Crime Beat

DEPUTY ARRESTED FOR DRUGS FOUND IN VEHICLE AT COUNTY JAIL FACILITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 4. 2023 (San Diego) -- Detectives from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department conducted an investigation and arrested Deputy Allen Wereski for bringing drugs onto jail property, after suspected cocaine was located inside his vehicle. He has been booked into the Central Jail.

Wereski has been suspended without pay from the Sheriff's Department. It is unclear what prompted the seasrch of his vehicle, and whether the suspected drug stash was for Wereski’s personal use, illicit sale or smuggling into the jail.


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SHERIFF UNVEILS SWEEPING CHANGES TO REDUCE JAIL DEATHS, IMPROVE HEALTH AND SAFETY IN COUNTY DETENTION FACILITIES

East County News Service

February 4, 2023 (San Diego) -- San Diego County jails have in recent years had the highest number of jail deaths of any major county in California. Many of those deaths have been due to drug overdoses, including Fentanyl. That’s prompted an investigation by the state auditor and calls for reforms from politicians.

Now, newly elected Sheriff Kelly Martinez (photo) has announced numerous changes aimed at improvement the health and safety of people in custody.  Those changes include:


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STOLEN DOCUMENTARY REVEALS SAN DIEGO CHILD TRAFFICKING EPIDEMIC

Story and photos by Shiloh Ireland and Miriam Raftery 

View video by Douglas Quaid including event highlights and ECM interviews with Monica Dean (photo, left) and Dr. Rhonda Taylor

 

January 28, 2023 (Lakeside) Sex trafficking of children inSan Diego is happening in every single school district inSan Diego County, NBC San Diego investigative reporter Monica Dean (photo, left) told parents and teachers during a showing othe documentary film Stolen at El Capitan High School in Lakeside on January 19.

 

That shocking evidence was found during NBC San Diegoaward-winning investigative reporting series on which the film is based. Dean, a mother of three young children, hopes to raise awareness to protect vulnerable children and teens in the community from exploitation by traffickers. We all have to stand up against them, she says of traffickers. We all have a role to play.

 

San Diego is one of the country’s hotspots for trafficking of adults and children – the FBI has ranked San Diego as one of the 13 worst regions in the United States with up to 8,000 victims per year.


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BORDER OFFICERS IN SAN DIEGO KICK OFF NEW YEAR WITH NINE SEIZURES WORTH OVER $9 MILLION IN DANGEROUS DRUGS

Source:  U.S. Customs and Border Protection

January 28, 2023 (San Diego) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from the San Diego Field Office kicked off the new year strong, seizing more than $9 million worth of dangerous drugs at its ports of entry. From January 4 through January 22, nine significant seizures led CBP officers to extract 515 packages of fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin from travelers’ vehicles.


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MAN ARRESTED FOR SETTING FIRE TO HOME IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

January 27, 2023 (El Cajon) – A house fire this morning in unincorporated El Cajon has been determined to be arson.Shaun Maize, 44, has been arrested and charged with arson. He will be booked at San Diego Central Jail. 


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CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS AND FAMILY OF TYRE NICHOLS URGE CALM AS VIDEO OF POLICE KILLING SET FOR RELEASE

By Miriam Raftery

Photos via Nichols family: Tyre Nichols, before the deadly altercation and in hospital, where he died of injuries sustained.

January 27, 2023 (San Diego) – Police departments across the nation are gearing up for potential protests with a video due for release tonight showing the killing of Tyre Nichols, a Black man, by five Memphis police officers, who are also Black. The officers have all been charged with second degree murder as well as aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. All five officers have been fired and were booked into jail on Thursday.

Civil rights leaders and Nichols’ family are urging that protests stay peaceful as they seek justice following their son’s death.


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FALSE ALARM REPORTING SCHOOL SCHOOTER TRIGGERS HEAVY POLICE RESPONSE AT LEMON GROVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2023 (La Mesa) – Neighbors near Lemon Avenue Elementary School reporting seeing 15-20 police cars and a SWAT team late this afternoon.  The La Mesa Police Department sent a Nixle warning of police activity near Lemon Ave. and Glen, but at 4:19 posted this message on Facebook:  “La Mesa PD received a call of an active shooter at Lemon Avenue Elementary. It was a FALSE ALARM. Officers are still on scene but there are no injuries and no active threat to the community.


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SUSPECT IN ALVARADO AREA PHARMACY STABBING IS FATALLY SHOT BY SAN DIEGO POLICE OFFICER IN CREST

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Viktoria Voragen

 

Update January 20, 2023: The victim has been identified as Mary Ellen Carter, 66, of Lakeside. The shooting suspect was Frank Bower, pharmacist.   The officers involved in the shooting were  Officers Salvador Laurel-Torres and Robert Raynor.  Officers Laurel-Torres and Raynor have been employed with the San Diego Police Department for seven years. Both officers are currently assigned to Eastern Division. As in all officer-involved shootings, the officers in this case are currently on administrative assignment until cleared to return to full duty.

