Posts Tagged “sheriff”

Mark Fitzpatrick, a sergeant with the LA County Sheriff, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a woman and inappropriately searching two others while on duty last year, prosecutors said.

Fitzpatrick, 39, allegedly assaulted the women during traffic stops in Compton and threatened one with arrest or deportation during one incident.

The sergeant will face five felony charges, including sexual battery by restraint, penetration under threat to arrest or deport and three counts of false imprisonment by fraud and deceit, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Natalie Adomian.

Mark Fitzpatrick has posted $245,000 bail.

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By Robert Holguin

ATHENS, Calif. (KABC)
— A law enforcement “surge” operation is being carried out by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department four nights a week to combat gang activity.
The surge was under way in Athens Friday night.
This is the mobile command post here behind me… The sheriff’s department is essentially able establish a mobile substation inside neighborhoods where gang activity is heating up.
At the nerve center for the gang enforcement team, the sheriff’s department says this effort has already made a huge difference in some of L.A. County’s most troubled neighborhoods.
Story continues belowAdvertisementFirst they talk strategy. The sheriff’s deputies have just gotten word that a large group of gang members are gathering. The deputies form a plan, then more than two dozen deputies swarm into an Athens neighborhood.
It’s exactly how the gang enforcement team is designed to work, a surge of law enforcement in order to combat gang activity.
“It kind of gives them a sense of ‘a cop on every corner,’” said Sgt. John Hanson, a member of the sheriff’s department. “And for that period of time that we’re there, it’s not unusual for us to get 10 or 12 people coming up to say, ‘Hey, I appreciate you guys being here. Can you stick around for a while?’”
Hanson says the so-called “get team” has been around for 15 years. But since February, the 40 deputies and five sergeants now work under one lieutenant in a platoon formation. They operate Wednesday through Saturday, hitting the streets of L.A. County in hopes of saturating neighborhoods where gang activity is spiking.
“Instead of taking time to draw up a plan and bringing resources together that might take two or three weeks, we can deploy that night,” said Hanson.
The deputies in the enforcement unit are handpicked from the station from gang areas. They work alongside members of the Probation Department.
Inside the command post, crime analysts are working to map out the areas the team will target.
“Gang saturation is very specific,” said L.A. County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Crystal Miranda. “We focus on the gangs. The deputies in this enforcement unit are from the actual stations that we patrol.”
Friday night, the team responded to a car-to-car shooting, a stabbing and parole violations. Relatively speaking, a quiet Friday night.
Saturday night, the team will be in Bellflower.
(Copyright ©2009 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Neighbors thought dead man was Halloween display
The Associated Press
Posted: 10/16/2009 09:01:19 PM PDT
Updated: 10/16/2009 09:01:20 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES—Residents of a Marina del Rey apartment complex say they saw a lifeless body slumped on a neighbor’s patio, but didn’t call police because they thought it was part of a Halloween display.
Mostafa Mahmoud Zayed had apparently been dead since Monday.

Cameraman Austin Raishbrook, owner of RMG News, told the Los Angeles Times he was at the scene Thursday when authorities arrived. The 75-year-old man was slumped over a chair on the third-floor balcony of his apartment with a single gunshot wound to the eye.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigator says the case is an “apparent suicide.”

Raishbrook says neighbors told him they noticed the body Monday “but didn’t bother calling authorities because it looked like a Halloween dummy.”

Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

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CAUGHT ON VIDEO:
LYNWOOD SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES INTERRUPT ARMED ROBBERY

From the Sheriff’s website:

Deputies from Century Sheriff’s Station arrested two armed robbery suspects after a brief foot
chase in Lynwood. The incident was caught on video, and is another example of the Sheriff’s
Department combining advanced crime fighting technology with good old fashioned police work.
The incident began August 26, 2009, shortly before 9:00 A.M. at “ Goyos Check Cashing, 3598
Imperial Highway, Lynwood, when two male Black suspects entered the location, held employees
at gunpoint and demanded cash. Deputies from Century Sheriff’s Station received a robbery
alarm call and arrived at the scene within minutes. Upon their arrival, deputies observed a getaway
vehicle with its engine running, as well as suspicious activity inside the location.

