COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO

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Southern California’s Only Group Home for Deaf Foster Youth Opens
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Southern California’s Only Group Home for Deaf Foster Youth Opens
DISTRIC ATTORNEY
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Elder Abuse is a Worldwide Problem

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

San Diego County Distric Attorney Bonnie M.Dumanis

 

 

 

DA’s Youth Advisory Board

Premieres Short Film as Part of

New Campaign for Students

 

... San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis announced the premiere of a short film entitled “4 or 40: The Choice is Yours” at the Lincoln High School theater in Southeast San Diego. The film was created by the members of the District Attorney’s Youth Advisory Board and is part of a countywide campaign encouraging youths to make better life choices in difficult situations.

....“The film’s message is a powerful one, in part because it came directly from the students,” said DA Dumanis. “The decisions young people make during their four years in high school really will affect the next 40 years of their lives”

....The film’s premiere brought together DA Dumanis, members of the DA’s Youth Advisory Board, San Diego Unified School District officials; the San Diego City Council; high ranking officials from the Sheriff’s Department and San Diego Police Department; youth-oriented community organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD); the YMCA; the YWCA; and Planned Parenthood; faith-based groups and various outreach programs— all of which are threaded with a common belief in the power of today’s youth.

....The mission of the District Attorney’s Youth Advisory Board is to educate the community about current issues affecting young people, to spread general awareness about the needs and challenges of youth, and to create positive change throughout the community. Following the premiere of the film, Youth Advisory Board members will begin to take their message county-wide by visiting primarily middle school classrooms to screen the film and discuss its empowering message. Interested principals and school officials may request the film and a visit from members of the Youth Advisory Board by submitting a request online here.

....For more information, visit the 4 or 40 website at www.choose4or40.com.


DA Offers Public An Inside Look

at Prosecution During Citizens

Academy

...The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced it will hold its popular Citizens Academy starting in early September on the University of San Diego campus. The ten-week long Citizens Academy is a free course in partnership with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department that demystifies the criminal justice system and the workings of the District Attorney's Office for members of the general public.

....“This is an amazing opportunity for people to meet prosecutors in the DA's Office and get an inside look at what we do,” said DA Bonnie M. Dumanis. “This year’s course touches on several topics like juvenile justice and animal cruelty that directly relate to recent high-profile cases.”

....Citizens Academy classes are held once a week for ten weeks. The Academy introduces citizens to the inner-workings of the law enforcement system as it is administered by the District Attorney and Superior Court. The course includes a behind-the-scenes look at how sheriff’s deputies protect themselves on the job, and an in-depth tour of lockdown at the Central Jail facility.

....A diverse group of speakers from the DA’s Office and Sheriff’s Department cover topics ranging from cold case homicide to prosecuting sexually violent predators. Prosecutors and deputies will also cover narcotics, gangs, crime scene investigations, ballistics/firearms, witness protection, Internet crimes against children, sex crimes and stalking, domestic violence, and prison reentry programs.

....Praise from those who attended the DA’s first Citizens Academy has been strong. As one Academy graduate wrote, “Real…law enforcement is traditionally an arcane, obscure and sometimes frightening institution; it rarely has its curtain lifted or its interior workings broadly disclosed. If you can afford the time, don’t mind a background check and have an interest in community affairs, by all means apply to be included in this course.”


District Attorney Investigator Injured During

Surveillance Operation

...A San Diego County District Attorney Investigator (DAI) was injured today during an operation being conducted by the Fugitive Task Force in the East County. The DAI accidentally discharged her weapon, causing a non-life threatening injury to her leg. The investigator was taken to the hospital for treatment. No other injuries were reported. The incident is being investigated through the District Attorney’s Internal Affairs. No further details are available.

...The DA’s Bureau of Investigation is comprised of approximately 170 personnel, including 130 District Attorney Investigators. Their law enforcement authority comes from the same section of the penal code, 830.1, as a deputy sheriff or city police officer. DAI’s have completed the basic POST academy and are required to meet the ongoing training requirements set forth by POST.