January 18, 2023 (San Diego’s East County) – A man suspected of fatally stabbing a woman at a pharmacy in the College area was shot and killed by San Diego Police at a home in Crest yesterday.


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PROTECT YOUR EBT CARDS

By Cassie Klapp, County of San Diego Communications Office

January 12, 2023 (San Diego) - As Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT, thefts continue to happen both locally and throughout the state, people are encouraged to take easy steps to protect their benefits. EBT cards provide monthly funds from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service for people to buy food.


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MT. HELIX MAN SENTENCED FOR BRUTAL STABBING DEATH OF HUSBAND

East County News Service

Photo: Daniel Scott Jordan. Courtesy Washoe County Sheriff’s Office

January 12, 2023 (Mt. Helix) – A man who fled the state after his husband was found murdered at their Mt. Helix home was found in Nevada and this week pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.


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EL CAJON MAN IDENTIFIED AS MURDER VICTIM IN LEMON GROVE; THREE TEENS ARRESTED

East County News Service

January 12, 2023 (Lemon Grove) – The victim who was fatally stabbed in Lemon Grove on January 10 has been identified as Vinson Austin, 49, of El Cajon.


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FATAL STABBING IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2023 (Lemon Grove) – A man has died of stab wounds received during a fight in Lemon Grove last night.

Sheriff’s deputies responded shortly before 10 p.m. to a report of people fighting in the 7700 block of North Avenue. Arriving on scene, deputies detained several individuals and found a man around 45 to 50 years old with an apparent stab wound in his lower torso.


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DEPUTY ARRESTED FOR BURGLARY AND DRUGS

East County News Service

January 9, 2023 (San Diego) – San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy Cory Richey has been arrested for 13 counts of burglary and three counts of illegal drug possession.


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STOLEN PROPERTY RECOVERED IN EAST COUNTY

Source:  San Diego Sheriff

January 8, 2023 (San Diego's East County) - Five people have been arrested in connection with stolen vehicles, identity theft, fake currency, catalytic converter theft and drug possession in the East County.


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STOLEN VEHICLE SUSPECT STRUCK BY VEHICLE AND INJURED WHILE FLEEING FROM OFFICERS

East County News Service 

January 4, 2023 (Lemon Grove) – A Lemon Grove man suspected of attempting to steal a vehicle fled from California Highway Patrol officers. He ran into traffic on State Route 94 last night, where he was struck and injured by a vehicle drive by a La Mesa woman, says Officer Jared Grieshaber.


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VICTIMS IN LAKESIDE MURDER-SUICIDE IDENTIFIED AS SISTERS, SHOOTER ALSO NAMED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC via Bing

January 3, 2023 (Lakeside) – The San Diego Sheriff’s department has released the identifies of two women shot and killed on December 30 in Lakeside by a man who then fatally shot himself.  Two juveniles were also in the home in the 13500 block of Interstate 8 Business when the killings occurred.


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THREE DEAD IN LAKESIDE MURDER-SUICIDE

East County News Service

December 31, 2022 (Lakeside) – A man fatally shot two women, then killed himself at a home in Lakeside after an argument last night, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department reports.


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TWO JUVENILES ARRESTED FOR SHOOTING TEEN GIRL IN EL CAJON MOTEL

East County News Service

December 30, 2022 (El Cajon) – Two teen boys, ages 15 and 17, have been arrested for the attempted murder of a 16-year-old girl at an El Cajon motel on Dec. 12. The victim, left alone for hours after being shot, is alive but in critical condition.


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SHOOTING DEATH IN POTRERO

Update 12/30/2022 12 p.m. – Richard Arnold, 38, has been arrested for murder and booked into the San Diego County Jail. The victim has been identified as Kevin Stewart, 35.  Stewart and Arnold were acquaintances that lived in separate motor homes on the same property.

East County News Service

December 30, 2022 (Potrero) – The San Diego County Sheriff’s Homicide Unit is investigating the shooting death of a 35-year-old man in Potrero. A possible suspect has been detained.


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ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE OF TEEN GIRL AT EL CAJON MOTEL

East County News Service

December 27, 2022 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police Dept. is investigating an attempted homicide at the El Cajon Inn & Suites Motel, where a 16-year-old girl was found with a traumatic head injury on December 12.  Hospital staff believes the head wound was likely caused by a gunshot, says ECPD Sergeant Tenaya Webb.