The incident was monitored and recorded on video at the Century Station ASAP Command Center
(ASAP – Advanced Surveillance and Protection). The live video feed provided deputies with the
advantage of knowing where the suspects were fleeing, as well as evidence for prosecution. As
shown on video, deputies at the scene were alerted that suspects were fleeing the location.
Deputies contained the area and arrested the suspects as they ran through a residential area.
Nobody was injured during the robbery. A firearm and stolen cash were recovered at the scene.

SUSPECT #1: MALOSI TRAHAN, MB/19
SUSPECT #2: IJAHMAN GENTLE, MB/19

For additional information, please contact Century Sheriff’s Station at (323) 568-4811 or Sheriff’s
Headquarters Bureau at (323) 267-4800.

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It’s about making money, say prosecutors

JOHN HOEFFEL
October 11, 2009

Dispensations … a man holds a placard at a clinic at Venice Beach, Los Angeles. Critics say some doctors will prescribe marijuana for people who are not ill. Photo: AFP/Mark Ralston

LOS ANGELES: Californian laws legalising medical marijuana and permitting collectives to cultivate the plant have had some unexpected consequences: one is the challenge local growers are posing to the profits of Mexican drug barons; another is an explosion in the number of marijuana stores, or dispensaries, in Southern California.

Law enforcement is arguing that most are for-profit enterprises that violate the 1996 Compassionate Use Act and the 2003 collective cultivation law.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney, Steve Cooley, has announced he will prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries for over-the-counter sales.

”The vast, vast, vast majority – about 100 per cent – of dispensaries in Los Angeles County and the city are operating illegally; they are dealing marijuana illegally,” he said. ”The time is right to deal with this problem.”

Mr Cooley recently concluded that state law bars sales of medical marijuana, an opinion that could spark a renewed effort by law enforcement across the state to rein in its use.

This comes as polls show a majority of state voters back legalisation of marijuana, and supporters are working to put the issue on the ballot next year.

The district attorney’s office is investigating a dozen dispensaries, following police raids.

”We have our strategy and we think we are on good legal ground,” Mr Cooley said.

Medical marijuana advocates say the prosecutors are misinterpreting the law.

”I’m confident that they are not right,” said Joe Elford, chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access. ”If they are right, it would mean that thousands of seriously ill Californians for whom the Compassionate Use Act was intended to help would not be able to get the medicine that they need.”

In the City of Los Angeles, some estimates put the number of dispensaries as high as 800.

In August, Mr Cooley and the Sheriff, Lee Baca, wrote to all mayors and police chiefs in the county, saying they believed over-the-counter sales were illegal and encouraging cities to adopt permanent bans on dispensaries.

Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, was not surprised by the move. ”I think it’s a natural response to the rather flagrant marketing practices of a bunch of the dispensaries. The medical veneer has been wearing thinner and thinner,” he said. ”I’ve always wondered why those things were legal when they didn’t look legal to me.”

Mr Cooley said he believed that under state law collectives must raise their own marijuana and can recoup only their costs. ”That’s absolutely legal.

”We’re going to respect that.” But he said none of them currently do that. Mr Cooley said he would also consider going after doctors who write medical marijuana recommendations for healthy people.

Critics of medical marijuana say some doctors freely prescribe the drug for people who are not ill.

Medical marijuana advocates celebrated a brief thaw in the enforcement climate after the Obama Administration signalled earlier this year that it would not prosecute dispensaries that followed state law. That spurred many entrepreneurs to open dispensaries in Los Angeles.

As stores popped up near schools and parks, neighbourhood activists reacted with outrage, and police took notice.

A Los Angeles City councillor, Dennis Zine, welcomed Mr Cooley’s decision to prosecute dispensaries.

”There are many that are operating illegally, and it’s not a secret,” he said, but added that he believes ”a few” collectives in the city are operating legally.

When Californians voted for Proposition 215 (also known as the Compassionate Use Act) in 1996, they made it legal for patients with a doctor’s recommendation and their caregivers to possess and raise pot for the patient’s medical use.

