Best Defender Bytes: Crime after Crime

July 12, 2018


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in state prison yesterday for sexually assaulting two victims under the age of 14.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Victor Norman Ealey, 57, Garden Grove


Pleaded guilty yesterday to the following felony counts:

  • (2) Lewd acts on a child under 14


Sentencing Enhancement:

  • Multiple victims
10 years in state prison



Mandatory sex offender registration pursuant to PC 290

Circumstances of the Case (more…)

Man Charged with Killing, Wounding Family Members

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

A West Hollywood man has been charged with attacking two family members with a knife, killing one and injuring the other, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Jose Emanuel Raselbach (dob 8/31/83) was charged yesterday afternoon with one count each of murder, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in case SA098397. The charges include allegations of a prior conviction, causing great bodily injury and using a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife.

His arraignment was postponed until July 24 in Department 30 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch. Bail was set at $3 million.

The alleged attack occurred on July 8 in a West Hollywood apartment where the man lived with the victims, according to Deputy District Attorney Karen Montoya, who is prosecuting the case. One victim, identified in the criminal complaint as Abraham R., died, while the other was taken to a local hospital and treated for injuries.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies were called to the scene and arrested Raselbach at the home. (more…)

July 11, 2018

Man Charged with Distributing Child Pornography

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:27 am

A 54-year-old man has been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography online, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Carlos Enrique Castillo (dob 8/10/63) of Los Angeles faces five felony counts of send/receive obscene matter into state for sale/etc. and one felony count of possession of over 600 images of child or youth pornography, according to the criminal complaint.

Castillo is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Case BA469163 was filed June 28.

The defendant, who is an employee of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, is accused of sending files containing child pornography via the internet with his personal computer during a six-month period from October 2017 through March 2018. Videos and images of child pornography allegedly were also discovered in June on Castillo’s computer, according to Deputy District Attorney Angela Brunson of the Cyber Crime Division, who is prosecuting the case. r

He faces a maximum possible sentence of eight years and four months in state prison if convicted as charged. The prosecutor is recommending that bail be set at $120,000.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, Juvenile Division’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

Los Angeles District Attorney / Case BA469163 / July 10, 2018

Long Beach Man Sentenced to Over 26 Years in Prison for Leading Counterfeit Opioid Scheme that Distributed Fentanyl Analogue

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:10 am

LOS ANGELES – The leader of a narcotics distribution ring that imported a powerful fentanyl analogue from China and produced hundreds of thousands of opioid pills that were distributed in bulk across the nation was sentenced yesterday to 320 months in federal prison.

Gary Resnik, 33, of Long Beach, led a conspiracy that imported acetylfentanyl, a drug very similar to fentanyl, a powerful and highly addictive opioid. Acetylfentanyl, which is many times more potent that heroin, is not approved for any legal use in the United States.

Resnik pled guilty in August 2017 to two felony offenses – conspiracy to manufacture and distribute narcotics (including acetylfentanyl and ecstasy), and possession with the intent to distribute acetylfentanyl.

According to court documents, Resnik “was the leader of a conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and distribute hundreds of thousands of pills designed to look like legitimate pharmaceuticals such as Vicodin and OxyContin, but which actually contained highly potent, illegal drugs that defendant imported from China,” including acetylfentanyl, ecstasy, alprazolam, and a designer drug known on the street as PVP.

“Resnik led a sophisticated operation that used dangerous Chinese-made chemicals to manufacture counterfeit pharmaceuticals,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “Through his makeshift labs, he put thousands of fentanyl analogue pills on the streets, risking the lives of unsuspecting people. This sentence is well-deserved.” (more…)

New Charges Filed in Immigration Services Fraud Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:58 am

Prosecutors filed 16 additional felony counts of grand theft today against a man accused of operating a fraudulent immigration services business, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Augusto “Tito” Gonzalez De La Cruz (dob 8/19/60) of Upland now faces 36 felony counts of grand theft, according to the amended complaint in case BA465267. The charges include an allegation of fraud and embezzlement of property valued at more than $100,000.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the new charges today. His bail was increased to $870,000.

A preliminary hearing setting is scheduled for Sept. 13 in Dept. 50 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Gonzalez De La Cruz initially was accused of scamming 15 victims out of $183,300 by offering immigration services they never received. Another 20 alleged victims were identified with the help of a telephone hotline set up by the Azusa Police Department, which is investigating the case.

