Crime Beat

AUTHORITIES ANNOUNCE TAKE-DOWN OF MULTI-STATE METH NETWORK TIED TO SINALOA CARTEL: 43 CHARGED IN SAN DIEGO WITH DISTRIBUTING AROUND THE WORLD

 

 

East County News Service

May 23, 2019 (San Diego) -- Indictments were unsealed this week in San Diego federal court charging 43 members of a methamphetamine distribution network tied to the Sinaloa Cartel with federal drug trafficking and money laundering offenses, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s Narcotics Task Force, San Diego Sheriff’s Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced in a joint press conference on Tuesday.

SANDAG REPORT SHOWS CRIME TRENDS ACROSS REGION

East County News Service

May 21, 2019 (San Diego) --  A new report by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) shows crime in all San Diego County Sheriff's Department patrol areas is down, though some other jurisdictions had increases. The Sheriff is responsible for all unincorporated parts of the county as well as several incorporated cities including Santee, Lemon Grove and Poway in our inland region.

EL CAJON FIRE WAS CAUSED BY HASH LAB EXPLOSION

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – Last night’s major fire at 920 El Cajon Blvd. in El Cajon was caused by an explosion at an illegal hash oil extraction lab which caused burn injuries to one victim. The explosion occurred less than two weeks after a hash oil lab exploded in Mira Mesa, seriously injuring three people.

FORMER TEACHER AT CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL IN EL CAJON ARRESTED FOR RAPES

 
 
East County News Service
 
May 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – The Sheriff’s Department arrested Dustin Sniff, a.k.a. Dustin Stevens, a former teacher at Christian High School in El Cajon, on May 15. He is charged with rape and sexual assault of a minor. Six victims ranged from 16 to 22 years of age, including two of his students.

SAN DIEGO SUPERVISORS, CITY COUNCIL SPLIT ON POLICE USE OF FORCE BILL

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 15, 2019 (San Diego) – San Diego County Supervisors and the San Diego City Council have taken polar opposition positions on Assembly Bill 392, authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), which would limit police officers’ use of force. 

FBI OFFERS $10,000 REWARD FOR INFO LEADING TO RECOVERY OF MISSING 5-YEAR-OLD ARANZA LOPEZ

 

 

East County News Service

May 14, 2019 (San Diego) -- The FBI needs public help in the search for missing 5-year-old Aranza Lopez, who was removed from a mall in Vancouver, Washington in October 2018 and is believed to be located in Mexico.  California residents may have information that could be key to her safe recovery, as an individual she may be residing or traveling with has close ties to the San Diego area.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CHARGES POWAY SYNAGOGUE SHOOTER WITH 109 HATE CRIMES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2019 (San Diego) – The U.S. Department of Justice today filed 109 hate crime charges against John T. Earnest,19. The Rancho Penasquitos teen is charged with murder and 53 counts of attempted murder for shootings at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue on April 27. Prosecutors may seek the death penalty for crimes believed to be motivated by hatred toward the Jewish community.

DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER STRIKING, SERIOUSLY INJURING MAN IN SANTEE

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 7, 2019 (Santee) – A driver who seriously injured a pedestrian in Santee has been arrested for a felony hit and run.  The accident occurred this morning at 5:03 a.m. at North Magnolia Ave. and Riverview Parkway.
 
The victim, 32, had been arguing with his brother and jumped out of a vehicle, walking south on North Magnolia in the lanes of travel, according to Lt. Chris Steffen. The brother and his friend tried to talk the man back into the vehicle, when he was struck by another vehicle traveling north on Magnolia.

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING INJURES VICTIM IN EAST COUNTY; AUTHORITIES SEEK WHITE SUV

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
May 6, 2019 (El Cajon) – The driver of a white Ford Explorer or Expedition SUV fired a shotgun into a vehicle on Los Coches Road in unincorporated El Cajon near the I-8 freeway shortly before midnight last night.  Shotgun pellets struck a rear passenger in the face and head.