In 2003, the legislature allowed patients and caregivers ”collectively or co-operatively to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes,” but said they could not do it for profit.

Mr Cooley, after reviewing a state Supreme Court decision last year, concluded that the law protects collectives from prosecution only in the cultivation of marijuana, not sales or distribution.

Medical marijuana advocates note that the state requires dispensaries to collect sales taxes on marijuana, and that guidelines drawn up by the Attorney-General conclude that ”a properly organised and operated collective or co-operative that dispenses medical marijuana through a storefront may be lawful”.

The guidelines, however, do not deal directly with over-the-counter sales.

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Los Angeles (myFOXla.com) – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department were both recognized by the National Law Enforcement Challenge for the department’s safety strategy, it was announced Saturday.

The sheriff’s office finished first in its category, and LAPD tied for first with San Francisco Police, the sheriff’s office announced.

“Saving lives, reducing injuries, traffic collisions and property damage through innovative strategies is important work,” said Sheriff Lee Baca. “The dedicated men and woman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department appreciate the recognition that comes with this award and will continue to work hard to make the streets safer.”

A three-year study of traffic safety effectiveness in the department’s jurisdiction was part of the department’s submission in the competition.

The department placed first among three agencies its size — more than 1,000 deputies — competing for the award. Hillsborough County, FL placed second and San Diego County placed third.

The City of Los Angeles tied for first place with San Francisco for municipalities of its size — more than 1,250 officers.

More than 530 agencies overall competed for awards.

The annual NLEC is sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to promote traffic safety and public recognition of exemplary traffic safety programs.

See full story at

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Associated Press

From AP

LOS ANGELES — Police are looking for a woman who left a 3-year-old boy alone at a South Los Angeles bus stop.

The little boy played with a purple stuffed frog, squealed and squirmed in the arms of a police officer during a press conference today.

Captain Robert Green says a witness saw the woman waiting for a bus with the boy sleeping in her lap at about 1 a.m. Friday. When the bus arrived, she got on and left the boy behind.

The witness stayed with the boy for an hour and finally took him to a police station.

Green says the boy was taken to a hospital and was determined to be in good condition.

Green says the woman could be charged with child endangerment.

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Contra Costa Times
By Rick Orlov Staff Writer
Posted: 10/09/2009 07:35:56 PM PDT
Updated: 10/09/2009 11:06:44 PM PDT

While District Attorney Steve Cooley wants to charge ahead with a get-tough campaign against medical marijuana dispensaries, Los Angeles police said they are waiting for a definitive city policy regulating the businesses before stepping up their efforts against rogue operators.

Capt. Kevin McCarthy, commanding officer of the LAPD’s gang and narcotics division, said that without a new city ordinance – which has been in the works for more than a year – officers cannot act against many of the clinics.

“We have been getting complaints from neighborhood councils and others and we log them and try to deal with them on a case-by-case basis,” McCarthy said.

“I think the district attorney made clear where he wants to go,” McCarthy said. “The city attorney and Sheriff Lee Baca are on board with him. The bottom line is we want to make sure people who need it have safe access.

“But we don’t want to see situations develop where there are other problems.”

In a radio interview on KABC-AM (790), Cooley reiterated his plan to close down many of the 800 to 900 medical marijuana shops believed to be operating in the city of Los Angeles.

“We will give them fair notice and, hopefully, they will see the light and voluntarily close down,” Cooley said. “We are going to uphold the laws of California.”

Local law enforcement has faced a dilemma as the City Council debates what to do about controlling the proliferation of marijuana dispensaries.

A moratorium on opening new shops expires in March and officials hope to have a new ordinance in place by then with detailed requirements on the shops and their allowed locations.

“None of us have a problem with the legitimate collectives,” said Councilman Dennis Zine, who has taken the lead on the issue. “The problem is with all these for-profit places that open up all over and who give out marijuana to everyone.”

Cooley and other officials say that in addition to selling to minors and others who do not use the drug for medical purposes, some of the dispensaries sell marijuana laced heavily with insecticides that endanger users even as they help finance Mexican drug cartels.

Councilman Greig Smith, who chairs the Public Safety Committee where the measure is pending, said he hopes to have action within the next two weeks.

