Friday, March 27, 2015

Social Media Recap
Did you know that each Division has its own Twitter account? This week we highlight the posts of SBCDACentral:


IN THE NEWS: Victim of drunk driving crash shares story for local students

Posted Mar. 27, 2015 at 7:33 AM

APPLE VALLEY — Through a mock sentencing trial and an emotional account of a teen's involvement in a drunken driving crash, seniors at Granite Hills High School were given a serious lesson Thursday morning about the consequences of drunk driving.

More than 200 GHHS seniors gathered with students from other county high schools at the school's performing arts center for a mock sentencing of a DUI driver based on a real collision that injured four teens in Rialto in June 2014. The event kicked off the Safe and Sober Prom 2015 campaign, an effort sponsored by the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, the District Attorney's Office and the Sheriff's Department to raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of driving drunk.

First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood and DA Michael Ramos attended the event and voiced their support of the program.
"We don't want to see anymore victims, especially young victims or collateral victims," Ramos said Thursday morning. "We see that every day, where a loved one's life was lost. But because of these prevention and intervention programs we are seeing a reduction (in alcohol-related cases filed). We had 13,000 cases in 2012 ... 11,000 in 2014. My goal is to get that way down."

After the comments from officials, 17-year-old Jurupa Valley High School student Gabriella Limon took to the dais to give a first-hand account of her experience being in a crash involving a drunken driver. She proceeded to tell about how she, her boyfriend and two other friends were driving to a Sweet Sixteen celebration on the night of June 21, 2014 when they were "T-boned" by a drunk driver.
"We had plans to enjoy a beautiful summer night," Limon said. "Little did we know, we wouldn't be attending any events that night. My legs, my arms, I (couldn't) feel them. As soon as they got me out the pain hit and it was unbearable, it felt like my lower body was unattached."

She suffered a broken pelvis, punctured kidney and scars from pieces of glass that landed on her during the crash. Her friends suffered injuries ranging from a broken spine to internal bleeding and punctured intestines.

"All because that guy chose to drink and drive and hit us," Limon said.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Michele “Miki” Marhoefer named the 33rd Assembly District Woman of the Year

Assemblyman Jay Obernolte presents Miki Marhoefer with a resolution commending her as Woman of the Year for 2015. Pictured from left: Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen, Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, Michele “Miki” Marhoefer, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins

On March 9, Assemblyman Jay Obernolte honored Marhoefer as the 2015 Woman of the Year for the 33rd Assembly District for her work and time spent teaching women and youth about gun safety and shooting sports.

“We started the day with brunch and a tour of the Capital,” said Marhoefer, an Investigative Technician III with the Bureau of Investigation. “The ceremony was actually on the Assembly Floor and we were seated in chairs around the perimeter. Each honoree was escorted down the center aisle as the reasons for your recognition were read.”

Marhoefer is an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor and a “Refuse to be a Victim” Instructor. For the last five years she has led more than 100 women annually through the NRA’s “Women On Target” program which focusses on shooting sports and improving on marksmanship, both in a safe environment.

After Marhoefer received her award, the honorees were treated to lunch at the base of the Capitol building steps.

“It was an awesome day and it was truly an honor to meet Assemblyman Obernolte,” said Marhoefer. “The best part of the whole day was that my wonderful husband and my parents got to enjoy it with me.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Recent Criminal Sentencings in San Bernardino County

Eric Jackman was sentenced to 24 years in state prison for continuous sexual abuse of a child. The Jackman case was prosecuted by DDA Brie Durose and investigated by the Victor Valley Sheriff’s Department. Great work by the Desert Division staff who assisted in this case.

Enrique Hernandez was sentenced to 45 years, 8 months in state prison for multiple charges of sexual abuse and forcible rape of a child. Great work by DDA Maggie Yang and the Desert Division staff for securing justice for the victim. Victorville City Police was the investigating agency.

Dameyion Kennedy was sentenced to 120 years to life for shooting at a Victorville deputy. The case was prosecuted by DDA Shannon Faherty and carried out with the help of the Desert Division staff and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville Station.

Great work by DDA Karen Schmauss and the West Valley Division staff who worked on the Arturo Castaneda case. Castaneda was sentenced to 16 years in state prison for continuous sexual abuse of a child. Rancho Police Department was the investigating agency.