DA Charges San Diego Police Officer in Connection

With Death of Police Dog

...San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis said today her office is filing a charge against a San Diego Police Officer who left a police dog in the back of his patrol car, leading to the dog’s death from heatstroke. Officer Paul Hubka is charged with one misdemeanor count of leaving a dog in a closed car in a high temperature, causing death.

....“I understand and share the strong emotional reaction to Forrest’s death, however, it’s the only appropriate charge for these facts,” District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis said. “The law requires the District Attorney’s Office to step back from the emotion and follow the law.”
An investigation by the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services found that Officer Hubka left a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois named Forrest in his police cruiser with the windows rolled up. The incident occurred at Hubka’s home on June 20, 2008, when temperatures in the East County reached over 100 degrees. A necropsy determined the cause of death was heatstroke.

....“This case should serve as a reminder that no one should leave an animal inside a closed car, not even for a few minutes,” said Dawn Danielson, Director of the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services.

....In 2006, the California State Legislature made it a misdemeanor, not a felony, for any person to leave a dog unattended in a vehicle causing great bodily injury or death. Only intentional animal cruelty is a felony.

...If convicted, Hubka faces a maximum sentence of six months in jail, a fine and he could be ordered to pay restitution. Arraignment in San Diego Superior Court Dept. 1 is set for Aug, 28 at 1:30 p.m.


 

District Attorney Charges Unlicensed Contractors

for Preying on Wildfire Victims

...DA Undercover Investigators Posed as Homeowners During Sting
San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis announced today that eight individuals are facing felony charges for contracting without a license in the wake of San Diego’s recent wildfires. All of the defendants advertised to residents who had lost homes in the fires.
“Our office is working to keep those affected by the fires from being re-victimized,” said DA Dumanis. “Offering repair or rebuilding services as an unlicensed contractor during this state of emergency is a felony crime and we will continue to keep these types of individuals from taking advantage of residents in all areas of the county.”
...San Diego County District Attorney Investigators worked undercover along with the California Department of Insurance, Contractors State License Board, Drug Enforcement Administration, California State Controller’s Office, and the California Department of Toxic Substance Control to make the arrests.
...“Department of Insurance investigators were on the ground in the first days after the fire, looking for illegal activity,” said Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. “We’re continuing to work closely with agencies like the District Attorney's Office to keep people from getting scammed at a time when they are so vulnerable.”
...Two of the unlicensed contractors were arraigned today in Superior Court downtown and pleaded not guilty to the charges. If convicted, they face up to three years in state prison and a $10,000 fine. They are: Michael Andrew Hudanich, 50, of San Diego; and Saul Ramirez Santiago, 20. Carlos Leonel Palacios, 34, of San Diego; Michael Norman Mitchell, 47, of San Diego; and Gene Paul West, 46 will be arraigned at a later date.
...Three other unlicensed contractors were arrested during a similar sting in Ramona last week. Their arraignments are expected on Tuesday, November 6. Continuing undercover sting operations are planned for all other areas of county affected by the fires. The District Attorney's Office has been proactively warning residents to be aware of illegal activity in the wake of the fires, including unlicensed contractors, charity scams, and insurance fraud.
For more information please visit http://www.sdcda.org Source: sdcda


DA Joins Governor Schwarzenegger in News

Conference to Stop Early Prisoner Release

...San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis joined California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and law enforcement officials from throughout the state at a Sacramento news conference, to discuss the threat posed if an early prisoner release order is issued to ease overcrowding in state prisons.

“We recognize the serious problem of prison overcrowding. But we must find better ways to fix it. I applaud Governor Schwarzenegger's leadership in this area. Working with the legislature, he has championed reforms,” DA Dumanis said. “In San Diego, we are turning those laws into reality, taking the lead on prisoner re-entry programs that will ease over-crowding.”

