Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Marcella Lee, CBS 8 San Diego

SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) -  Twenty people are facing charges after a three year investigation targeted members of a Mexican mafia prison gang.

The power of the operation reached far beyond prison walls, and into San Diego communities. The accusations include conspiracy to commit torture, extortion and possession of drugs for sale.

The Mexican Mafia gang, also known as Eme or La Eme, operates inside and outside of prisons, ordering murders, assaults, extortion and drug trafficking, according to authorities. 



SEATAC, Wash. -- Court documents say fingerprints left on a window screen of an assisted-living center helped lead to the arrest of a suspect, who has been jailed for beating and raping an elderly resident there.

The man who was arrested, identified as Charles Arbee, 41, has served a long prison sentence in California. And he was arrested in July for a drug offense and had been out of jail about a week and a half before the sexual assault occurred, a prosecutor says.


Gina Clugston, Sierra News Online

MADERA COUNTY  – With the man convicted of 21 counts of arson in the Yosemite Lakes Park area about to go before the Board of Parole Hearings, Madera County District Attorney, David A. Linn, says there “appears to be significant confusion” as to any pending release.

Kenneth Alan Jackson was convicted in 2014 and sentenced to 30 years in prison after being convicted for a string of fires in the YLP area.

D.A. Linn says he would like to clarify the current situation as to whether or not Jackson will be freed.


Leigh Egan, Crime Online

Laci Peterson vanished on Christmas Eve, 2002, and although it’s been almost 15 years since the Modesto mom-to-be disappeared, the hurt and pain still lingers for her family and friends. Interrogation tapes released earlier this year show her husband, the infamous convict Scott Peterson, casually mentioning what Laci did before she went missing, which further infuriated Laci’s loved ones.

“Laci got up, and um, I assume she had some cereal for breakfast,” Scott Peterson said, in an interrogation tape released by Dateline NBC this year.

Peterson, who appeared relaxed and content, explained that he wanted to go fishing or golfing on the morning Laci disappeared, but he didn’t seem to show any concern for his wife’s whereabouts.


The San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court has narrowed the scope of a state ballot measure that allowed some three-strike inmates to get shorter prison terms.

In a unanimous ruling on Monday, the court said judges could consider facts in charges that were previously dismissed against the inmates to deny them a reduced sentence.

Jennifer Shaw, East Bay Times

Claudio Toral just needed someone to give him a chance.

Three years ago, the former New Yorker came to California with a felony criminal record, and lacked marketable skills.

“I was ostracized, pretty much stigmatized,” says the Concord resident of the “four years, three months and a couple of weeks” he spent in prison for firing a gun outdoors.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Kristina Davis, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Nineteen people have been charged as part of a three-year investigation into the Mexican Mafia prison gang, a powerful and violent group that uses street gangs to traffic drugs both inside and outside Southern California correctional facilities.

“Operation Emero” captured thousands of recorded conversations and written communications which revealed how Mexican Mafia members used prison phones, smuggled cellphones, mail and email to operate their illicit empires from behind bars, the District Attorney’s Office said Friday.


Aditi Roy, CNBC

On one morning late this spring, dozens of inmates at Solano State Prison in Northern California scurried around the penitentiary's gym, ready for a life-changing day. They were about to pitch their business ideas to a squad of Silicon Valley's elite tech leaders and venture capitalists.

The prisoners were part of an entrepreneurship program by a non-profit company called Defy Ventures. The inmates, or entrepreneurs-in-training (EIT for short), take courses for an average of six months that teach them how to turn their small business ideas into reality.

Sierra Sun Times

July 21, 2017 - CAL FIRE is holding a Detwiler Wildfire Community Meeting in Greeley Hill on Friday, July 21, 2017.

The meeting begins at 7:30 P.M. at the Greeley Hill Community Club 10332 Fiske Road, Greeley Hill, CA 95311

CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 4, the Mariposa County Sherriff’s Office and additional cooperating agencies on the Detwiler Fire will be hosting a community meeting in Greeley Hill. Representatives from the agencies managing the incident


Brian Day, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

PASADENA >> A Pasadena woman awoke to find a burglar asleep on the floor of her home after breaking in, rummaging through the house and making himself a sandwich early Saturday, police said.

The burglary was reported just after 6:30 a.m. in the 300 block of South Grand Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. William Grisafe said.

An intruder made his way into the home through an unsecured door and rummaged through several rooms, he said.


Desert Dispatch

BARSTOW — Authorities made several arrests and recovered stolen vehicles, illegal guns and drugs during a sweep conducted Thursday.

Together with the San Bernardino County Probation Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Barstow Police Department conducted a probation and parole compliance operation in the city starting at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Composed of 25 officers from the various department involved, the operation’s purpose is to ensure that individuals on active probation, post release community supervision (PRCS) or parole are complying with the terms and conditions of their supervised release, officials said in a statement.