LA MESA POLICE OFFICER SHOOTS, WOUNDS INTRUDER

 
 
Suspect is a person of interest in an Ocean Beach homicide
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: LMPD Chief Walt Vasquez
 
May 2, 2019 (La Mesa) – Daniel Chase McKibben, 36, was shot in the shoulder and hand by a La Mesa Police officer who fired three shots at 9:15 a.m., Chief Walt Vasquez reports  Officers responded to a call reporting a trespasser who refused to leave a residence at 7920 Rainey Street and found the suspect armed with a knife.

ARREST MADE IN SDSU SNAPCHAT CASE

 

 

Source:  SDSU

May 1, 2019 (San Diego) - On Wednesday, May 1, at 2:35 p.m., a suspect was arrested on allegations of making criminal threats via Snapchat toward a member of San Diego State University’s black community. The suspect, an SDSU student not currently enrolled in classes, was identified by the University Police Department within 48 hours after being notified of the incident. Officers immediately began investigating the incident and worked quickly to identify the suspect based on his description in the video and social media account handle. The suspect has been identified as Martin J. Ruiz.

POWAY SHOOTER CHARGED WITH MURDER, PARENTS DISAVOW SON

 

 

Thousands turn out at vigil to commemorate victims of Chabad synagogue 

By Miriam Raftery

May 1, 2019 (Poway) – District Attorney Summer Stephan has said she may pursue the death penalty against John T. Earnest, 19, who is accused of one count of murder with special circumstances for a hate crime and three counts of attempted murder when he opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue Saturday during a Passover celebration. He is also charged with arson at a house of worship for setting fire to the Islamic Center of Escondido.

BOARD EXPANDS SOCIAL HOST ORDINANCE TO INCLUDE MARIJUANA

 

 

By Yvette Urrea MoeCounty of San Diego Communications Office

April 30, 2019 (San Diego) - The County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to amend its social host ordinance to add marijuana, so that as with alcoholic beverages, adults providing these substances to minors could be cited or arrested.

PASSOVER SHOOTINGS AT POWAY SYNAGOGUE: 1 DEAD, 3 INJURED

 

Updated 3:45 p.m. with information from the Sheriff's press conference and comments from Poway Mayor Steve Vaus

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2019 (Poway, CA)--An older woman has died and three others were injured in a shooting  today at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sheriff Gore confirmed in a news conference this afternoon.  The attack occurred during a Passover celebration.

ECM news partner 10 News reports that  Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, suffered a hand injury. Two men and a 10-year-old girl were also injured with shrapnel wounds; all are in stable condition and expected to recover. 

A white male, 19, from San Diego is in custody after he called authorities to surrender. He used an AR-type assault weapon, according to Sheriff Gore. He was arrested in nearby Rancho San Diego.  No motive has yet been disclosed.

NBC 7 reports that multiple sources confirm the suspect is John T. Earnest, who published a manifesto at 10 a.m. on Reddit threatening to live-stream the shooting in Poway. In a rant filled with racist remarks and Bible quotes, he also claimed credit for arson at an Escondido mosque a month ago. The killer stated that he was inspired by the recent deadly attack on a New Zeland mosque and by shootings at a Pittsburgh synagogue last year.

MAN ARRESTED FOR KILLING BROTHER IN LAKESIDE

By Miriam Raftery

Updated with names of victims

April 27, 2019 (Lakeside) – Felix Joseph Hernandez, 50, is under arrest for killing his brother. George Hernandez, as well as shooting and injuring Elwin Ray Downs, 65. He is charged with murder and assault.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call reporting the shooting yesterday at 4:31 p.m. in a mobile home park at 13460 Highway 8 Business in Lakeside.  Deputies found a 65-year-old man in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to his torso. The victim reported another man had been shot inside a residence.

RISE UP HELPS FORMER INMATES MAKE TRANSITION TO NEW LIFE

 
 
By Mike Allen
 
Photo:  Dustin Greeves and Ernie Garcia
 
April 25, 2019 (Santee) -- A small nonprofit in Santee is making its mark as a proven transition agent, giving newly-released longtime prisoners a chance for a new life while providing skilled workers for local businesses.

JAMUL MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING WIFE

 
 
East County News Service
 
April 25, 2019 (Jamul) – A jury has convicted Winnie Perry Whitby, 49, from Jamul of second degree murder. He was found guilty of stabbing his wife, Melissa Whitby. Her body was found January 7, 2017 on a path along Skyline Truck Trail about a mile from the couple’s home.

