19 arrested in raid of illegal gambling operation in Garden Grove neighborhood

GARDEN GROVE — Police said they made 19 arrests Wednesday evening at an illegal gambling operation in a Garden Grove neighborhood.

Police responded about 7 p.m. to the 10000 block of McMichael Drive, near Brookhurst Street and north of Chapman Avenue, and determined a residence “was in fact operating as an illegal gambling establishment,” according to Sgt. Troy Haller of the Garden Grove Police Department.

A search warrant was served at the home and 12 gambling machine consoles and a gun were found and seized, Haller said.

Officers arrested 19 people for illegal gambling violations and/or outstanding arrest warrants, Haller said.

 

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California prosecutors sue over rules that could free thousands of inmates early

By DON THOMPSON

SACRAMENTO — Three-quarters of California’s district attorneys sued the state Wednesday in an attempt to block emergency rules that expand good conduct credits and could eventually bring earlier releases for tens of thousands of inmates.

The lawsuit objects on procedural grounds, arguing that Corrections Secretary Kathleen Allison used the emergency declaration to bypass the usual regulatory and public comment process.

The rules affecting 76,000 inmates, most serving time for violent offenses, took effect May 1, although it will be months or years until inmates accumulate enough credits to significantly shorten their sentences.

Forty-four of the state’s 58 district attorneys brought the lawsuit, which says the only stated emergency was the corrections department’s desire to follow the “direction outlined in the Governor’s Budget Summary” nearly a year earlier. Plaintiffs included district attorneys for Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Notably absent were district attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco who have backed criminal sentencing changes.

The lawsuit asks a Sacramento County Superior Court judge to throw out the regulations and bar the department from granting any of the good conduct credits until it goes through the regular process.

“There is no actual emergency, and they cannot meet those emergency requirements,” the lawsuit contends. “Nowhere in the supporting documents is there an explanation of how last year’s budget has become an operational need for the adoption of the regulations on an emergency basis.”

The department said it acted under the authority given it by voters when they passed Proposition 57 in 2016, allowing earlier parole for most inmates.

It “filed regulations to promote changes in good behavior credits, and followed all policies and procedures by the Office of Administrative Law,” the department said in a statement promising to “continue to work with our partners to promote rehabilitation and accountability in a manner consistent with public safety.”

The emergency rules boost good behavior credits for a projected 63,000 inmates convicted of violent crimes, allowing them to prospectively serve two-thirds of their sentences rather than the previous 80%.

Another 10,000 prisoners convicted of a second serious but nonviolent offense and nearly 2,900 nonviolent third strikers would be eligible for release after serving half their sentences, down from two-thirds.

Inmate firefighters and minimum-security inmates in work camps, regardless of the severity of their crimes, are eligible under the new rules for a month of earlier release for every month they spend in the camp.

“Allowing the early release of the most dangerous criminals, shortening sentences as much as 50%, impacts crime victims and creates a serious public safety risk,” Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said in a statement. She has led the opposition and is running for state attorney general as an independent.

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Two cars on 91 Freeway in Corona and Riverside have windows shot out Tuesday evening

Just a day after drivers of three cars reported having their windows shot out on the 91 Freeway near Corona, two more cars travelling on the same freeway in Corona and Riverside had their windows shot out on Tuesday evening, May 11, the California Highway Patrol said.

At about 5:50 p.m., a white GMC Safari van was travelling east on the 91, east of Lincoln Avenue in Corona, when the van’s middle left side window was shattered. Responding officers determined the weapon used was a pellet or BB gun based on the damage, the CHP said.

Just about 10 minutes after the first incident, a white Jeep Wrangler was heading east on the 91 Freeway, east of Tyler Street in Riverside, when the driver reported hearing a pop, followed by their left side third row window shattering, the CHP said.

No injuries were reported in either incident and no suspect information was obtained in either incident, the CHP said.

Just late Sunday evening, May 9, into the early morning hours of Monday, drivers of four cars in Corona and Riverside reported having their windows shot out by what the CHP believe to be pellets or BBs. Officer Juan Quintero, spokesman for the CHP’s Riverside Office, said Tuesday’s incidents were “a little less definitive” as to whether they were related to those the day prior on the freeway.

“We’ve got to do more follow up before we can link (the incidents),” Quintero said. “We did an area search (on Tuesday), both on the freeway and off the freeway and we didn’t find anything.”

The CHP was already probing various other similar freeway incidents in previous months.

