Crime Beat

LEMON GROVE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MANSLAUGHTER

East County News Service
 
June 27, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Gustavo Flores, 39, has pleaded guilty to killing Juan Martinez, 47, after a fight near the Home Depot store in Lemon Grove last year on June 21, 2018. 
 
The charge was reduced from murder to manslaughter.  Martinez could face up to 13 years in prison for striking fatal blows with an unknown weapon.

7 ARRESTED IN RAIDS ON ILLEGAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES IN CASA DE ORO

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 20, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Seven people have been arrested following raids yesterday morning on three illegal marijuana dispensaries in the Casa de Oro area of Spring Valley.  An abatement warrant and three search warrants were served at an office complex at 9966 Dolores Street in units 102, 108 and 208. Sheriff’s deputies found over 600 pounds of marijuana along with marijuana edibles, drug paraphernalia, $21,000 cash, and four firearms. 

DRIVER ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE AFTER INJURY CRASH IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
June 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – A 22-year-old man has been arrested by El Cajon Police following a collision that occurred shortly after midnight at Jamacha Road and Vista del Valley Blvd. The crash injured two people, one seriously.

SHERIFF SWEEP ARRESTS 36 IN EAST COUNTY

Source: San Diego Sheriff’s Department

 

June 16, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Yesterday, 36 adults were arrested in a sweep by the San Diego Sheriff’s court services bureau, clearing 44 misdemeanor warrants and two felony warrants.  The operation focused on apprehending people with outstanding warrants, regardless of charges or bail amounts. It was conducted in Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, Jamul, El Cajon and La Mesa, says Sergeant David Pocklington.

BORDER PATROL AGENTS HOSPITALIZED BRIEFLY WITH SYMPTOMS AFTER STOP FINDS DRUGS IN VEHICLE

By Miriam Raftery

June 14, 2019 (Campo) – After Border Patrol agents stopped two vehicles in Campo on June 2nd that were traveling in tandem and suspected of smuggling undocumented immigrants, drug paraphernalia was observed during examination of the vehicles.  “Shortly after, one of the agents began coughing and complained of nausea,” says Justin Castrejon, public affairs officer for the Border Patrol in San Diego.  The agent reported an odor from inside one of the suspect vehicles.  The San Diego County Hazardous Incident Response Team responded, ECM news partner 10 News has learned.

BOMB THREAT AT POWAY HIGH SCHOOL A HOAX

East County News Service
 
June 11, 2019 (Poway) -- After a Poway High School staff member received an email claiming one or more explosive devices had been concealed on campus, Sheriff’s deputies today responded and secured the campus with cooperation of the school’s staff.  A search was conducted with help from Harbor Police K-9 units.

EL CAJON POLICE TEEN ACADEMY BEGINS JUNE 17

Source:  El Cajon Police Department

June 11, 2019 (El Cajon) - The El Cajon Police Department will be hosting its 4th Annual Teen Academy beginning on June 17, 2018. The academy will run Monday through Friday for two weeks, concluding with a graduation ceremony on Friday, June 28, 2019. Classes will begin at 7:30 am every morning, and conclude at 3:30 pm every afternoon. There are a total of 27 teens in this year’s Teen Academy. 

SHOOTING THREAT PROMPTS DISMISSAL AT BANCROFT ELEMENTARY

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2019 (Spring Valley) – A male caller, possibly a juvenile, called Bancroft Elementary School in Spring Valley at 2:44 p.m. today to state that there would be a shooting and warned the school to go on lockdown.  Staff put the school into lockdown and notified the Sheriff.

Sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers responded.  There were no further threats or substantiation, but the school dismissed students with law enforcement present.

EAST COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS AMONG 11 INDICTED IN CHARTER SCHOOL FRAUD SCHEME

By Miriam Raftery

May 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan yesterday announced indictments against 11 individuals in a statewide charter school scheme that stole over $50 million in public funds.  Those indicted include Nancy Hauer, superintendent of the Dehesa Elementary School District in El Cajon, and Steve Van Zant, former superintendent of the Mountain Empire Unified School District that services Descanso, Pine Valley, Potrero and Campo.

The ringleaders, Sean McManus and Jason Schrock, CEO and president of A3 Education, sought out small school district with limited oversight experience and proposed that they authorize online charter schools to earn oversight fees paid for through public funds, according to the 253-page indictment handed down by a grand jury investigation May 17th after a year-long investigation that involved interviewing over 70 witnesses.

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.

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