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IDENTITY THEFT ARREST IN HERCULES (CA Penal Code §530.5)

Hercules police found two large suitcases of stolen mail in a man’s truck and more stacks of it in his home after 2 men bought cigarettes with counterfeited $20 bills.  Brandon Thomas-Harris (25) of Hercules and Justin Coulon (27) of Martinez were arrested this past Tuesday in the vicinity of “Cigarettes Cheaper” after trying to pay with fake bills.  When law enforcement officers towed the vehicle pursuant to their arrest, they found 2 large suitcases of stolen mail in it.  The mail found was from over 25 distinct Hercules addresses and 19 different Bay area counties, including but not limited...

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Murder of Witness results in San Francisco man sentenced to life (CA Penal Code §190.2(a)(10))

Tony Van Le, 44, was killed in 2008 by men who wanted to silence him and prevent him from testifying about a robbery in Bernal Heights at the Nasser Market.  Larry Blay Jr., 22, and Kevin Abram were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for shooting Le before he could speak in court.  Blay, in particular, gave instructions to a friend from jail to have the man murdered.In the state of California, the murder of a witness is considered a murder under special circumstances (CA Penal Code, §190.2(a)(10)) and carries with it severe penalties – penalties...

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Arrest Results from DUI with Drugs (CA Vehicle Code §23152(a))

Haamid Zaid, 33, of Seaside drove his Oldsmobile Cutlass into a Budweiser display at the east San Jose Walmart on Story Road this past Sunday. Then, after exiting the vehicle, for some reason Zaid decided to pick up a blunt object and begin attacking customers, one of whom was seriously injured.  After resisting arrest briefly, Zaid was finally taken to a hospital, after which he was released into police custody.  Local law enforcement officials have charged him with a hit-and-run, resisting arrest, 4 counts of assault with a deadly weapon – all crimes that he committed, prosecutors say, while he...

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Distribution of Child Pornography Charges Dropped under CA Penal Code §311.11

Judge Jerome Benson cut Gilbert Lam’s bail back from $250,000 to $80,000 due to lack of evidence that the 37-year-old had distributed the images of child pornography found in his home (CA PC311). It is not unusual for law enforcement officials in California to charge an individual with distribution of child pornography when such pornographic images are found on a personal computer.This was exactly the case for Lam, whose home was searched this past August by San Francisco police.  The investigation was stymied for a number of months, however, because Lam had managed to deftly encrypt the files on his...

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Child Abduction and Kidnapping Laws in California

11-month-old Gabriela Quintero had a happy reunion with her mother nearly 5 hours after she was taken from their home in Amador Court.  Quintero’s mother had just placed her daughter into their jeep and run back into the house for some packages when the vehicle was stolen- with young Gabriela in the back seat.  The car, and the baby girl, was eventually found in Amargosa Court – nearly 6 miles from the abduction site.California laws concerning kidnapping are covered under Penal Code, § 207, 208, 209, & 209.5.  Here, kidnapping is defined as moving another person a substantial distance without...

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Distribution of Child Pornography Conviction in California

33-year-old Peter Ruiz of San Bernardino has been sentenced to 25 years for the creation, production, and distribution of child pornography.  Ruiz filmed his abuse of three young boys living in his neighborhood and then traded and sold the images online.  When area law enforcement officials raided his computer this past Halloween, they found over 6,000 pornographic images of children in addition to approximately 600 videos of the same type.Possession of child pornography may be considered either a misdemeanor or felony in California, depending on the particular circumstances of a client’s case (CA Penal Code, §311-312.7).  However, the federal government...

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Voluntary Manslaughter Charge under PC 192(a) in Livermore Road Rage Incident

Cort Holbrook, a software engineer out of Livermore, was out about town when he noticed that Ricky Zeismer was driving erratically and causing dangerous issues with the traffic ahead.  The two eventually pulled over and got into a serious scuffle, with Holbrook receiving several kicks and punches from Zeismer.  The road rage incident ended only when Holbrook felt it necessary to stab Zeismer, resulting in his eventual death, in order to protect himself.  Holbrook certainly has the cuts and bruises to prove it.Alameda County prosecutors attempted to charge Holbrook with 2nd degree murder, but were unsuccessful.  Instead, a charge of...

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Sex Crime Attorneys Believe Pocket Parks are Overly Restrictive

There is no doubt that California’s sex offender registry requirement (CA Penal Code, §290.46) has always been a hotly debated topic, but in Los Angeles, citizens seem to have taken matters into their own hands.  In the Harbor Gateway area, plans are in the works to build one of the state’s smallest parks – a "pocket park" of 1,000 square feet – specifically in order to keep registered sex offenders from living in proximity to the region.  Many individuals on California’s sex offender registry have been forced into homelessness – a situation in which it may be impossible for them...

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California Penal Code 288 and 261 Convictions in Oakland Exonerated

Unfortunately, the story of Johnny Williams is not uncommon.  In 1998, a 9-year-old girl was raped while on her way to school close to MacArthur Boulevard and 82nd Street.  She told her mother that the man had called himself “Johnny.”  Thinking of the only man with that name that lived in the neighborhood, the girl’s mother led police to Williams and the child identified him at trial.  Yet, Williams maintained his innocence, even after spending the last 14 years in the San Diego state prison for the crime and he finally solicited the help of The Innocence Project out of...

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Penal Code 191.5 Gross Vehicular Manslaughter Charges Filed in Daly City

28-year old Denis Pereirade-Macdeo had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18%  (the legal limit is 0.08) the night he made a U-turn on Eastmoor Avenue in his BMW and hit a Toyota Tercel carrying a mother (50-year-old Osorio Acevedo), her two sons (Amado Osorio Acevedo, 23, and Josue Osorio, 15), and her eldest son’s girlfriend (20-year-old Sara Sangraw).  Mother and sons were killed while Sangraw is listed as critically injured.  Pereirade-Macedo was not injured at all and has been charged with charges of 3 counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, 2 counts of DUI, and 1 count of misdemeanor hit...

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