The windows of two drivers were reported being shattered while on the 91 near Corona on May 6 near Main Street and in Riverside near Pierce Street. One was believed to be the result of a BB gun while the other was believed to stem from a “big object,” according to Quintero.

The CHP’s Westminster office reported “approximately five” similar incidents in their area between April 19 and May 4.

Any witnesses who may have observed the incidents are encouraged to call the CHP at 951-637-8000.

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Seal Beach man loses $140,000 in foreign lottery scam

SEAL BEACH — Authorities on Tuesday sought information about a lottery scam that defrauded a Seal Beach man out of about $140,000.

Seal Beach Police Department officers responded Friday to a call of theft by false pretenses, said the department’s Lt. Nick Nicholas.

The man who made the call told officers he received a letter in 2020 postmarked from Portugal that claimed he had won the lottery in Spain, Nicholas said.

The letter, which contained logos and images similar to those used by the California Lottery, claimed the man had to pay “upfront tax money” to claim his winnings.

The man sent money to the suspects using the United States Postal Service, Nicholas said. However, the suspects demanded additional payment from the man to “secure the lottery winnings.”

The man sent cashier’s checks to multiple individuals in the United States and Portugal over the course of several months. He discovered he was the victim of a scam after he sent about $140,000 and received nothing in return.

The Seal Beach Police Department, in cooperation with the FBI and international officials, is investigating the scam in an attempt to identify the suspects.

Anyone with information on the incident can contact Seal Beach Police Department Detective Jon Ainley at 562-799-4100, ext. 1113 or jainleysealbeachca.gov

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Probation check in Brea leads to discovery of bomb ‘precursor,’ 1 arrested

A probation officer performing an unannounced check at a home in Brea led to the discovery of materials for the construction of a bomb and the arrest of one man Thursday, Feb. 18.

Orange County Probation Department officials notified Brea police at about 4 p.m., after discovering “precursors” for an explosive device in a residence on the 600 block of Sonora Street, OCPD spokeswoman Jennifer Palmquist said.

The subject of the compliance check and one other resident of the home were detained while an Orange County Sheriff’s bomb squad and Anaheim Fire & Rescue hazardous materials team were also summoned, Brea Police Sgt. Chris Haddad said.

The neighboring homes were evacuated as investigators searched the probationer’s residence for about four hours, OCSD Sgt. Dennis Breckner said. Numerous items that could be used to assemble a bomb were confiscated, and will be submitted to the FBI for further analysis.

“We would not do that if it was a bag of mulch sitting in someone’s garage,” Breckner said.

Officials declined to go into further detail about what was found. The incident did not immediately appear to be related to terrorism, Haddad said.

The detained probationer was arrested on suspicion of possessing destructive device materials, Breckner said. Haddad described him as a man in his 30s, and said he was known to Brea police following prior calls for service at his home.

The suspect’s identity was not immediately released. The other detained resident was not arrested.

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Suspect `extremely apologetic’ after attempted kidnapping of Joe Montana’s grandchild in Malibu

By ANDREW DALTON

LOS ANGELES — A 39-year-old woman was charged Tuesday in what authorities say was an attempted kidnapping of the 9-month-old granddaughter of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana from his Southern California home.

Sodsai Predpring Dalzell of Los Angeles pleaded not guilty in LA County court to felony counts of attempted kidnapping of a child under 14 and burglary.

“Miss Dalzell is extremely apologetic and is very well concerned about the well-being of the family,” Dalzell’s attorney Ayinde Jones said outside of court. “She understands the harm that this has caused the family, friends and also fans of the Montana family. So our heart goes out to them.”

The 64-year-old Montana told sheriff’s deputies that the girl was asleep Saturday in a playpen in his house in Malibu when a woman he did not know entered and picked up the child.

Montana and his wife, Jennifer, confronted her, tried to deescalate the situation and asked her to give back the baby, authorities said.

After a brief struggle, Jennifer Montana pried the girl away, and Dalzell fled from the home, authorities said. She was later arrested nearby.

No one was hurt.

Jones said he plans to present a credible defense, “focused on ensuring that Miss Dalzell gets the help that she may need.”

The attorney said he has “no hindsight, no clue as yet on why she did what she did, only that she is very apologetic. She has told me over and over again that she understands the harm that she has caused. As a parent myself, I can only imagine the pain that it has caused the Montana family.”

Dalzell’s bail was set at $200,000 and she was told to return to court Oct. 20. She could get eight years in prison if convicted as charged. She has no previous criminal record.

“Scary situation, but thankful that everybody is doing well,” the former San Francisco 49ers star tweeted on Sunday.

