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Gang Members Charged In Fraud Bust
Blockbuster Video Fined for Overcharging
Sex Predator Committed To State Hospital
Law Enforcement Memorial Unveiled
U.S Attorney Discusses Border Crime
Warning For Drunk Drivers
YMCA - Youth and Government Program
DA Case Files
bank gig press conference photo A large bank fraud scheme run by San Diego gang members has been broken up by the District Attorney's Office and its law enforcement partners.  "Operation Bank Gig" is the first time a violent street gang has been targeted for complex bank fraud in California.  Sixty defendants have been charged with 347 felony counts, including grand theft, money laundering and forgery. "The size and sophistication of this operation show that criminal street gangs in San Diego are expanding into white collar crime," said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

The scheme worked by having gang members recruit acquaintances with accounts at Navy Federal Credit Union.  The recruiters deposited counterfeit checks into the account, then withdrew the cash before the credit union determined the checks were counterfeit.  The total loss is estimated at more than $500,000, which investigators believe was used to help fund illegal gang activities and pay for a lavish street gang lifestyle.
blockbuster logo The District Attorney's Office announced a $ 300,000 judgment against video rental giant Blockbuster, which was is accused of charging customers more than the advertised or posted price on items.  "The investigation shows Blockbuster was over-charging for about four years, but we have now held the company accountable for unfair business practices," said DA Dumanis.  In addition to the monetary fine, the judgment prohibits Blockbuster from charging an amount greater than the currently-advertised price for items in the future.  The case against Blockbuster was based on 229 inspection reports from 14 California counties, as well as consumer complaints about overcharging.
svp Martin photo
The District Attorney's Office was successful in having Michael St. Martin, 52, officially determined to be a sexually-violent predator (SVP) and re-committed to CoalingaStateHospital.  St. Martin is a convicted child molester with five different victims.  During the past several years, St. Martin has spent much of his time advising other SVPs about how to beat the legal system, including helping to write numerous legal briefs.  In a difficult case, Deputy District Attorney Wendy Mazzarella showed the jury that although Martin appears to be a smooth talker, he is in fact a dangerous predator with no remorse and is likely to reoffend.

memorial photoAbout 1,000 family members, county leaders and law enforcement officers, including DA Bonnie Dumanis, gathered in front of the County Administration Center on Harbor Drive for the unveiling of a law enforcement memorial in May. The keynote speaker, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne, told officers' surviving family members that their loved ones died "doing something they loved to do." The names of 80 fallen peace officers etched in the glass and granite memorial were read aloud - from the 1864 death of Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Kriss to the 2008 death of Border Patrol Agent Jarod Dittman.
karen hewitt photo
Karen P. Hewitt, United States Attorney for the Southern District of California, spoke to the District Attorney's Women's Advisory Council in May.  Ms. Hewitt gave an overview of the U.S. Attorney's Office, focusing on border crimes such as kidnappings and drug trafficking.  The Women's Advisory Council is comprised of about three dozen community leaders who meet bi-monthly at the DA's Office to discuss law enforcement-related issues.
madd news conf photo
Chief Investigator Paula Robinson of the DA's Bureau of Investigation stood alongside county officials to remind motorists of the zero tolerance for drunk driving. Law enforcement agencies throughout San Diego County increased enforcement efforts through saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints over the Memorial Day weekend. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organized the event, which was held at San Diego County Sheriff's Department Headquarters in Kearny Mesa.
YMCA Youth and Government Program
south bay kids photo

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis meets with participants from the Southeast San Diego YMCA "Youth and Government Program."  Young people in the program experience the workings of government first-hand and learn to solve problems through the democratic process.


James Torkelson, 31, was found guilty in the slayings of a man and a woman during a botched robbery at the Five Star Park Shuttle & Fly. Torkelson was sentenced to life in prison without parole.  The victims were found on the floor of a business trailer at the parking lot near Pacific Highway. Each had been shot in the head.

Kevin Royle, 47, was convicted of murdering one of his roommates, James Parker, 47, in December 2007 in a dispute over a gun.  Royle was also convicted in El Cajon Superior Court of assault with a deadly weapon for threatening his brother with a loaded handgun. He faces a maximum penalty of 80 years-to-life at sentencing.

Latorris Boone, 24, was sentenced to 13 years in state prison for shooting into a crowd at Belmont Park and wounding a bystander.  Boone was arguing with a group of people who had just gotten off a party bus when pulled out a gun and fired into the crowd.

Vincent Harry Greco, 64, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 32 months in state prison for failing to register as a sex offender.  Greco had been working as the director of a local youth music ensemble at a high school in the South Bay

Mark Jeffrey Brown, 50, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Faye Williams, 40 and sentenced to 25 years-to-life in state prison.  Brown had a long history of violence toward women and suffocated or strangled Williams in February of 2003.
On The Record
June 2009

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