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November 2012 Archives

Santa Ana man convicted of burglaries and assaults

Jurors voted to convict a Santa Ana man of sexual assault against two girls ages 11 and 13 as well as impose sentencing enhancement related to burglary. Part of the suspect's criminal defense denied that the burglaries were for the purpose of sexual molestation, but the jury chose to add the sentencing enhancements despite the suspects' claims. The defendant now faces up to 194 years to life in prison.The charges sprang from five incidents in which the suspect allegedly broke into Orange County homes of young girls and women and touched or fondled them. In investigating the two cases for which the defendant was convicted, police uncovered evidence of several other alleged breaking-and-entering and fondling attempts.

Man suspected of burglary in Atascadero

A man suspected of burglary in Templeton was arrested when police found him hiding in a riverbed after investigating reports of burglary involving a man wearing camouflage and carrying a machete. Authorities discovered that a local home had been burglarized and began a search for the suspect. The California Highway Patrol helicopter provided support while the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's deputies, assisted by K-9 units, conducted the search.He was found in a riverbed at the side of Highway 101 in Atascadero and was armed with a hunting knife. He surrendered the weapon after police gave him a command to drop it. The suspect was arrested for being under the influence. Police are continuing their investigation to determine if the burglary was also perpetrated by the suspect. Charges have not been filed.

Concord real estate investor pleads to conspiracy

A Concord real estate investor has made a plea agreement with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California for his alleged role in rigging bids and mail fraud in connection with public foreclosure auctions in Northern California. The investor was charged as part of an investigation under the Sherman Antitrust Act by the Justice Department. Under the Sherman Act, the federal government is obligated to investigate any activities that limit competition, such as the practice of bid rigging connected with foreclosures.Authorities believe that the investor, in conspiracy with others, planned to designate a "winner" in auctions beforehand in order to keep the prices of foreclosed properties at a minimum. The mail fraud charges stemmed from the use of the United States mail to acquire titles and pay off investors. The fraudulent transactions in question occurred between June 2008 and September 2010.

Los Angeles drug sweep results in 12 arrests

Twelve of the 14 people named in a federal indictment for drug charges were arrested in Los Angeles and Orange counties recently as part of a crackdown on alleged "marijuana stores" that may have put as much as 1 ton of marijuana on the streets. The stores are alleged to have produced millions of dollars in income for the individuals named as conspirators in the charges.The man thought to be the mastermind of the operation also faces charges of tax evasion for failure to pay federal taxes and for giving instructions to an employee to destroy records that linked him to the money. The suspect is also facing charges of possession of weapon after being convicted of previous drug charges.

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