Montana played 13 years of his 15 year-career with the 49ers, who won four Super Bowls with him as starting quarterback. He retired in 1994 after two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

He and Jennifer Montana, a philanthropist and former model, have been married since 1985 and have four adult children. It is not clear which of the children is the girl’s parent.

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Man detained after Lake Forest hotel is evacuated and explosive devices are found

Explosive devices and substances were found in a room in a Lake Forest hotel, which was evacuated Tuesday night, officials said.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department said on social media the devices and substances were rendered safe and the hotel on Orchard Road would reopen. The OCSD Bomb Squad and an Orange County Fire Authority hazardous materials team had assessed and dealt with the devices and substances.

The OCSD Bomb Squad made entry to the room and discovered multiple homemade illegal explosive devices, along with illegal explosive substances. With the assistance of the Hazmat Team, the devices and substances were collected and rendered safe. pic.twitter.com/zq0Cu2Tpj2

— OC Sheriff, CA (@OCSheriff) July 15, 2020

A man was detained and authorities planned to book him on suspicion of multiple felonies, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The man’s identity wasn’t immediately released and it was not immediately known why he allegedly had the devices and substances.

 

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Homeland Security brings armored vehicle to Santa Ana in a firearms case, congressman alarmed

Department of Homeland Security agents came to Santa Ana on Wednesday with an armored vehicle to serve a search warrant, and were not conducting activities related to immigration enforcement, officials said.

Congressman Lou Correa, a Santa Ana Democrat, said on social media “this incident is very concerning and alarming to me.” Correa added, “My office and I are investigating this incident.”

Earlier today, DHS’s Homeland Security Investigations unit conducted an operation in our community. My office and I are investigating this incident. pic.twitter.com/sDxSGGXP6I

— Rep. Lou Correa (@RepLouCorrea) June 25, 2020

The incident took place at the 1300 block of Center Dr., Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. It was conducted by a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) response team, which is a branch of the DHS but is not affiliated with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said. They came to Santa Ana serve a warrant regarding a firearms-related investigation.

“HSI is the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security and is a vital U.S. asset in combating criminal organizations illegally exploiting America’s travel, trade, financial and immigration systems,” Haley said in an email. “As with other law enforcement agencies whose mission is to protect public safety, specially trained SRT (Special Response Team) agents may be deployed in high-risk situations or under hazardous conditions.”

The agency investigates a broad range of crimes including weapons and gun smuggling, human trafficking, transnational gang activity, international theft. HSI also works on immigration fraud, but that was not the focus of its operation in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Haley said.

She declined specify what agents had been searching for, if anything had been seized or if anyone had been detained, citing an ongoing investigation.

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Anaheim restaurant worker freed after her hand is caught in a food grinder

Paramedics rescued a woman after her hand became trapped in a food processor while she was working at a restaurant in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 19.

An employee of Pupseria Comalapa #2 at 1781 W. Lincoln Ave. was feeding produce into a grinder when her right hand got caught in the apparatus at about 6 p.m., Anaheim Police Sgt. Shane Carringer said. Alert coworkers quickly shut down the machine after learning what had happened and called for medical aid.

“The had to give her some medication when they got there, because she was obviously in a lot of pain,” Carringer said.

A team from Anaheim Fire & Rescue had to unbolt a portion of the food processor so they could free the patient and take her to UCI Medical Center, Carringer said. The machine’s hopper could still be seen wrapped around her forearm as she was wheeled on a stretcher into an ambulance at about 6:32 p.m.

However, she was expected to survive and her injuries were described as minor by paramedics.

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Anaheim restaurant worker freed after her hand is caught in a food grinder

Paramedics rescued a woman after her hand became trapped in a food processor while she was working at a restaurant in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 19.

An employee of Pupseria Comalapa #2 at 1781 W. Lincoln Ave. was feeding produce into a grinder when her right hand got caught in the apparatus at about 6 p.m., Anaheim Police Sgt. Shane Carringer said. Alert coworkers quickly shut down the machine after learning what had happened and called for medical aid.

“The had to give her some medication when they got there, because she was obviously in a lot of pain,” Carringer said.

A team from Anaheim Fire & Rescue had to unbolt a portion of the food processor so they could free the patient and take her to UCI Medical Center, Carringer said. The machine’s hopper could still be seen wrapped around her forearm as she was wheeled on a stretcher into an ambulance at about 6:32 p.m.

However, she was expected to survive and her injuries were described as minor by paramedics.

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