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Richmond District Fire Uncovers Grow House (CA Health & Safety §11357 & §11358)

When a two-story Richmond District house caught on fire in the early morning hours, a neighbor called it in to the local Fire Department.  Firefighters responded and quickly put out the one-alarm conflagration, but they discovered something else in the meantime – a false wall in the garage of the home that was hiding a secret grow area with approximately 167 fully matured marijuana plants and 555 seedlings.  There have been no arrests in the case and police have yet to speak to the homeowner. There are at least 6 sections of the California Health and Safety Code that deal with...

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Identity Thief Uses Missing Childrens’ Names (18 US Code §1028A)

In this, the digital age, it’s not uncommon for people to worry about their identities being stolen.  Someone manages to access your personal information and, suddenly, your bank account is empty, your credit card company is calling you, asking about charges you never made, and your entire world seems to be turned upside down.  Identity theft is a serious crime; it can ruin a person’s reputation, besides making their financial future difficult.  However, it is a common enough occurrence – heck, there’s even a motion picture comedy entitled, “Identity Thief” which pokes fun at the fact that this kind of...

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DNA on Stamp Leads to Arrest of Ex-County Supervisor in Santa Clara

Typically, we hear about DNA-related evidence in cases of rape or other such crimes.  Rarely is DNA evidence used in cases of fraud.  But, this is exactly what happened when George Shirakawa, Jr. (ex-Santa Clara County Supervisor) sent illegal campaign mailers to unsuspecting citizens of Santa Clara County in 2010. At that time, the City Council race was tight and the mailers that were sent connected former candidate Magdalena Carrasco with the Vietnamese government – and suggested that she was a communist. Shirakawa was charged with impersonating a City Council candidate (CA Penal Code §528-§539), which could land him with a...

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Richmond High School Gang Rape Draws Attention (CA Penal Code §261)

It sounds like the beginning of a 1970s horror flick based on a Stephen King novel. A 16-year-old girl leaves the safety of the crowd at an innocent Homecoming dance and ends up incoherently drunk and crumpled under a picnic table, dress askew and a trail of grisly pieces of evidence – a high-heeled shoe, a used condom, and a pair of underwear ripped to shreds.  What happened to the unnamed victim may never be known.  She was approached by a classmate after the dance who asked her if she wanted to “party” with some of his friends. What she...

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Rio Linda Woman Sentence to 192 years for Child Molestation (CA Penal Code §288)

40-year-old Rosemary Eusted was sentenced to 72 years + 120 years to life for the ongoing molestation of at least four children over a period of several years.  Two were girls that spent time in her home and were 6 and 7 years old when the molestation occurred in 1997.  Then, in 2005, Eusted molested two additional victims (5-10 years old) in Placer County.  It is only in recent years that Eusted’s victims have felt comfortable enough to come forth, fearing her violent nature and threats.  In the case before the Sacramento Superior Court, all victims testified and Eusted was...

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VIOLATIONS OF CALIFORNIA LAW PREVENTS NEW EXECUTION RULES

Officials in the California system who have authored a bid for new rules on execution, including using a different method than most states in the U.S., have evidently not bothered to “do their homework” when it comes to state laws on the subject.  The need for a change in the system and methods of execution is simply unnecessary and, for many citizens, unreasonable.  There is, to be sure, a long and hotly debated history of capital punishment in the state of California. Before the 1972 case, People v. Anderson, there were 709 executions carried out in California, beginning in 1778 when...

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FIRE IN OAKLAND REVEALS GROWHOUSE OPERATION (CA Health & Safety Code §11358 & §11359)

In the 1200 block of 51st Avenue, firefighters were called out to a blaze that they believe to have been an illegal grow house operation of about 60-70 marijuana plants, though about 20 of them were lost in the conflagration.  It seems that faulty wiring was the cause of the fire, not arson, and no arrests have been made in the case.  Possibly, the site was licensed; law enforcement officials have not fully finished their investigation. Marijuana cultivation laws are strict in the state of California. Getting caught with only one plant is considered a felony and you could spend up...

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ARREST RESULTS ON SUSPICION OF DUI DOWN FROM LAST MEMORIAL WEEKEND (CA Penal Code §23152)

Memorial Day weekend is a time for barbeques, spending time with family and friends, and taking time out of our busy schedules in order to remember those who have fought for our country.  The California Highway Patrol, however, looks at it as a time of increased arrests for DUI (CA Penal Code §23152), as numbers for this type of arrest usually go up around holidays such as this.  However, despite one crash in San Mateo County at a Hillside Boulevard cemetery that ended the lives of three people, DUI arrests were down this year.  Of course, the number only went...

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24-YEAR OLD MADERA COUNTY MURDER CASE REMAINS UNRESOLVED (CA Penal Code §187)

In 1989, then 20-year-old Michael Pizarro became famous – for all the wrong reasons.  He was accused, and then convicted, of sexually assaulting and then murdering (CA Penal Code §187) his 13-year-old half-sister, Amber Barfield.  24 years later, no one can be sure whether or not Pizarro did it. On the one hand, there is a good bit of circumstantial evidence to link him to the crime and, on the other hand, there’s no real proof to be spoken of in the case.  The latest issue, in Pizarro’s third trial on the matter, is the fact that a juror used...

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