their wings.
“Upon serving the search warrant, we found approximately 28,800 hens in unsanitary conditions that clearly violated the Farm Animal Cruelty Act,” said Ploghaus. “In some instances, we found dead hens decaying in the same cages beside living hens laying eggs for human consumption.”
Robert Hohberg, the 70-year-old owner of Hohberg's Poultry Ranches, is scheduled to appear in court March 7, 2017. If convicted as charged, he faces up to a maximum of 180 days in County Jail for each cage size violation and a year for each animal cruelty count.
“While we are obviously concerned about the health of our citizens, at the end of the day, we also have a lawful obligation to ensure that animals in our county are being treated humanely,” said District Attorney Mike Ramos. “The overcrowded conditions these animals were forced to live in were cruel. It was a horrible existence.”
Friday, February 3, 2017
Monday, January 23, 2017
The Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit will attack the problem of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation head-on by prosecuting the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.
The District Attorney's Office is also a part of the countywide Human Trafficking Task Force which is comprised of investigators and detectives from our office and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A judge imposed the maximum possible term of 40 years to life in prison Tuesday on a Barstow child molester who was found guilty of sodomy and other sex crimes.
“I hope that the maximum sentence will make him really think about what he did to me so that one day he will admit to it,” the victim, now 11, told Judge John Tomberlin at the sentencing hearing for Charles Caldon. “And I hope that other people will hear my story and it will give them the courage to stand up and tell someone about what is happening to them so that they can find themselves standing where I am today.”
Caldon, 69, was found guilty by a jury on Nov. 16 of sodomy with a child under age 11, and oral copulation and sexual penetration with a child under age 11. The crimes for which he was convicted occurred in 2013 and 2014, but the victim testified at trial that the defendant had begun molesting her earlier, when she turned 5.
“This was a terrible series of crimes in which the defendant took advantage of a position of trust to sexually abuse this young girl,” said Deputy District Attorney David Foy, who prosecuted the case.
The victim disclosed the sexual abuse in 2014 to her parents, who called San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies to investigate, and later arrested the defendant. Sexual images of children were found on a computer in the Defendant’s home that was recovered during a search by sheriff’s deputies.
The victim told the judge that she appreciated the fact that many of her mom and many other family members believed her account of the sexual abuse. She also thanked sheriff’s deputies and prosecutors for believing her, as well.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me and believed me during this incredibly difficult time so that no little girl should ever have to go through,” she said. “And while what happened to me will always be a part of me, I will not let it define me.”
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Rene Vazquez, 44, of Apple Valley, was convicted of one count of Assault with a Deadly Weapon, one count of Criminal Threats, one count of Stalking in Violation of a Restraining Order, two counts of Vandalism over $400, and Dissuading a Witness from Prosecuting a Crime. Vasquez admitted a prior strike and five prison priors.
According to Deputy District Attorney David Foy, who prosecuted the case, the victim got a restraining order against the defendant, after months of him making implied threats to her.
“After it was served, the defendant saw the victim driving her vehicle in Victorville and began chasing her,” said Foy. “The victim fled and the defendant rammed her car with his vehicle, causing $4,000 in damage.”
Earlier that day, Vasquez bashed in the garage door of the victim’s Victorville home, causing $650 in damage. He was arrested and charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon. He later bailed out.
“Over the next two and a half months, the defendant continued to send the victim unwanted texts, emails and make phone calls to her, threatening things like ‘you will be regret this’ and reminding her over and over again that they will be married ‘until death do us part,’” said Foy.
At one point, Vasquez phoned the victim and urged her to recant her story.
“Unfortunately for the defendant, the victim recorded his call, and it was played to the jury,” said Foy.
Vasquez faces 31 years in state prison when sentenced Feb. 3, 2017. This case was investigated by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department station in Victorville.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Today our Special Victims K-9 Unit was recognized by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors for winning NACO & CSAC awards for innovative programs.
Gonzalo Ibanez, 23, of San Bernardino, was convicted of one count of Attempted Murder, one count of Shooting at an Occupied Building, and one count of Shooting at an Occupied Vehicle, with the jury finding true gun and gang enhancements.
On Nov. 29, 2015, the defendant lost control of the van he was driving through San Bernardino and collided with the victim’s vehicle.
According to Deputy District Attorney Justin Croker, who prosecuted the case, Ibanez immediately tried to flee the scene in his van.
“The victim wanted to make sure the police caught up to the defendant so he engaged in a pursuit while on the phone with 911 operators,” said Crocker.
The pursuit made its way to Base Line Street in Highland, where the defendant pulled into the center lane and stopped the car. The victim made a U-turn and began driving away from the defendant’s location.