Members of the State Assembly, California Sheriff’s Association, Chief Probation Officers and Police Chiefs also joined the governor in urging the U.S District Court three-judge panel to not issue an order that would release 30,000 to 40,000 prisoners early before they complete their sentences.

“We believe a prison release order is a radical step. It’s unprecedented and it’s dangerous,” Dumanis said. “It not only poses a significant risk to public safety, it also shows a lack of concern for the victims connected to those crimes.”

In August, DA Dumanis joined 14 other district attorneys throughout California in a lawsuit to prevent the early release of convicts. The class action lawsuits were filed against Governor Schwarzenegger and the State of California asking the court to address prison population issues.

“As an elected District Attorney, my responsibility is public safety. And I believe the safety of all Californians will be compromised if prisoners are released early,” Dumanis said. “This is such a bad idea, that 15 District Attorneys have intervened and more are expected to join.”
The news conference can be viewed on the Governor’s website at http://gov.ca.gov/.


San Diego Couple Guilty of Furnishing Drugs

Without Prescription Sparks Health Warning

Woman Dies After Buying Penicillin at Golden Hill Store

...San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis today announced that the owners of a Golden Hill market pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to furnish a dangerous drug without a prescription, after a woman died from taking penicillin believed to have been purchased at their store.

Luis Eduardo Herrera, 59 and Olga Gonzalez de Herrera, 54, were ordered to appear today in San Diego Superior Court (Dept. 30 at 1:30p.m.) for sentencing. They will be placed on probation and could be sentenced to serve up to one year in custody. They will also be ordered to sell all their food markets and will be prohibited from selling food or drugs while on probation.

“The prosecution of these defendants should send a message to retailers that they will face stiff criminal sanctions for selling prescription drugs without prescriptions or complying with state pharmacy laws,” DA Dumanis said. “This is also a health warning for consumers to not buy prescription drugs imported from Mexico from local markets. It could be fatal.”

The investigation began in March 2006 after Andrea Benitez, 21, of Golden Hill, purchased penicillin and a syringe, reportedly from Acapulco’s Produce Market II located at 1034 25th St. in San Diego. She injected the penicillin, immediately became very ill and died from an allergic reaction.

San Diego Police homicide detectives executed a search warrant at the store and discovered hundreds of boxes of prescription drugs stored in the market’s back room with lists of the drugs and the prices. Investigators believe the drugs were purchased in Mexico for resale in the United States.

Consumers are urged to report anyone selling prescription drugs without a prescription to the District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit at (619) 531-4070.”

SOURCE: Office of the Distric Attorney County of San Diego June 19,07


Respiratory Therapist at Children’s Hospital

Pleads Guilty to Molesting Incapacitated Patients

...San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis announced today that a former respiratory therapist at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego pleaded guilty to eight counts of forcible lewd acts on a child involving patients under his care at the hospital’s convalescent facility. Wayne Bleyle, 55, of Santee, will be sentenced to 45 years, eight months in state prison as part of the plea agreement.“The defendant’s crimes are some of the worst examples of child sexual abuse San Diego County has seen,” DA Dumanis said. “His young victims may have been helpless to stop him, but the criminal justice system was not. His guilty plea guarantees he will spend the rest of his life behind bars where he belongs.”

The defendant worked at the hospital for more than 25 years at the time of his arrest in March 2006. He was unable to tell investigators how many child patients he had victimized while employed at the hospital. “This case was the result of outstanding police work by several experienced investigators,” said Deputy District Attorney Laura Gunn, who prosecuted the case.

The multi-agency Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force began investigating Bleyle in late 2005 for using peer-to-peer file sharing networks to trade child pornography. Investigators from the ICAC Task Force and the San Diego Police Department Child Abuse Unit interviewed dozens of hospital employees and patient’s family members. They also sifted through more than 100,000 images of child pornography on Bleyle’s computers.

