Friday, August 23, 2013

#InTheNews: August 23, 2013

ONTARIO: Spiderman makes 5-year-old’s wish come true
Cassie MacDuff, Press Enterprise
Five-year-old Jacob Long’s one wish was to help his hero, Spiderman, fight crime. The city of Ontario — with help from the Make-A-Wish Foundation — made it come true on Thursday morning. Jacob, who was diagnosed with an immune disorder at age 2, helped “rescue” two victims of a “mad scientist” and “save” the city in an elaborate event staged at the Ontario Convention Center.

Possible shooting motive revealed in court: Four to stand trial for murdering Victorville man
Rebecca Howes, Daily Press
VICTORVILLE • Four defendants are headed to trial in connection with the shooting death of a 49-year-old Victorville man. Jeffrey Lynn Batson, 56, of Apple Valley, Arthur Orozco, 28, of Victorville, Paul John Pavelak, 39, of Victorville and Bessie Joyce Velasco, 39, of Hesperia were ordered by Judge Eric Nakata following a preliminary hearing Thursday at the Victorville Superior Court to answer to murder charges in the death of Roger Louis Miller on May 22.

Help sought in investigation of Victorville store clerk’s death
Lori Fowler, San Bernardino Sun
SAN BERNARDINO >> Sheriff’s officials have released new information in the murder investigation of a convenience store employee who was shot and killed earlier this month. At a press conference Thursday, officials released a surveillance video with images of a man they want to talk to and the truck he drove the night Daniel Olivera died. The video shows a man get agitated with a security guard outside the AM/PM in Victorville, then walk to his truck and drive away.

Police believe suspect, slain Fontana transgendered woman were in relationship
Doug Saunders, San Bernardino Sun
FONTANA >> Police late Thursday identified Dantjier Powell, 18, of San Bernardino as a man they are looking for in connection with the slaying of transgendered reality television actress Domonique Newburn. Investigators think Powell may be trying to leave the state via bus and may be accompanied by Jamie Nicole Cotton, 25, of Highland, authorities said.

About 65 people arrested in San Bernardino County-wide DUI crackdown
Monica Rodriguez, Daily Bulletin
About 65 motorists have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence as part of an 18-day Summer/Labor Day anti-DUI crackdown in San Bernardino County, Ontario police said Thursday. The arrests were made during the period from 12:01 a.m. Aug. 16 to midnight Wednesday, according to a news release.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

PC 597c: Cockfighting is No Spectator Sport

Animal Services Officer tends to an injured fowl recovered from a cockfighting operation in South Fontana.

Earlier this year, Fontana Police received an anonymous tip regarding a cockfighting ring at a warehouse in South Fontana. When officers arrived, approximately 30 individuals began running in all directions from the location. Two of the defendants fled to a nearby shed.

One of the defendants had $1,304 in his pockets, and the other had $417 on him.  Three other defendants were stopped as well in a vehicle leaving the location.  They each denied leaving the cockfighting ring.  However, officers discovered $14,273 in the vehicle along with cockfighting paraphernalia.

Fighting gaffs and sparring muffs on display after cockfighting ring uncovered by Fontana Animal Control Officers. The so-called sport of cockfighting entails attaching razor-sharp blades, or gaffs (pictured above), to the legs of the roosters. The birds are then left to battle each other until one of the opponents is dead or too injured to continue.

At the warehouse, officers discovered a wooden fighting ring, fighting gaffs, sparring muffs, scales and cockfighting magazines.  Approximately 75 fighting fowl were found inside the warehouse, and 35 dead fowl were found in a trashcan behind the warehouse. Each had recent cuts and injuries consistent with cockfighting. The birds had been tormented, mutilated, deprived of food and water and trained to fight until death.

In response to an anonymous tip regarding a possible cockfighting ring in South Fontana, officers found 35 dead fowl in a trashcan behind the warehouse.

Each of the defendants eventually admitted to being present at the fight in violation of PC 597c (Unlawful Presence of Fighting Animals). As part of the plea, over $15,000 was forfeited by the defendants.  They will be ordered to stay away from any cockfighting venue or event and subject to search and seizure terms, and some of the defendants will serve jail time.

According to Deputy District Attorney David Collins, who prosecuted the case, it’s important to pursue these types of cases because the birds or other animals are unable to protect themselves.
“In a cockfighting case like this, the birds are simply trained to fight until their death just so people can win some money,” Collins said. “The animals can’t do anything about it. Plus, by prosecuting an animal cruelty case like this, it demonstrates to the defendants and others that cockfighting is not acceptable conduct in our community.”