Mike Mangas, KRCRTV

REDDING, Calif. - The statewide issue of prison overcrowding is affecting the Northstate, from making certain laws more lenient to filling the local jail with out of county criminals. Law enforcement and the District Attorney's office are seeing the effects of these policies every day.

Redding Police are frustrated over their role in the rising tide of property and drug crimes in Redding, and they attribute a lot of that to the more lenient laws being put into place because of AB 109, Propositions 47, and 57.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Rachel Zirin, Folsom Telegraph

The California Prison Industry Board approved a $12 million project, during the June 29 meeting, to expand Career Technical Education (CTE) programs through the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) as part of a $237 million budget for 2017-18.

The expansion includes extending the highly successful Code.7370, Computer Coding program to Pelican Bay State Prison and the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, expanding a facilities maintenance program statewide, and increasing the number of pre-apprentice programs that partner with trade unions throughout the State, including Folsom State Prison (FSP).


The Salinas Californian

Carmen Rogelio Maldonado, 28, of Gonzales, entered pleas of no contest to the crimes of kidnapping a child under age of fourteen, child abuse and auto theft, according to Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo. Maldonado will receive an eight-year term in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

On April 14, 2016, a 2015 Honda Accord was stolen from a driveway of Soledad home with a 2-year-old boy secured in the back seat. The child’s father left the car unattended at approximately 6:45 a.m. to run back into the home.

Heidi Fron, Mountain News

Former Riverside County sheriff’s deputy Steven Michael Baumgartner, 56, was sentenced to 40 years to life for the 2014 shooting of his Crestline neighbor, according to an announcement on July 7 from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office.

The case stemmed from ongoing tensions between Baumgartner and his next-door neighbor, Michael Paul Clark, then 38 years old. Baumgartner placed a 9-1-1 call to report a domestic disturbance at Clark’s home the evening of June 27, 2014.


Andrew Sheeler, The San Luis Obispo Tribune

The Morro Bay man convicted of acting as the “mastermind” of the largest cocaine trafficking organization in recent San Luis Obispo County history was sentenced Thursday to 18 years, eight months in state prison.

But Chase Hanson, 26, likely won’t serve anything close to that total. Because of recent sentencing reform, he could be eligible for parole in five years.

A jury found Hanson guilty of nine counts — all but one of the total he was charged with — stemming from his 2015 arrest. Prosecutors argued that he ran a sophisticated operation that relied on anonymity and a righthand man, Dane Bennett. Hanson even went to the effort of purchasing a specialty phone that cannot be wiretapped.


Jason Kotowski, The Bakersfield Californian

A Tehachapi correctional officer charged with murder in the shooting of his wife's lover offered a homeless man $5,000 to burn down the wife's apartment the day before the slaying, according to court documents.

The man told police he refused Rigoberto Sanchez's offer, but did agree to accompany him in burglarizing the apartment on May 27, the newly released documents said. The man admitted to damaging a surveillance camera outside while Sanchez, 39, stole items from the residence.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Robert J. Benz, Huffington Post

I’m learning more about the work people are doing to mitigate some of the negative effects of our criminal justice and social systems. Meet Sabra Williams of The Actors’ Gang and Michael Bierman, the Co-Founder of The Strindberg Laboratory.

Robert: First, will you each tell me what your organization does?

Sabra: The Actors’ Gang is a Los Angeles-based theatre company founded in 1981 by Oscar-winning Actor/Director, Tim Robbins. It is one of the most respected and revered theatre companies in the country with one of the foremost Arts in Corrections programs.

See Below, TPG

David Empey, member of Toastmasters in Santa Cruz and Aptos, has had another interesting adventure at Soledad State Prison. A computer programmer by day and, like so many creative Santa Cruzans, a published writer by night, Dave has been a Toastmasters member for 20 years. He has been an Area Director, local Division Director and a Monterey Bay Division Director. Once a month, he participates in the Advanced Club in Monterey.

Toastmasters facilitates confidence in public speaking by teaching members how to break the ice, how to organize a speech, how to use gestures, as well as the use of visual aids. Dave has attained the Competent Communicator designation and is working on becoming an Advanced Communicator, which will qualify him for TV appearances and entertaining. “It’s like Boy Scouts for grown-ups,” said Dave.


Carina Woudenberg, Half Moon Bay Review

Abraham Ramirez Arroyo, a 21-year-old Hayward resident charged in the 2015 murder of Half Moon Bay resident Felix Garduno-Vega, has been sentenced to 53 years to life in a California Department of Corrections facility. It’s the maximum sentence available under state law.

In the evening of Aug. 29, 2015, Arroyo attended a house party in Half Moon Bay with Armando Carranza, a 37-year-old Hayward resident.