Marquis Harris was sentenced to 25 years in state prison for the 2011 killing of Tyrone English. Great work by DDA Enrique Guerrero who prosecuted the case and the Central Division staff who assisted behind the scenes. This case was investigated by the San Bernardino Police Department.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Child Abduction Unit reunites father with his 8-year-old daughter

Beasley pictured with his daughter after they were reunited
An 8-year-old girl has been reunited with her father after her mother violated a court order allowing visitation rights.
In Feb. 2014, Tasha Montgomery, 27, of San Bernardino, violated a court order when she failed to allow visitation of her daughter with the biological father, 29-year-old Jonathan Beasley of San Bernardino.
Montgomery's disregard for the court order led to a modification, wherein the father was granted full custody of the child.
According to District Attorney Investigators, Montgomery was very transitory, complicating efforts to locate her and the child.
On Feb. 26, Investigators from San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit located the child in San Bernardino where she was taken into custody pursuant to a Protective Custody Warrant. She was reunited with her father after a separation of one year.

Three defendants charged in $44 million loan modification scheme

Stephen Siringoringo
Three defendants involved in a major loan modification fraud scheme that resulted in the alleged loss of over 44 million dollars by unsuspecting victims have been charged.
The complaint alleges 23 felony counts of Grand Theft of Personal Property and taking upfront fees for loan modifications in addition to 24 counts of Money Laundering.
On Thursday, investigators from the Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Unit of the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office arrested Stephen Lyster Siringoringo, 34, of Westminster, and 32-year-old Joshua Michael Cobb. Both suspects allegedly took large sums of money from victims who were seeking loan modifications.  A third suspect, Alfred Orn Clausen, 41, of Rancho Cucamonga, is still at large and is suspected of leaving the country.
According to District Attorney investigators, the name of the alleged criminal entity was identified as the Siringoringo Law Firm, which had zealously advertised on local radio and television. The law firm advertised extensively in Spanish language media.
Joshua Cobb
Victims were promised that their loan modifications would be handled by a licensed attorney. Instead, they were handed off to a non-attorney representatives who would falsify numbers, collect upfront fees and monthly payments which is illegal under the law.  
Siringoringo and Cobb are scheduled for a Pre-Preliminary Conference March 13, 2015. If convicted as charged, the defendants face in excess of thirty years in state prison. Bail is currently set at $17,837,000 each for Siringoringo and Cobb.
Deputy District Attorney Vance Welch will prosecute this case.

Alfred Clausen

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

California authorities crack down on cardboard theft

Jerry N. Villanueva,  Supervising Investigator with …

FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — Investigators wearing bulletproof vests sit in unmarked cars outside a Southern California recycling center, swapping license plate details over two-way radio before dawn.
A truck emerges, and they follow, hoping to learn where drivers pick up what to many looks like trash but turns out to be treasure: cardboard.

"It's big, big money — for somebody," said Steve Rivera, a senior investigator with the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office who has been conducting sunrise surveillance to track, educate and cite the culprits. "People don't recognize the fact that it's actually theft."

The crackdown in gritty, industrial suburbs east of Los Angeles aims to put a stop to a long-running practice that surges with cardboard prices and wallops trash company revenue — and could eventually push up trash collection rates for homeowners and shopkeepers.

New York City has battled cardboard theft for years. Local authorities elsewhere have cited those who swipe recyclables from waste hauler-provided bins, but the efforts haven't curtailed the theft of cardboard, which can net anywhere from $100 to $200 a ton.

When the economy booms, cardboard prices rise as manufacturers make more goods and need more packaging to sell them. Thieves are more brazen, and steal much more, when cardboard prices peak.

Waste haulers count on selling the recyclables they retrieve at the curb to offset the cost of collection, industry experts said.

"Our industry loses millions of dollars a year due to cardboard," said David Biderman, general counsel for the National Waste & Recycling Association. "One piece of cardboard by itself isn't valuable. But customers often generate substantial volumes of it."

The price of cardboard currently hovers around $100 a ton — much higher than during the 2008 recession but down from last year due to weaker demand from China, which is the largest export market for U.S. cardboard, Biderman said.

Under most state and local laws, people can collect cardboard left outside by a business or doled out by a shopkeeper for recycling. But they can't remove materials from recycling bins left out at the curb, which are considered property of the local waste hauling company, said Ronald Steiner, a professor at Chapman University law school in Orange County, who teaches case law related to privacy rights and garbage.

In San Bernardino County, officials are citing offenders with misdemeanor petty theft. So far, two citations have been issued, Rivera said.
Burrtec Waste Industries, which is working with county investigators, has seen the problem grow since a California law required many businesses to recycle, which has meant more trips for trash trucks but also more thieves, said Michael Arreguin, the company's vice president.