“The victim heard several gun shots ring out a few seconds after making the U-turn,” said Crocker.
None of the bullets struck the victim or his vehicle, but one stray bullet flew into a nearby liquor store, missing the people inside.
The victim was able to provide the license plate to the police, which led to locating the van abandoned in a parking stall of a trailer park near where the shooting took place.
Ibanez faces 30 years to life in state prison when sentenced Jan. 27, 2017. This case was investigated by the Highland Police Station.
Monday, December 5, 2016
By Beatriz Valenzuela, San Bernardino Sun
NORWALK >> It was June 1996 when Jennifer Lundy stood in a Rancho Cucamonga courtroom, faced the man convicted of strangling her 3-year-old daughter, Brittany Lynn, and made him a promise: “You have to get through me before you get out of the prison door because I will always be here.”
Twenty years later, Lundy has kept her promise. After she and others spoke at Chuck Johnson’s hearing Wednesday at Chuckwalla Valley State Prison in Blythe, he was denied parole for the second time.
“I’m relieved,” Lundy said in a telephone interview. “The denial gives me and my children the chance to live our lives and honor Brittany. I couldn’t live with the fact if Chuck Johnson got out or another child ended up getting hurt because he preys on the vulnerable.”
On Oct. 10 1993, Lundy and her then-husband, Darin Riggs, awoke in their Montclair home and couldn’t find their daughter. Frantic, they called police and were horrified when her little body was found inside their home, in the closet of a room Johnson had been renting from the couple.
The autopsy showed Johnson suffocated little Brittany with her own baby blanket as he put pressure on her neck and chest, strangling her.
At trial, the San Bernardino County coroner testified it took at least 2 to 3 minutes of sustained pressure to kill Brittany.
In 2011, Brittany Lynn’s image appeared on a billboard of murder victims in El Monte to raise awareness about violence and victims’ rights.
Frightened Johnson would be paroled into a community near her home and her children’s schools, Lundy worked for more than a year gathering signatures and letters from people in an effort to keep Johnson behind bars.
“Why does his parole plan have him paroled in L.A.?” she asked. “I moved away when this all happened and he still has family in the area in La Verne. Why isn’t he being paroled there? Why L.A., where I am? I was terrified. I felt like he was threatening me and my family.”
At Wednesday’s hearing, Lundy, Riggs, Brittany’s younger siblings who never knew their big sister and Connie S. Lasky, San Bernardino County deputy district attorney, all gave reasons why Johnson should not be allowed parole.
“He has still not told the truth about what has happened to poor little Brittany,” Lasky said. “Because he has not yet come to terms with what he did to her, because he’s not admitting what he did, he can’t be safe out in society.”
The parole board agreed, Lasky and Lundy said, and denied him parole for the next seven years.
Click here to read the rest of the story.
Prosecutor Sean Daugherty on his decision to demonstrate to the jury how Erin was killed. Click here to watch the video.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
A Rancho Cucamonga jury found 43-year-old Hector Meza guilty of one count of First Degree Murder, with the jury finding true the special circumstances that the murder was committed during the course or commission of Mayhem, that the murder was intentional and involved infliction of Torture, and that the defendant killed the victim by means of Lying in Wait.
The jury also found Meza guilty of one count of Aggravated Mayhem, one count of Torture, and one count of Arson Causing Great Bodily Injury.
On Oct. 22, 2011, officers from the Ontario Police Department arrived at an apartment complex and found residents administering aid to 34-year-old Banuelos, who was still on fire.
At the scene, the victim identified Hector Meza and three others as her attackers. While in the ambulance her dying words were: “Hector Meza set me on fire. He is abusive and obsessive.”
The Ontario resident was taken to a hospital where she died two days later.
It was later determined by the coroner that the victim had been hit on the head three times with something consistent of a metal bar prior to being set on fire.
Hours after the attack officers arrested Meza on suspicion of attempted murder.
“On this particular night, the victim was leaving her apartment,” said Deputy District Attorney Kent Williams, who prosecuted the case. “She left her apartment and shortly later her family heard screams. They exited the apartment and saw the victim engulfed in flames on the ground.”
Following the death of Banuelos, investigators arrested four other suspects linked to the brutal attack:
Robert Chico Zapata, 24, of San Bernardino
Johnny Eugene Hernandez, 23, (No Known Address)
Johnathan Zuniga, 28, of Rancho Cucamonga
Genese Ramirez Leon, 25, (No Known Address)
The four remaining defendants are scheduled back in court next month.
Meza is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 4, 2017. He faces Life in State Prison Without the Possibility of Parole.
Prosecutors and Investigators believe there may be more witnesses. If you or someone you know has information related to this case, please contact Lt. Langford at the Ontario Police Department at (909) 395-2001.