Kelly Puente, Orange County Register

A woman sentenced to six years in prison for hitting and killing another driver while speeding and text-messaging on the I-405 freeway in Westminster has been released on probation after her case was overturned.

A jury in August 2015 convicted Jorene Nicolas, 34, of San Diego of manslaughter for the death of 23-year-old Deanna Mauer, a former Fountain Valley High School softball star whose vehicle was rear-ended in traffic.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Daily Corrections Clips


Julissa Zavala, Hanford Sentinel

CORCORAN — Corcoran property owners are one step closer to deciding if they are willing to foot the bill for the recently-raised levee that protects the city in the event of a flood.

The Cross Creek Flood Control District sent out ballots July 11 asking owners to decide on a $10 million funding plan that will put them on the hook for the levee-raising project completed earlier this year.

But first, whether or not a vote could even take place had to be approved by the Kings County Board of Supervisors.

Recorded in the historic San Quentin State Prison, the new Ear Hustle podcast paints a human image of life in lockup.
Patrick Strickland, Aljazeera

A bunk bed with mattresses. A toilet and sink side by side. Two lockers. A television. A handful of permitted appliances. Pictures of family, friends and loved ones pinned up on the walls. Six cubic feet of personal belongings. And two men.

This is the claustrophobic scene inside most of the drab, four-by-nine feet (1.2 metres by 2.7 metres) cells in the infamous San Quentin State Prison, a medium security institution in northern California.


Westside Today

Authorities Tuesday disseminated a photo of an inmate who walked away from a Community Re-entry Program facility in the Los Angeles area.

Damian T. Strong, 32, left the facility on Monday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was sent to state prison from Los Angeles County on May 24, 2016, to serve a 4 1/2-year sentence for attempted carjacking with personal use of a dangerous or deadly weapon.


The Almanac Online

One of two men convicted of murder in a 1987 residential burglary of a Belle Haven apartment in Menlo Park has been denied parole, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Juan Robert Garcia, 60, is currently an inmate at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California, where he is serving a sentence of 46 years to life.

A jury in July 1989 found him guilty of first-degree murder, felony attempted robbery, felony assault with a deadly weapon and felony residential burglary.


Ashleigh Panoo, The Fresno Bee

A man convicted of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon is the first in Fresno to be released from prison as part of Proposition 57’s non-violent parole review, said the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office.

Danny Ray Lucero’s release was granted Monday at the board of parole hearings where members said that Lucero “did not pose an unreasonable risk of violence” to society, according to the district attorney’s office.

Ruby Gonzales, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

LOS ANGELES-  Sentencing was delayed for a former Rosemead resident tried as an adult and convicted for fatally stabbing her grandparents when she was 14.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Tuesday approved the defense’s request to transfer the case of now 21-year-old Sophia Cristo to juvenile court.

The move is allowable under a law passed in 2016. Under Prop. 57, a juvenile court judge decides whether a minor 14 and older will be tried as an adult. Prior to its passage, prosecutors made that decision.


Orange County Register Editorial Board

California’s cluttered sex offender registry is too large to be effective and must be reformed if it is to be of any use to law enforcement.

One of only four states to require universal lifetime registration for all sex offenders regardless of their offense or risk of re-offending, California now has more than 100,000 people on its sex offender registry. Created in 1947 to help police monitor high-risk offenders, the registry of today lumps together high- and low-risk offenders, making it harder for law enforcement and the public to discern who is truly a threat.

Sarah D. Wire, The Los Angeles Times

Sen. Kamala Harris said Tuesday there's enough common ground on criminal justice reform that she's optimistic Congress can come together to pass a new plan.

"There's some room for getting legislation passed," the California Democrat, who is a former prosecutor and state attorney general, said after giving opening remarks at a conference on women in prison. "This is something that should not be thought of as even bipartisan; it should be a nonpartisan issue, and I feel optimistic that we can appeal to people across the aisle."

Addressing the nation's overcrowded prisons has been a sticking point in American politics for decades. In recent years, a bipartisan group of senators has worked on a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill that would reduce maximum minimum sentencing and increase treatment options, but the group hasn't been able to get it to the floor for a vote. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has pushed for federal prosecutors to pursue the harshest sentences possible, saying it will deter crime.

Sandy Coronilla, ABC News 10

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV)--A police officer was hospitalized after sustaining a head injury during a struggle with a shoplifting suspect Monday morning, according to the El Cajon Police Department.

Police were called after a person was observed shoplifting at the Dollar Tree store on Fletcher Parkway around 11 a.m. 

An officer chased the suspect, later identified as 42-year-old Daniel Cook, to the KFC restaurant located at 724 Fletcher Parkway near North Johnson Avenue where he was injured while trying to make an arrest.