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MAN SAVES LIFE OF FELLOW INMATE WITH NARCAN DURING OVERDOSE

East County News Service

December 23, 2022 (San Diego) -- An incarcerated person has used a lifesaving medication available in the common housing areas of all county jails to assist another incarcerated person in medical distress. This is the eighth time an incarcerated individual has administered Naloxone since the San Diego County Sheriff's Department made the nasal spray accessible to the incarcerated population at county jails in June 2022. 


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SCREENING OF “STOLEN” ON CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING JAN. 19 IN LAKESIDE

By Miriam Raftery

December 18, 2022 (Lakeside) – San Diego County is a hub for child sex trafficking, with at least 3,000 victims here each year. How can you protect your children?  Find out on Thursday, January 19 when the Lakeside Union School District and El Capitan High School PTSA groups host a screening of the film “Stolen: a Year-Long Investigation into Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation.”  This must-see film based on an NBC 7 investigative series will be shown at the El Capitan High School Events Center (10410 Ashwood St., Lakeside) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.


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SHERIFF SEEKS ARMED AND DANGEROUS SUSPECT WHO ESCAPED AMID SWAT TEAM OPERATION IN SPRING VALLEY

By Miriam Raftery

December 18, 2022 (Spring Valley) – The San Diego Sheriff’s department seeks public help to find Mario Sandoval, 32, who aimed a handgun at his wife and threatened to kill her. 


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SKIMMERS STEAL FUNDS AT LOCAL ATM AND CREDIT CARD MACHINES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  skimming device recovered by La Mesa Police Department

December 14, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Skimming devices attached by thieves to ATM machines and credit card devices have stolen money from consumers in multiple East County locations. Some even have tiny hidden cameras stealing pin codes.

Lieutenant Katy Lynch with the La Mesa Police department confirms, “It’s definitely a trend.” LMPD has launched a campaign to educate merchants and the public on how to protect consumers and help nab thieves behind these schemes.

In La Mesa alone, 12 cases of skimming have been reported in the past year, with others in adjacent communities. “Many cases go unreported to law enforcement,” says Lt. Lynch. She urges anyone who is a victim of a skimming scam, or who believes they have spotted a skimmer, to immediately alert law enforcement. 

Showing a police report to banks or other financial institutions can help consumers recover money faster and also helps law enforcement catch the crooks, such as by identifying fingerprints or DNA on skimmers, and by asking businesses for surveillance videos. Businesses are encouraged to check their devices daily and report anything suspicious.


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SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR ARSON IN LEMON GROVE

East County News Service

December 13, 2022 (Lemon Grove) -- The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has made an arrest in connection with an arson at a long-term residential treatment facility in Lemon Grove.


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LA MESA POLICE URGE DRIVERS TO HAVE A GO SAFELY GAME PLAN: CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY SEASON RESPONSIBLY

National “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Enforcement Campaign Begins Dec. 14

Source: La Mesa Police Department

December 13, 2022 (La Mesa) -- With a commitment to keeping the community safe, the La Mesa Police Department is reminding the public of the dangers of driving impaired and celebrate the holiday season responsibly by not driving under the influence.

From December 14 through New Year’s Day, the La Mesa Police Department will have additional officers on patrol looking for drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The extra enforcement effort is part of a national campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, with the goal of stopping suspected impaired drivers who put others on the road at risk.


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REWARD OFFERED TO IDENTIFY ARSONIST SUSPECT IN LEMON GROVE

View video:  https://vimeo.com/779358017

East County News Service

December 12, 2022 (Lemon Grove) – The Sheriff’s Department seeks public help to identify a man seen on surveillance video setting fire to the Kiva Learning Center for Women and Children in Lemon Grove shortly after noon on Nov. 19. The facility is located at the McAlister Institute in the 2000 block of Skyline Drive in Lemon Grove.


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ARRESTS MADE IN NOVEMBER SHOOTING IN LAKESIDE

East County News Service

December 10, 2022 (Lakeside) - Four people have been arrested in connection with a shooting in Lakeside that left a teenager in critical condition.


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WARNING: SOPHISTICATED NEW 'HYBRID' INTERNET SCAMS LEVERAGE OLD SOCIAL MEDIA FRIENDSHIPS

By J.W. August, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  A man using a laptop computer. Photo via Pixabay

December 8, 2022 (San Diego) - ‘Tis the season when some extra money comes in handy. Imagine then getting news you have won money from www.bezosearthfund.org.


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WEST HILLS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT UNDER EVALUATION AFTER THREATS

East County News Service

December 7, 2022 (Santee) - A 14-year-old boy is being evaluated at a hospital as a safety precaution after threatening to hurt students and staff at West Hills High School. 


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