Crime Beat

ONLINE DRUG DEALER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS FOR SELLING FAKE OXYCODONE PILLS CONTAINING FENTANYL THAT KILLED LOCAL RESIDENT

East County News Service

October 17, 2019 (San Diego) – A drug dealer who advertised oxycodone narcotic pills online knowing they contained the far more potent drug fentanyl was sentenced in federal court this week to serve 15 years in prison. The counterfeit pills caused the overdose death of a La Jolla resident.

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MAN ARRESTED AFTER ASSAULTING DEPUTIES AND STABBING K-9 DOG IN JAMUL

East County News Service
 
October 15, 2019 (Jamul) – Sheriff’s deputies from the Rancho San Diego station have arrested Richard Lechuga, 29, of San Diego following a violent altercation this morning in Jamul.
 
The deputies received a radio call requesting a welfare check on a man seen walking around a vehicle and talking to himself in the 15000 block of Skyline Truck Trail I Jamul around 10:10 a.m.  They found Lechuga sitting in a vehicle. But when deputies approached, he sprayed three of them with bear spray through an open window, then brandished a knife and what appeared to be a handgun.

LA MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES TRAFFIC EDUCATION AND ENFORCEMENT GRANT

Source: La Mesa Police
 
October 15, 2019 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Police Department has been awarded a $95,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long enforcement and public awareness program. The program will include a variety of outreach to educate the public, as well as enforcement actions ranging from DUI patrols to seat belt and child safety seat compliance.

GOVERNOR SIGNS NEW LAW TO PROTECT IDENTITIES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS IN COURT DOCUMENTS

East County News Service

Photo: CC by NC

October 14, 2019 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 800, which will protect the identity of survivors of domestic and other violent crimes who participate in the Secretary of State’s Safe at Home Program when filing civil court documents. The bill was authored by Assemblymember Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) based on a proposal written by Dian Black with Callegislation, a former San Diegan who has written a dozen proposals since 1996 that have become law in California to protect victims’ rights.

WHOA! THIEVES STEAL IRON HORSE STATUE FROM FEED AND TACK STORE IN RURAL EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: The stolen statue was similar to the one pictured.

 

October 12, 2019 (El Cajon) – Be on the lookout for a stolen horse – no, not the galloping variety.  A 12-foot-high, 400+ pound iron horse statue was taken by thieves using a long, flatbed truck from the Double S Tack and Feed Store at 14335 Olde Highway 80 in unincorporated El Cajon.

ACCUSED MURDERER OF POPULAR EAST COUNTY DENTIST REMAINS IN CUSTODY

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 11, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- A 65-year-old man accused of murdering his husband, Dr. Blake Synowski, will be facing an El Cajon Superior Court judge on Friday to determine whether he will be granted bail.

SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR HIT-AND-RUN THAT SERIOUSLY INJURED RAMONA WOMAN

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2019 (Ramona) – California Highway Patrol today announced the arrest of Chase E. Richard, 34, of Ramona. He is accused of striking a bicyclist while driving a black Ford SUV with stolen license plates, then fleeing the scene and leaving Michelle Scott critically injured.

LEMON GROVE COUNCIL HEARS PLAN FOR CAMERAS TO AID LAW ENFORCEMENT AND MORE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 6, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- A San Diego Sheriff pilot project introducing a video federation program, election sign regulations for Lemon Grove City Council candidates and other matters were discussed by the Council at their meeting Oct. 1st at the Lemon Grove Community Center.

The video federation project was introduced by San Diego Sheriff Lt. Mike Rand. 

Lt. Rand said the department has begun the process of community awareness of a video sharing platform named “SafeSanDiego.” The first community forum in Lemon Grove was held on Oct. 3.  Businesses, government agencies and residents will be allowed to share video with law enforcement to help authorities investigate and solve criminal cases.

$25,000 REWARD OFFERED TO FIND HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER WHO CRITICALLY INJURED BICYCLIST MICHELLE SCOTT, RAMONA CERT TEAM MEMBER

Fundraiser launched to help pay victim’s medical bills

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via ECM news partner 10 News

October 6, 2019 (Ramona) — A $25,000 reward is being offered anonymously for information leading to arrest of the driver of a black Ford Edge SUV with stolen license plates, NBC 7 reports. The vehicle struck and critically injured Ramona bicyclist Michelle Scott last Wednesday morning on State Route 67 north of Dye Road.  

