Crime Beat

RANCHO SAN DIEGO SHERIFF CAPTAIN MARCO GARMO PLACED ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE DURING ATF/FBI CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Action comes on heels of countywide firearms trafficking investigation

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: Capt. Marco Garmo,10 News

February 14, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) -- Capt. Marco Garmo, who most recently headed up the Rancho San Diego substation of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has been placed on an administrative leave until further notice, according to ECM news partner 10News.

On the same day that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted raids throughout San Diego County, including the large sprawling Jamul estate of San Diego jeweler Leo Hamel due to a firearms trafficking investigation, Garmo was put on leave. The Rancho San Diego substation covers the same area of Hamel’s property.

Sheriff Gore, in a e-mail obtained by 10News yesterday, states that he was made aware of potential criminal conduct by Garmo by a senior member of the Sheriff’s Department, and implies that the removal of Garmo is linked to the broader federal investigation involving Hamel’s properties.

FEDS RAID JEWELER LEO HAMEL’S HOME AND STORES IN GUN TRAFFICKING CASE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

February 13, 2019 (Jamul) – A mansion in Rancho Jamul Estates owned by prominent jeweler Leo Hamel was raided today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Some of his jewelry stores were also searched in connection with a firearms trafficking case, 10 News reports.

In 2016, Hamel ran for the California State Assembly as a Republican, seeking to represent most of East County. Despite announcing that he had dropped out before the primary election, his name remained on the ballot and he advanced to the November run-off, but was defeated by Randy Voepel.

ACLU FILES MOTION TO COMPEL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO COMPLY WITH NEW PUBLIC RECORDS LAW

 

 

East County News Service

February 13, 2019 (San Diego) -- The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) on Monday filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit by several police unions seeking to prevent the release of police misconduct records as required by the state’s new law, the “California Public Records Act” (SB 1421). The ACLU demands that local law enforcement agencies act immediately to comply with the new law.

MURDER SUSPECT ARRESTED IN EL CAJON

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
February 10, 2019 (El Cajon) – A man suspected of stabbing another man to death in front of two witnesses this morning has been arrested.
 
El Cajon Police officers responded to Grossmont Hospital this morning, where they met with the victim’ wife.  She told officers that around 1 a.m., she and her husband, along with another man, where in their vehicle in an alley in the 300 block of North Second Street.  Her husband reportedly got into an argument with another man outside of their vehicle and tat man stabbed her husband in the chest.

PAROLEE ARRESTED FOR STABBING AT SPRING VALLEY MINI MART

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 9, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) – Roberto Inchaurregui III, 27, of Spring Valley was arrested Feb. 7 for a stabbing that occurred Feb. 2 at the Arco AM/PM Mini Mart in Spring Valley.

Sheriff’s detectives from Rancho San Diego and the Crime Suppression Team arrested Inchaurregui at his parole agent’s office, then served a search warrant on the suspect’s home, where they recovered other items further linking Inchaurregui to the crime, says Sgt. Matt Cook II.

He was booked into the San Diego County Jail.

SUSPECT WANTED FOR IDENTITY THEFT AND BURGLARY - UP TO $1,000 REWARD OFFERED

 

 

Source:  San Diego Sheriff's Department

February 8, 2019 (Santee) - San Diego County Crime Stoppers along with investigators from the Santee Sheriff's Station are asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating an unknown suspect who stole a purse from an unlocked vehicle and used stolen credits cards to make purchases at various stores in Santee.

CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS READYING CONTROVERSIAL BILL TO LIMIT POLICE USE OF DEADLY FORCE

 

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) carrying legislation

By Laurel Rosenhall | CALmatters

CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.

February 3, 2019 (Sacramento) -- Jamilia Land walked out of a meeting in the state Capitol feeling optimistic that 2019 may be the year California changes the law to try to reduce the number of people killed by police.

VALHALLA STUDENT ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY BRINGING GUN TO SCHOOL

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
February 2, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) – A student at Valhalla High School has been arrested for allegedly bringing a loaded handgun onto campus in the Rancho San Diego area of unincorporated El Cajon yesterday.

LARGEST-EVER FENTANYL SEIZURE MADE AT PORT OF ENTRY BY AGENTS UNPAID DURING SHUTDOWN

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
February 1, 2019 (Tucson) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Nogales in Arizona seized nearly 650 pounds of fentanyl and methamphetamines worth close to $4.6 million last Saturday—the largest fentanyl seizure in CBP history nationwide. 

