Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Deputy District Attorney Rick Lal provides Courtroom Testimony and Demeanor Training

The following article appeared Summer 2016 Newsletter of the California Hazardous Materials Investigators Association

Advanced Courtroom Testimony and Demeanor Training

Rick Lal at Inland Empire and South Coast Regional Training Event
CHMIA and the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office presented training on Courtroom Testimony & Demeanor on June 1, 2016. The training, designed specifically for all Law Enforcement personnel to provide an in-depth understanding of all stages of court testimony ranging from preliminary hearings to motions to jury trials.

Students learned the "do’s and don’ts" of testifying as well as numerous practice tips for becoming an effective witness. The course concluded with a mock trial involving students in courtroom scenarios based on actual cases.

Rick Lal, a 20-year veteran of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office assigned as a prosecutor in the Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit, provided the full instruction.

Rick, is an instructor at the Sheriff’s Academy (San Bernardino and Orange County), CDAA, USEPA, and a member of teaching faculty at the University of California in Riverside.

The 160 attendees included personnel from a variety of federal, state and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies from the South Coast and Inland Empire regions.

Over 90% of the attendees rated the course, the instructor and the overall training to be excellent with comments like, "Excellent course, information & presentation."

There is no doubt that this course, the first of its kind in our state, exists because of the hard work of CHMIA members over the past 30 years. Well done!

 

Monday, July 18, 2016

San Bernardino County District Attorney Named President of the National District Attorneys Association

Outgoing NDAA President, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, administers the oath of office to San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos.
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos was sworn in as president of the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) at a ceremony held today in Boston, Massachusetts.

The event took place during NDAA’s 2016 Summer Conference and National Victims’ Rights Summit.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was the keynote speaker at the “Passing of the Gavel” ceremony, while former NDAA President, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, administered the oath of office to Ramos.

In his inaugural speech, Ramos promised to continue working cooperatively with all local, state and federal partners in the law and justice community and to help further develop the functions and valuable services NDAA has to offer.

“I am honored to have earned the support of my colleagues and given the opportunity to represent the thousands of elected District Attorneys across our great nation,” Ramos said. “My intent is to work with my fellow District Attorneys and utilize this position to continue to fight for justice and victims’ rights at a national level.”

Ramos’ previous leadership roles for the organization have included vice president and current co-chair of NDAA’s Training and Education Committee.

Ramos is currently serving his fourth term as District Attorney of San Bernardino County, California. He has served as president of the California District Attorneys Association, and he is currently one of three members appointed by the Governor to the California Victim Compensation Board.

The National District Attorneys Association, whose membership includes District Attorneys from across the United States, is based in Alexandria, Virginia. The NDAA was formed in 1950 and represents the interests of prosecutors and influences federal and national policies affecting law enforcement and prosecution across the country.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

SVP/MDO Unit Conducts Training with Patton State Hospital


PICTURED: Dr. Craig  Lareau is playing the defense attorney (interestingly, he has a J.D., PhD., and is a Diplomate in Forensic Psychology who now works for the Board of Parole Hearings); Dan Ross is the prosecutor; Dr. Andrew Perkins is the witness; Supervising Deputy District Attorney Denise Trager-Dvorak is playing the role of judge; and the jury is made up of DDAs, DPDs, and 3 law school interns.
 
The SVP/MDO unit recently participated in a mock trial training for Patton State Hospital. Dr. David Glassmire, the Psychology Training Director for PSH, coordinated the event along with Lead DDA Mike Abacherli and DDA Dan Ross for two of their post-doctoral psychologists who are finishing their requirements for licensing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Behind the Scenes with BIT



PICTURED: Automated Systems Analyst Malcolm “Maui” Mendiola was one of three BIT members who ensured that all 205 computers were erased and shipped back to the manufacturer.

One would think getting a new computer is an easy task: Members of the Bureau of Information Technology (BIT) show up at your desk, remove the existing computer and install the new one. Easy, right?

Before the computers can go back to the manufacturer, though, BIT must erase each computer for obvious security reasons. It’s no easy task and one that must be completed within a small window of time. Thanks to all the members of BIT, the latest refresh was successful.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Supervising Investigator Tom Boyles Named 2016 CDAA Investigator of the Year




San Bernardino gang member sentenced to state prison for gun, drug charges

Cosme Miranda, Jr. (Booking Photo)
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A San Bernardino gang member was sentenced June 23 at the San Bernardino Justice Center to 14 years and 8 months in state prison for possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute in the San Bernardino area.

A jury found 44-year-old Cosme Miranda, Jr. guilty in Jan. of one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon with Priors, one count of Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance, and the gang allegations true as to each charge.