This case demonstrates the importance of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Internet investigations targeting child sexual predators,” said Serge Duarte, deputy special agent in charge for the ICE office of investigations in San Diego. “The victims in this case were traumatized by the insidious criminal behavior of the defendant. ICE applauds the extraordinary cooperative work of the agencies involved in this case. Because of our joint efforts, this predator will no longer be able to harm innocent children in this community.”

Bleyle also pleaded guilty to five counts of distributing child pornography and gave up his appellate rights. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 25 at 9:00 a.m. in San Diego Superior Court Dept. 24 in the Downtown Courthouse.

SOURCE: Office of the Distric Attorney County of San Diego June 12,07


AutoZone to Pay $1 Million Penalty For

Mishandling Hazardous Waste and Overcharging

Customers

...San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis announced a $ 1.5 million dollar settlement today with AutoZone, Inc. after its stores violated laws requiring the safe storage and disposal of hazardous waste, including motor oil. In addition, AutoZone stores were found to be advertising one price, but charging some customers more when items were scanned at checkout at stores across California. In doing so, AutoZone violated unfair competition laws and engaged in untrue/misleading advertising.

“AutoZone has agreed to an injunction which calls for substantial changes in their handling of hazardous material and waste products,” said DA Dumanis. “They also will make changes to their pricing policies which should protect consumers when they spend their money at one of these stores in the future.”
The San Diego County District Attorney's Office joined with the California Attorney General and the Offices of the District Attorneys of San Bernardino, Monterey and San Joaquin Counties to reach the agreement with AutoZone, Inc. in a civil environmental and consumer protection enforcement action against the company which was originally filed in June of 2005.

The original complaint alleged AutoZone violated provisions of the state Health and Safety Code requiring safe storage and disposal of hazardous materials and hazardous waste. Many of the violations involved AutoZone handling of used motor oil and abandoned waste products left in store parking lots and trash dumpsters. The State Department of Measurement Standards also discovered pricing errors by AutoZone’s cash register scanners which, in some instances, resulted in consumers being charged more than the shelf price.
Along with the new pricing policies, AutoZone will pay a fine of $1 million, investigation and prosecution costs of $300,000, and will contribute $200,000 to environmental training programs. This money is in addition to other costs associated with implementing AutoZone’s new environmental and consumer protection procedures.

AutoZone is a retailer of automotive products with about 400 stores in the State of California, 39 of which are located in San Diego County.

SOURCE: Office of the Distric Attorney County of San Diego June 01,07


DA Seeks Attempted Murder Defendant

Considered Armed and Dangerous

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis announced today that investigators from her office are seeking the defendant in an attempted murder case who bailed out of jail and then failed to appear at a court hearing. Emanuel Rubio, 23, is charged with four counts of attempted murder and four counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm. He is facing up to 76 years-to-life in prison if convicted of all the charges filed against him.

“This defendant is clearly a danger to the community. By not honoring the court order to appear for his preliminary hearing, he has also now shown his disregard for the criminal justice system,” said DA Dumanis. “We are asking for the public’s help in bringing him to justice.”

Emanuel RubioRubio is accused of shooting two men multiple times in National City on January 25, 2007, after one of the victims was reportedly talking to his girlfriend at a party. Prosecutors say Rubio got into a physical fight with one of the men, pulled a gun out of his waistband and shot him. After the victim fell to the ground, Rubio stood over him and fired additional shots. A second victim was injured when he began to run away and Rubio shot him twice in the back.

Rubio pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on February 5th. He posted $400,000 bail on April 5th and then failed to appear at a preliminary hearing on April 27th. A warrant has been issued for Rubio’s arrest. Anyone with information on Emanuel Rubio is asked to call their local police department, the National City Police Department at (619) 336-4474, or the U.S. Marshalls Fugitive Task Force at (619) 557-6060, extension 240.

SOURCE: Office of the Distric Attorney County of San Diego May 29,07

   
 

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