SKETCH RELEASED OF MAN WHO TRIED TO LURE GIRL INTO CAR IN SANTEE

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
April 23, 2019 (Santee) -- Detectives from the Santee Sheriff's Station now have a sketch of a man suspected of trying to lure a young girl into his car on March 28th around 6 p.m. on Poplin Drive in Santee.  
 
A nine-year-old girl told detectives she was riding her bicycle when the suspect pulled up beside her and asked her if she would like a ride to a "game." The girl became scared and rode away in her bike all the way home. She was not hurt. 

DESTINY GUNS WAS SANTEE JAIL'S FIRST ESCAPEE; SURRENDERED AFTER FIVE DAYS ON LAM

 

 

By Ken Stone 

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

Photo:  Destiny Guns, 22, escaped from La Colinas women’s jail in Santee about 6 p.m. Saturday. Photo via Sheriff’s Department

April 13, 2019 (Santee) - When 22-year-old Destiny Guns jumped walls and fences Saturday night at Las Colinas women’s jail, she made local history — as the first-ever escapee from the Santee lockup.

But Thursday night, she ended a manhunt with her arrest in the parking lot of the jail, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Melissa Aquino.

MAN TRIED TO LURE SANTEE GIRL, 9, INTO SILVER CONVERTIBLE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery 

March 30, 2018 (Santee) – The Sheriff’s department is warning the public about a man who tried to lure a 9-year-old girl into his silver convertible vehicle on Thursday at 8 p.m.  The girl was riding her bicycle in the 8000 block of Poplin drive in Santee when the man asked if she wanted a ride to a “game,” says Sgt. Kamon Harris.

HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER WHO STRUCK BOY ON BICYCLE PLEADS GUILTY

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 30, 2019 (El Cajon) - Courtney Webber has pled guilty and will be sentenced next month for hitting a 9-year-old bicyclist in El Cajon on October 5, 2018, then fleeing the scene, Times of San Diego reports.
 
ECM photographer Robert Gehr witnessed the accident near West Main and Sunshine.  He raced to comfort the young victim, also providing a description of the vehicle to police.

SUSPECT KILLED IN EL CAJON HAD ATTACKED A SECURITY GUARD, VIDEO AND WITNESS STATEMENTS REVEAL

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 29, 2019 (El Cajon) – Surveillance video, a cell phone video and witness interviews are providing new details on a man shot dead yesterday in the 1300 block of East Main St. in El Cajon.
 
The evidence indicates the man was likely trying to burglarize and then carjack a vehicle, says Lt. Royal Bates.  When an off-duty security guard reported the vehicle break-in, the suspect tried to “violently attack” the guard.  The guard told police he then pepper-sprayed the suspect, but it had no effect.

NEW CAPTAINS IN CHARGE AT RANCHO SAN DIEGO AND ALPINE STATIONS

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo by Ron Logan: Sheriff Bill Gore
 
March 28, 2019 (San Diego) – Sheriff Bill Gore today announced promotion of three lieutenants to captains. 
 
Captain Richard Williams will be in charge of the Rancho San Diego station, replacing Captain Charles Cinnamo. Cinnamo had been temporarily assigned since Captain Marco Garmo was placed on administrative leave amid to a federal criminal arms sales investigation.

SUSPECT SHOT, KILLED BY MOTORIST IN EL CAJON

 
 
East County News Service
 
March 28, 2019 (El Cajon) – An off-duty security guard interrupted a possible vehicle burglary or carjacking this morning in the 1300 block of East Main Street. The vehicle’s owner became involved and during the altercation, “the vehicle owner fired a handgun, striking and killing the suspect,” says Lt. Royal Bates with the El Cajon Police Department.

LA MESA POLICE SEEK THREE SUSPECTS IN SHOOTING ON SPRING STREET

 
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
March 27, 2019 (La Mesa) – A man shot in the abdomen after an altercation near 4200 Spring Street at 10:30 last night has been unable to provide police with a statement due to medical treatment.  Police are seeking three men, all African Americans ages 18-20 in dark clothing, including the shooter, last seen fleeing in an orange or red late-model Dodge Charger.

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