Rusty Kelly and Cosme Miranda were arrested in June 2015 after San Bernardino police officers observed a Honda Civic with multiple vehicle code violations. As the officers initiated a traffic stop the Honda Civic pulled into the parking lot of local liquor store. Prior to the Honda Civic coming to a complete stop, the front passenger door of the vehicle opened and the front passenger fled from the vehicle.
According to Deputy District Attorney Rosa Clark, who prosecuted the case, one of the officers chased the front passenger while the other officer contacted the driver of the vehicle, 26-year-old Rusty Kelly Jr., of San Bernardino.

“As the officer approached the vehicle, Kelly had his arm extended towards the front passenger seat where the officer observed a small black handgun,” Clark said. “Fortunately, the officer was able to take Kelly into custody and place him in the rear of his patrol vehicle without any further incident.”

With Kelly detained inside the rear of the patrol car, the officer searched the Honda Civic and found approximately 22.8 grams of methamphetamine and a digital scale inside of a duffle bag in the passenger side of the vehicle. The duffle bag was later identified as belonging to Miranda.

Miranda, who had fled on foot, was eventually apprehend by the other officer and found in possession of a firearm. As officers were attempting to place Miranda into the rear of the patrol unit where Kelly was already seated officers noticed approximately 19.0 grams of methamphetamine scattered across the back seat of the patrol car.

Kelly pled guilty to Felon in possession of a firearm with the gang enhancement and was sentenced in Jan. to two years in state prison.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Special Victims K-9 Unit Wins 2016 Achievement Award


The National Association of Counties (NACo) is pleased to grant San Bernardino County a 2016 Achievement Award for its program titled “Special Victims K-9 Unit” in the category of Criminal Justice and Public Safety.

Congratulations to everyone involved, all of whom were able to help develop this innovative program! Your hard work will yield positive results for San Bernardino County residents!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Victorville man sentenced to life in prison for AM/PM Murder

Eric Robbins (Booking Photo)
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A Victorville man who shot and killed a convenience store employee in 2013 was sentenced to life in prison Friday.

Victorville Superior Court Judge Colin Bilash sentenced 38-year-old Eric Robbins to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of store clerk Daniel Olivera, 26, of Hesperia.

In April, a Victorville jury found Robbins guilty of first degree murder and found true the special circumstance of lying in wait and the special allegation of discharge of a firearm causing death. The jury also found him guilty of the attempted murder of the security guard.

According to Deputy District Attorney Alberto Juan, who prosecuted the case, Robbins pulled up to the convenience store in a white pickup truck on Aug. 11, 2013 and attempted to enter the store.

“The defendant was denied entry by a security guard because the store had just temporarily closed to conduct a count of the cash drawer,” said Deputy DA Juan. “After the confrontation, the defendant walked back to his pickup truck and drove off.”

Forty minutes later, while Olivera was standing outside talking to the security guard, the defendant laid prone in a dirt lot 140 yards away and shot Olivera in the chest with a .308 rifle. 

At the time of the shooting, no witness saw any suspect, gun, or fleeing vehicle.

According to Deputy DA Juan, Olivera died within minutes and left behind a fiancé and four children.

"It was only through the diligence of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Homicide Team and the help of the public in identifying the defendant in a surveillance video released to the press that Daniel Olivera's killer was able to be identified and held accountable for his actions," said Deputy DA Juan.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Lead Deputy District Attorney Doug Poston recognized by the California District Attorneys Association


Lead Deputy District Attorney Doug Poston, who oversees the Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit, was recently recognized by the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) for his contributions to environmental enforcement.
 
The recognition ceremony took place at the annual CDAA Advanced Topics in Environmental Enforcement conference. 
 
The acknowledgement results from prosecuting environmental cases against offenders locally and statewide, as well as instructing for CDAA, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, the California Certified Unified Program Agencies who regulate hazardous materials, California Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the California Hazardous Materials Investigators Association, all in effort to help others become better in making the State more environmentally sound and safe for us and the generations to come.  
 

 
 
 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Desert Division Attorneys and Investigators Greeted with a Surprise...


Deputy District Attorneys and DA Investigators in Victorville were treated to a surprise Thursday when they walked into the office.

The support staff in Victorville held a first-ever Deputy District Attorney and DA Investigator Appreciation Day in response to Administrative Professionals Day.

"For weeks we had planned the secret day and every support staff member pitched in some way," said Investigative Tech III Miki Marhoefer, who helped plan the event. "

Each Deputy DA and Investigator received a personalized "Thank You for Being Awesome" note on their desk along with breakfast, lunch and afternoon sweets.