COMMERCIAL BURGLARY SUSPECTS ARRESTED, ALSO CHARGED WITH DRUG CRIMES

 
 
By Miriam Raftery 
 
January 31, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) — Two suspects believed responsible for over 30 commercial burglaries countywide with losses totaling over $130,000 have been arrested in Lakeside and Spring Valley.
 
Detectives and crime suppression team deputies from Alpine, Rancho San Diego, Lakeside and Santee participated in serving search warrants that led to recovery of property stolen from a business in Rancho San Diego. The search also found a clandestine marijuana growing operation and a butane honey oil extraction laboratory. Detectives from the San Diego Regional Narcotics Task Force responded, along with HAZMAT personnel and other law enforcement personnel.

CAMPO SCHOOL BUS ASSAILANT SENTENCED TO DRUG REHAB AND COUNSELING

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
January 30, 2018 (Campo) – A knife-wielding man who punched a Campo Elementary School bus driver in the face on May 25, 2018 has been sentenced to a year in jail, with part of his sentence slated to be served in a drug rehabilitation facility.
 

SDPD OFFICER ARRESTED IN SANTEE ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ASSAULT CHARGES

 
 
East County News Service
 
January 30, 2019 (Santee) – San Diego Police Officer Timothy Allan Romberger was arrested Wednesday in Santee. He is charged with felony domestic violence and assaulting his girlfriend by putting a semi-automatic gun to her head and asked her why he should let her live. 

ILLEGAL POT SHOP SHUT DOWN IN SPRING VALLEY

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
January 23, 2019 (Spring Valley) — Cookiez Collective, a marijuana dispensary operating illegally at 2913 Sweetwater Road in Spring Valley, was shut down today by county authorities.
 
Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s detectives and crime suppression team members assisted County Code Compliance in serving an abatement warrant. According to Sergeant Matt Cook II, “the abatement warrant was the direct result of numerous complaints from concerned citizens” as well as violating of the county’s zoning ordinance. 

D.A. ANNOUNCES TRAFFICKING EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR ALL LOCAL SCHOOLS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 23, 2019 (San Diego) — San Diego ranks among the 13 worst regions in the nation for human trafficking, according to the FBI.  The underground sex economy locally is worth an estimated $810 million a year. To combat this crisis and help protect vulnerable young people, District Attorney Summer Stephan has announced three new programs to bring human trafficking education, prevention and awareness training to kids and teens in all public schools countywide.

TIPSTER ALERTS DEPUTIES DURING ROBBERY AT VERIZON STORE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 12, 2019 (Rancho San Diego) – Sheriff’s deputies surrounded a Verizon store in Rancho San Diego last night, after a citizen in the parking lot saw two men wearing masks enter the store. The witness called 911 at 6:22 p.m. The tip resulted in arrested of two suspected armed robbers, both teens, as they ran out of the store on Jamacha Rd. east of Campo Rd.  After the teens entered the store, “one of them pointed a firearm at the four employees in the store,” says Sgt. Michael Hettinger. “They demanded the employees give them the cash from the register and forced them at gunpoint into the back storeroom. The suspects then forced the employees to give them the cash from their wallets and open the safe which contained a large stock of phones.

MAN WANTED FOR TRYING TO LURE BOY, 12, INTO PICKUP TRUCK IN SANTEE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2019 (Santee) — The Sheriff’s department seeks public help to find a white male in a dirty, newer model white Ford F-150 pickup truck lifted rims. The driver reportedly  tried to trick a 12-year-old boy into accepting a ride. The suspect is described as in his 40s with short blond hair, stubble on his face, wearing a brown Hurley baseball cap and short-sleeved plaid shirt in white and blue.

DEPUTIES SHOOT, KILL ARMED MAN IN LEMON GROVE TACO SHOP

 

Update January 9, 2019 -- The deceased suspect has been identified as Adolfo Gonzalez, 28, of San Diego.

The deputies involved in this shooting are Carlos Cenizo, Sean Daly and Casey Dow. All are assigned to the Lemon Grove Sheriff's Substation. Cenizo has been a deputy since 2014; Daly and Dow have been deputies since 2015.

East County News Service

January 6, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Three Sheriff’s deputies opened fire on an armed man  inside the Del Taco restaurant at 7060 Broadway in Lemon Grove last night.  

According to Lieutenant Rich Williams with the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit, a 9-1-1 caller shortly after 8:30 p.m. reported that the suspect had pointed a handgun at the caller and his family in the Del Taco shop.  Deputies arrived minutes later and when they tried to talk to the suspect, The man produced a handgun and as a result, a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” Lt. Williams said. “It appears all three of the deputies who contacted the armed suspect fired their handguns in response to the threat.”