"We can't absorb it completely as a company," Arreguin said. "If it continues, the return value of the material has to go down, and therefore it increases the cost of that recycling container."

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Child Abduction Unit reunites three children with their father

The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Child Abduction Unit (CAU) assisted in the successful reunification of three young children with their father Jan. 30, after their non-custodial, biological mother removed them from their home and fled California.

According to Senior Investigator Karen Cragg, who is assigned to the case, Cari Ann Gleason withheld the three children from their biological father, 57-year-old Augustus Scott, of Victorville, without his consent, since Nov. 2014. After a lengthy investigation, the children were located in the State of Florida.

On Jan. 30, 2015, investigators from the Child Abduction Unit traveled to Daytona Beach, Florida, where by prearrangement, 33-year-old Gleason voluntarily placed the children with the investigators for return to Scott in California. Upon their return to San Bernardino County the next day, the children were immediately reunited with their father. 

“No matter how many times we do this, it’s always gratifying to reunite a child, or, as in this case, children, with their legal parent or guardian and ensure that the court’s child custody orders are followed,” Cragg said. 

The work of the CAU focuses on protecting the custody rights of parents and legal guardians. On a routine basis, the CAU partners with courts and law enforcement throughout the United States to recover abducted children who are carried across state lines. In cases of international child abduction, the CAU implements the terms of the Hague Convention, an international treaty signed by more than 60 countries. 

For more information regarding the Child Abduction Unit, please click here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sorensen gets 15 years to life for forcing chili powder into mouth of boyfriend’s 2-year-old daughter



VICTORVILLE — A 24-year-old Apple Valley woman convicted of killing her boyfriend’s 2-year-old daughter by forcing her to ingest chili powder was sentenced Monday to 15 years to life in prison.

Amanda Sorensen appeared in a Victorville courtroom, wrists shackled at the waist and wearing a San Bernardino County jail-issued green jumpsuit, indicating that she was in protective custody.

Sorensen was convicted Nov. 3 of second-degree murder in the death of toddler Joileen Garcia, who suffered a seizure after being force-fed chili powder as a disciplinary measure for lying about defecating in her pants, according to a San Bernardino County Probation Department officer’s report.

Staring blankly ahead with her attorney by her side, Sorensen did not look at three of Joileen’s family members as they tearfully read victim impact statements one by one. A 10-year-old relative of Joileen’s was also among those who submitted statements to the court.

“Just two short years ago, my daughter was tragically taken from me by a woman who sits in this courtroom,” said Joileen’s mother, Brenda Lopez. “Joileen brought joy and smiles to everyone in her presence.”
Click here to read the full story.

Lead Deputy District Attorney Kathy DiDonato prosecuted this case.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Montclair man convicted in stabbing death

A Montclair man was convicted of second-degree murder Monday in the 2013 stabbing death of a 23-year-old Chino man. A San Bernardino County jury deliberated two-and-a-half days before finding 23-year-old Kyle Larrabee guilty of fatally stabbing Roberto Alejandro Hernandez during a fight.

According to Deputy District Attorney Reza Daghbandan, who prosecuted this case, the killing stemmed from a drug dispute where the victim, Roberto Hernandez, a Chino Sinner gang member, failed to deliver drugs to Larrabee after receiving $400 from him.

The next morning, they sent threatening text messages to each other, but ultimately decided to de-escalate their dispute and smoke some heroin together. Instead, a fist fight ensued and Larrabee pulled out a knife. Larrabee stabbed Hernandez several times, delivering a fatal stab to the chest which punctured the victim’s lung. Larrabee then fled. When police arrived, the critically injured Hernandez was able to tell them that “Kyle” had stabbed him over some money. He died a short time later en route to the hospital.

Police tracked Larrabee down, who claimed that Hernandez stabbed him first, showing them a wound in his arm. He later admitted that he had stabbed himself in the arm on purpose, and told his girlfriend to tell police that the victim stabbed him first. But during his interview he insisted that the victim had pulled out a blue knife first, which led to the defendant pulling out his knife. Police did find a closed, folded blue pocket knife in Hernandez’ pocket.

At trial, Larrabee testified and again stated that Hernandez threatened him with a blue knife. But the evidence showed that the blue knife was found in a closed position and that while it was covered in blood, the blade itself was dry. Sentencing is scheduled Feb. 20, 2015 in Rancho Cucamonga Superior Court. Larrabee faces 16 years to life in state prison.