For more information, please be sure to visit our partners at the National Humane Society of the United States.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

District Attorney Ramos Releases Film and Statement on Gangs and Graffiti

Unfortunately, gang graffiti is a problem that various communities throughout the county must endure. Gangs use graffiti to glorify the gang and mark their territory, mourn fallen members, create a sense of intimidation within the community and challenge rival gangs. When a neighborhood is marked with graffiti, it not only damages property and lowers property values, but it places the entire area and its residents at risk. They essentially become targets to rival gang members. That is why it is important to have graffiti removed as soon as possible.

As we in law enforcement continue to battle the gangsters who bring violence to our neighborhoods, we as a community must continue to work as partners and report suspicious criminal activity. That includes reporting graffiti.

In 2012, our office filed 1,483 graffiti-related cases. Graffiti that is valued under $400 worth of damage is punishable by up to 1 year in county jail, and/or a $1,000 fine. Graffiti damage over $400 can be punishable as a felony by up to 3 years in county prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

Parents are also encouraged to remain engaged with their children and be aware of the signs that they may be participating in graffiti. Some of the signs youths who are participating in graffiti include possession of items such as spray paints, spray-paint plastic tips, permanent markers, rubber gloves, and/or notebooks, books or backpacks with graffiti markings. They may also have paint on their clothes, backpacks or other items.

If you suspect your child is involved in committing acts of graffiti, contact your local school police or a patrol officer that is working in your neighborhood.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

DA Michael Ramos Joins National Council on Animal Protection

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.  – San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos has joined the newly formed National Law Enforcement Council of The Humane Society of the United States. The council brings together current and former law enforcement officers and prosecutors from across the country to assist the organization in its efforts to strengthen and better enforce laws to protect animals from illegal animal cruelty. 

Members of the national council were chosen for their leadership in protecting animals from neglect, violence and other crimes. With a particular emphasis on animal cruelty, fighting and poaching laws, the council brings together the best in the law enforcement field to help combat animal crimes nationwide. Member activities may include supporting state and federal legislation that strengthens animal protection laws, promoting animal protection training opportunities for local law enforcement, and  raising awareness of The HSUS’ animal crimes rewards, tip lines, and other resources.

“I am honored to have been selected to be a part of the National Law Enforcement Council,” District Attorney Ramos said. “I look forward to working with my fellow council members from across the nation to make sure that we are doing all we can to protect our animals from illegal animal cruelty.”
Ann Chynoweth, senior director of the animal cruelty and fighting campaign for The HSUS, said: “We are honored to join forces with District Attorney Ramos to combat animal cruelty, fighting and poaching through the National Law Enforcement Council. By fostering relationships across local, state, and federal levels of law enforcement and prosecution, we can make meaningful improvements to policies and actions that protect animals across the country.”

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

STOP-THE-JOHN PROJECT: DA Releases Names and Photos of Seven Defendants Convicted of Solicitation in San Bernardino County

In an effort to reduce the demand for victims of human trafficking, the District Attorney’s Office released the names and photographs of seven defendants convicted of solicitation in San Bernardino County.

Click here to view the updated names and photos of the Stop-the-John Project.
All photos and information will automatically be removed after one year from the conviction date.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cash for Keys Bandit Sentenced

Congratulations to DeputyDA V. Welch and Supervising Investigator M. Landrum for their hard work in the case of Eimbari Kemet—the "Cash for Keys" Bandit. On July 3, 48-year-old, Kemet, who was wanted for Real Estate Fraud was extradited from Lawrenceville, Georgia. Last week, he was sentenced last week to two years in prison. To read more about the Cash for Keys scam, read the earlier press release by clicking here#SpecializedProsecutionsDivision

Monday, August 5, 2013

#InTheNews: August 5, 2013

DA Investigator T. Boyles pursues a man wanted for alleged violations during the countywide police sweep in San Bernardino.

Doug Saunders, San Bernardino Sun

SAN BERNARDINO - Officers from a specialized Inland Empire gang taskforce swarmed through the streets Friday night in an attempt to curb gang activity that has plagued the city for months, police officials said.

More than 60 people were taken into custody during the 10-hour sweep. Several weapons and an unknown amount of drugs were seized, police said.

Doug Saunders, San Bernardino Sun

Three recent brazen ambushes of law enforcement officers have San Bernardino County's top two lawmen believing police and sheriff's deputies are in the cross-hairs of gang members.

Sitting in a Redlands coffee shop last week, District Attorney Michael A. Ramos and Sheriff John McMahon discussed that violence, which has left San Bernardino area peace officers on edge over the last two weeks.