Attorney Joe Elford, who has represented clinics, said he believes as long as the clinics follow the guidelines of the state Attorney General’s Office, they should be allowed to operate.

“We support reasonable regulations – such as there are too many in one area or the like – but for the district attorney to come right out and say all sales of marijuana is illegal (conflicts) with state law and what the voters have approved,” Elford said.

While the lack of an ordinance has partially tied the hands of the LAPD, McCarthy said officers have been able to go after brazen operators. For example, they took action against one shop that distributed fliers on the cars of students at a high school.

Councilman Paul Koretz, who wrote the state law implementing medical marijuana use, said he believes Cooley’s approach goes too far.

“All of us want to do something to make sure there are controls,” Koretz said. “I certainly never envisioned Los Angeles having more than 800 clinics. But I think the direction he is going is too far to try to eliminate all medical marijuana.

“It is clear they are out of hand, but the city is trying to deal with it.”

rick.orlov@dailynews.com

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From Reuters
Tue Jun 9, 2009 2:19pm EDT

LOS ANGELES, June 9 /PRNewswire/ — Los Angeles County Sheriff Department
detectives from the Special Victims Unit have launched an Internet safety
program for children and parents, thanks to a partnership with Verizon.

Approximately 80 parents attended a ceremony on Saturday (June 6) at the
Sheriff’s Compton Youth Activity League to launch the program. At the event,
the Sheriff’s Department hosted the first Awareness is Power Internet Safety
course, and Verizon presented a check for $41,000 to support the program.

“It is an honor to partner with Verizon to establish this Internet safety
program,” Sheriff Lee Baca said. “This program will give children and their
parents the tools they need to have a safe and secure Internet experience
while exploring the limitless possibilities of the digital world.”

The Awareness is Power Internet Safety program will be available at the
Sheriff Department’s 14 Youth Activity League centers throughout the county
and will serve approximately 4,500 children and adults. Two courses, one
geared for children and the other for adults and parents, have been developed.
Curriculum topics will include social networking sites, chat rooms, parental
controls, e-mail, text messaging, legal downloading and financial Internet
safety.

In addition, to help manage their children’s Internet experiences, Verizon is
making it easier for parents to find and access the online parental controls
and resources for customers of the company’s online, FiOS TV and wireless
services. The enhanced Web site, www.verizon.net/parentalcontrol, gives
parents using Verizon Wireless, Verizon FiOS TV and any of Verizon’s
high-speed Internet services the ability to make decisions about their
families’ wireless, TV and online use.

John Johnson, vice president for Verizon Wireless, said: “Advanced broadband
technology powers today’s online world for business and family entertainment.
The challenge for parents is managing that experience for their children so
it’s a positive one. Our online tools, tips and software help make this
happen. Verizon’s grant is another step in the right direction as we partner
with the Sheriff’s Department to educate parents and children alike.”

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications,
supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free
educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of
domestic violence. In 2008, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $68
million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. It also
matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting
in an additional $26 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. Through
Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs,
Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of
community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit
www.verizonfoundation.org.

About the Sheriff Youth Foundation
The Sheriff’s Youth Foundation was created in 1985, based upon the belief that
crime prevention programs focused on youth are the key to developing safer
communities. The Foundation’s objective is to increase community safety by
fostering self-esteem and a sense of purpose, assisting youth to find value in
themselves, to feel a sense of direction, and define who they are. The
foundation supports two countywide programs; Success Through Awareness &
Resistance (STAR) Program and the Youth Activity Leagues (Y.A.L.).

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global
leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications
services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.
Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, serving
more than 86 million customers nationwide. Verizon’s Wireline operations
provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over
the nation’s most advanced fiber-optic network. Wireline also includes
Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to
customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse
workforce of more than 237,000 and last year generated consolidated operating
revenues of more than $97 billion. For more information, visit
www.verizon.com.

VERIZON’S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and
biographies, media contacts, high-quality video and images, and other
information are available at Verizon’s News Center on the World Wide Web at
www.verizon.com/news. To receive news releases by e-mail, visit the News
Center and register for customized automatic delivery of Verizon news
releases.

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