MAN ARRESTED FOR STEALING SHERIFF’S PATROL CAR IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 6, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Matthew Porter, 44, is under arrest after admitting to stealing a Sheriff deputy’s patrol car last night.
 
Around 8:52 p.m., a deputy assigned to the Lemon Grove Patrol Station was unloading his patrol car at the end of the shift. According to Lieutenant Mike Rand, a “transient male gained access to the patrol car and drove away.”

SHERIFF INVITES LEMON GROVE RESIDENTS TO COFFEE WITH COMMUNITY OCT. 3

East County News Service
 
September 28, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – The Sheriff’s department will host Coffee with the Community on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Starbucks (3520 Massachusetts Avenue near Broadway) in Lemon Grove.  The public is invited to meet patrol deputies and ask questions about issues brewing in the community.  
 
During the one hour meeting, attendees can also learn about crime prevention and free safety programs offered by the Lemon Grove substation.

APPEALS COURT BLOCKS RELEASE OF “BOLDER THAN MOST” RAPIST

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 24, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – The 4th District Court of Appeals has ruled that sexually violent predator Alvin Quarles must remain locked up in a state mental hospital while appellate court judges review the case.
 

LEMON GROVE MAN ACCUSED OF STEALING POLICE BIKE, BREAKING INTO HOME ON CORONADO

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 22, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – This morning, The Coronado Police Department announced the arrest of Lemon Grove resident Nicklas Paul Jorgenson. He was taken into custody at a motel in Point Loma by Coronado police, aided by San Diego Police Department K-9 units.

SUSPECT IN SECURITY SHIRT WANTED FOR GUNNING DOWN MAN AT POT SHOP IN EL CAJON

Suspect, a Hispanic man wearing a black security shirt, fled on a blue motorcycle and is considered armed and dangerous.
 
By Miriam Raftery

September 20, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police are searching for a suspect who gunned down a man inside an illegal marijuana dispensary at 350 West Douglas in El Cajon Thursday night around 11:45 p.m.

LA MESA HEARS REPORT ON CITIZEN POLICE OVERSIGHT PRACTICES, SEEKS CHANGES TO CHIEF'S PROPOSAL

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo: Screenshot, City of La Mesa video

September 20, 2019 – (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez presented a report on citizen police oversight practices at last week's City Council hearing and made suggestions for an 11-member Citizen Public Safety Panel to exchange information for the betterment of public safety in La Mesa. But his panel would lack investigative powers to look into complaints involving the police department.

Public testimony was against the Chief's proposal, and Councilwoman Dr. Akilah Weber grilled Vasquez on whether he adequately canvassed residents for input.

FEDS ANNOUNCE MASSIVE TAKEDOWN OF EAST COUNTY DRUG TRAFFICKING NETWORKS TIED TO SINALOA CARTEL

85 defendants charged for distributing methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl

East County News Service

September 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Eight indictments were unsealed today in San Diego federal court, charging 85 members of drug distribution networks linked to the Sinaloa Cartel with federal drug trafficking, money laundering and firearms offenses. Authorities are searching for 38 defendants; the rest are in state or federal custody, the U.S. Department of Justice in San Diego announced.

ARREST MADE IN 2016 SPRING VALLEY STABBING DEATH OF TEEN

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Victim Jeffrey Quirino
 
September 17, 2019 (Spring Valley) -- Christian Lopez, 27, has been charged with the murder of  17-year-old Jeffrey Quirino, who was stabbed during a fight on May 23, 2016.
 
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a  fight in front of 8914 Delrose Ave. in Spring Valley, but learned that a passing motorist had taken the victim to a hospital, where he died of his injuries a week later.

ACCUSED ARSONIST ARRESTED AFTER SERIES OF BRUSH FIRES IN OTAY

East County News Service
 
September 16, 2019 (Otay Valley) – Ramon Guevara, 49, has been arrested by San Diego Police on suspicion of arson, Times of San Diego reports.  
 