The total amount the defendant purportedly stole from January 2006 through February 2018 now comes to $404,000, said Deputy District Attorney Ryann Gerber Jorban of the Consumer Protection Division. Gonzalez De La Cruz allegedly made false promises to his victims that included expediting the processing of visas, resident alien cards and citizenship petitions, the prosecutor said. (more…)

July 10, 2018

“Bitcoin Maven” Sentenced to One Year in Federal Prison in Bitcoin Money Laundering Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:40 am

LOS ANGELES, California – The so-called “Bitcoin Maven,” who admitted to operating an unlicensed bitcoin-for-cash exchange business and laundering bitcoin that was represented to be proceeds of narcotics activity, was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $20,000.

Theresa Lynn Tetley, 50, of Southern California, a former stockbroker and real estate investor, was sentenced by United States District Judge Manuel L. Real for conducting an illegal business and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions involving bitcoins. Tetley was also ordered to forfeit 40 Bitcoin, $292,264.00 in cash, and 25 assorted gold bars that were the proceeds of her illegal activity.

Tetley pleaded guilty to one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and one count of money laundering.

The government’s case against Tetley is the first of this kind charged in the Central District of California. According to court documents, Tetley offered bitcoin-for-cash exchange services without registering as a money services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and without implementing anti money-laundering mechanisms such as customer due diligence and reporting certain transactions required for these types of businesses. Tetley advertised on and exchanged, in total, between $6 and $9.5 million for customers across the country, charging rates higher than institutions that were registered with FinCEN. (more…)

Mother Charged For Allegedly Leaving 6-Year-Old Son at Union Station

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:37 am

A Walnut Creek woman was charged today with child endangerment after she allegedly abandoned her 6-year-old son at Union Station last week, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Dava Denise Webster (dob 11/14/86) was charged in case BA469390 with one felony count of child endangerment. She is expected to be arraigned today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Deputy District Attorney Irene Lee of the Family Violence Division is prosecuting the case.

On July 4, Webster was with her son at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles when she is accused of leaving him alone at the train depot. A security guard approached the boy and police were called.

Webster allegedly came back to the station the following day and was arrested. (more…)

Ex-Technology Manager Sentenced in Coliseum Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:30 am

A former technology manager was sentenced today for his role in the 2012 Coliseum embezzlement and bribery case, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Leopold Caudillo (dob 5/31/70) was placed on probation for one year and paid $2,750 in restitution. He completed 100 hours of community service and had a felony conflict-of-interest charge reduced to a misdemeanor.

He pleaded no contest to the single count in March 2017.

Deputy District Attorneys Terrie Tengelsen and Bjorn Dodd prosecuted the case.

Caudillo was among several people who were charged in an indictment with stealing funds from the historic stadium. Caudillo directed stadium business to a firm he founded (more…)

July 9, 2018

Federal Criminal Complaint Alleges La Mirada Man who is Currently on Parole Sold More than One Pound of Methamphetamine

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:12 am

SANTA ANA, California – A man currently on both state parole and federal supervised release has been charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances for selling more than one pound of methamphetamine, as well as cocaine.

Matthew Belling, 28, of La Mirada, who goes by the moniker “Miagi,” was arrested this morning by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

A federal criminal complaint filed last week alleges that Belling sold more than one pound of methamphetamine in a December 2017 drug deal that was captured on surveillance by the DEA and local law enforcement. The complaint charges Belling with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.

The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint alleges that Belling set up the drug deal and delivered the drugs to the buyer at a location in Garden Grove. During the drug deal, Belling boasted to the buyer that the drugs he was selling were “real good.”

According to the criminal complaint, Belling has an extensive criminal history, including state felony convictions for attempted murder, possession of marijuana for sale, making/possessing a dangerous weapon, and bringing a controlled substance into a correctional facility. He also has a federal felony conviction for counterfeiting U.S. currency. Belling is also currently on state parole and federal supervised release. (more…)


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:59 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged on Tuesday with throwing a Molotov cocktail at two homeless men in Anaheim.

Defendant Charges Maximum Sentence Court Date
Andrew Eric Mongerson, 29, Garden Grove Charged on July 3, 2018, with the following felony counts:

  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Possession of flammable material
  • Attempted arson
Five years and four months in state prison Pre-trial hearing

July 12, 2018, 8:30 a.m.

Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton

Circumstances of the Case (more…)

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