JUDGE HALTS PLAN TO RELEASE “BOLDER THAN MOST RAPIST” INTO JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS, FOR NOW

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 5, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) — Disturbing results of a new mental health evaluation have halted the state’s plan to release Alvin Quarles into the Jacumba Hot Springs community in San Diego’s East County.

EL CAJON POLICE PLAN DUI ENFORCEMENT OVER NEW YEAR’S WEEKEND

 

Source: El Cajon Police

December 29, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are ways to spend time with family and friends ringing in another year, but also a time when people can make poor choices that put themselves and others at risk on the road.

MAN WHO DIED IN SHERIFF’S PATROL CAR IN SANTEE IS IDENTIFIED AS WARREN MORRIS

 

East County News Service

December 29, 2018 (Santee) – Warren Morris, 51, has been identified by the County Medical Examiner’s office as the man found by Sheriff’s deputies lying on a sidewalk near Walmart in Santee on the afternoon of December 23rd. 

STATE DROPS PLANS FOR PAROLE OFFICE IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (La Mesa) – Nearly 1,800 residents who signed a petition opposing a state parole office in La Mesa got an early Christmas present.

Today, City Manager Yvonne Garrett received a message from Jerry Powers, director of the state’s division of adult parole operations, advising that the agency has determined that “due to functional and logistical issues this site is unworkable for our needs at this time.  We will continue to review other locations in the eastern San Diego County area in our efforts to provide services more directly to the parolee population and the citizens of East County.”

The state had proposed the facility at 9400 Grossmont Summit Drive, next to homes on Mt. Helix and the Brigantine Restaurant and within a quarter mile of Grossmont High School. The closest trolley stop would have been shared by high school and middle school students, with violent parolees and sex offenders walking directly past two schools.

SUSPECTED DUI DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER HITTING POWER POLE IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (Lemon Grove)—The driver of a green Kia utility vehicle has been arrested for suspected driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs after striking a power pole at 6:47 a.m. at 1750 Madera Street near Massachusetts Avenue in Lemon Grove.

Broken wires resulted in loss of power at San Altos Elementary School. The outage is expected to last until this afternoon.The school has planned a minimum day.

MAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF CO-RESIDENT AT EL CAJON INDEPENDENT LIVING FACILITY



By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2018 (El Cajon) – Brad Payton, 24, of El Cajon has been arrested and charged with the murder of a fellow resident at an independent living center located in the 1200 block of Naranca Avenue.

”Based upon the investigation at this time, it is believed the suspect and victim knew each other and lived in separate rooms within the facility,” says Lieutenant Walt Miller. “Witnesses told investigators the two were arguing for unknown reasons just prior to the suspect attacking the victim with a blunt object.”

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

December 19, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A man was shot in the head last night around 10:30 p.m. but fortunately is expected to survive.  Shots were fired from a white four-door vehicle near Jamacha Blvd. and Grand Avenue in the La Presa area of Spring Valley.

Fortunately, the victim is expected to survive, Patch.com reports, citing Lt. Karla Menzies.

ARCO CLERK ALLEGEDLY THREATENS CUSTOMERS, ASSAULTS DEPUTY

East County News Service

December 18, 2018 (Spring Valley) – A clerk at the Arco convenience store in the 9000 block of Campo Road assaulted a deputy who responded to a call reporting that the clerk was threatening customers with a knife. The caller reported that the clerk appeared to be under the influence of a drug and chased a customer with a knife.

NATIONWIDE BOMB HOAXES REACH EAST COUNTY

By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2018 (San Diego) – A bomb hoax targeted numerous of businesses, schools, newspapers, government facilities and individuals nationwide yesterday including at least a dozen locations in San Diego County.  The targets locally ranged from a trucking business in Lakeside to an attorney’s office in Kensington.

Attorney Julie Hamilton told ECM she received an email that included a demand for $20,000 in bitcoins or a hidden bomb would be exploded, similar to a threat reported across the nation.  “The email was very similar to other emails shown by other businesses. I didn't have to tell the investigator much, by the time they got to me they were well aware of the emails going to multiple businesses in the area,” Hamilton said.

RESIDENTS FLOOD LA MESA CITY COUNCIL WITH COMPLAINTS OVER PROPOSED PAROLE FACILITY

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2018 (La Mesa)--  Following the swearing in of newly elected Councilwoman Akilah Weber and reelected Councilman Bill Baber, the La Mesa City Council heard public comments last night from numerous area residents concerned about a state parole office proposed in a new building on Grossmont Summit Drive next to the Brigantine restaurant, other businesses and home.

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