The suspect is charged with 19 brush fires that have ignited since Friday near a homeless camp on Beyer Way in the Otay Valley area, according to San Diego Police Sergeant Matt Botkin.
 
Witness descriptions and a helicopter search led to the arrest of the suspect. Crews from multiple fire departments responded to the blazes.  

EL CAJON POLICE CHIEF HONORED UPON RETIREMENT

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photos of Chief Davis’ walk-out ceremony by Catherine Martin.
 
September 15, 2019 (El Cajon) – After 33 years of service with the El Cajon Police Department, Chief Davis retired on Friday. He received salutes and hugs as he walked out of the station in civilian clothes, turning over the helm to his replacement, Mike Moulton.

LA MESA POLICE SEEK DARK SEDAN AFTER SHOTS FIRED AT MOTORCYCLIST ON UNIVERSITY

By Miriam Raftery

September 15, 2019 (La Mesa) – Gunshots were fired at a motorcyclist in the intersection of University Avenue and Marian Street around 3 a.m., prompting La Mesa Police to shut down several streets while they searched for a dark-colored sedan last seen heading east on University.

The shots missing the motorcyclist, but he sustained leg injuries after the gunfire caused him to crash into a fence. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

ViOLENT CRIMES UP, PROPERTY CRIMES DOWN COUNTYWIDE

SANDAG report shows variations among communities for first half of 2019

East County News Service

September 14, 2019 (San Diego) -- Violent crime rates in San Diego County are up slightly compared to the same time in 2018, but property crimes dipped during the same period, according to a new report released by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Criminal Justice Research Division. Read the full report

CHURCH LEADERS INDICTED ON FORCED LABOR CONSPIRACY INVOLVING HOMELESS VICTIMS

This is the most significant labor trafficking prosecution in this district in many years.” – Robert Brewer, U.S. Attorney, Southern District of California in San Diego (photo, left)

By Miriam Raftery

IVM Indictment - Click HERE

September 11, 2019 (San Diego) --  A dozen leaders of Imperial Valley Ministries, including the former pastor, are charged with subjecting dozens of mostly homeless people to forced labor, an indictment unsealed today reveals. Victims in San Diego and Imperial Counties were coerced to surrender welfare benefits and compelled to panhandle up to nine hours a day, six days a week, for the financial benefit of the church leaders, prosecutors allege.

'SHOCKING' NUMBER OF JAIL SUICIDES STIRS NEW SHERIFF'S POLICIES

 

By Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

September 3, 2019 (San Diego) - The San Diego County Sheriff's Department announced Tuesday that it has adopted a slate of policies designed to prevent inmate suicides at its jails, actions undertaken following the release of a report that decried a “shocking” number of such deaths at local lockup facilities.

$3,000 REWARD FOR INFO ON SHOTS FIRED AT JEWISH TEMPLE IN DEL CERRO

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via Facebook

August 30, 2019 (Del Cerro) – Workers preparing a classroom for students set to return after summer break at Temple Emmanu-El in San Diego’s Del Cerro neighborhood this week discovered two bullet holes from shots fired at the building. The temple is located on Capri Drive near College Avenue.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY TO APPEAL RELEASE OF PREDATOR QUARLES

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 30, 2019 (San Diego) – Deputy District Jessico Coto announced today that her office will appeal Superior Court Judge David Gill’s decision to release sexually violent predator Alvin Quarles, known as the “Bolder than Most” rapist.

MAN FOUND DEAD IN VALLEY CENTER DIED OF GUNSHOT WOUNDS

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 28, 2019 (Valley Center) – Yesterday, Sheriff’s deputies responded to conduct a welfare check on a resident in Valley Center found a man’s body inside with trauma to his upper body.  The Medical Examiner has concluded an autopsy and determined that the victim, Andrew Billeci, died of gunshot wounds inflicted in a homicide.

LEMON GROVE HOME INVASION SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR MURDER

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 28, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – A home invasion robbery that went awry in February led to a struggle between the home’s occupants and two suspects. The homeowner’s son was shot and wounded, resulting in the homeowner firing back, killing a teenage suspect. 

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