On The Record


The Monthly Newsletter from

San Diego County District Attorney

Bonnie Dumanis


May 2011

Bonnie smiling

DA Honors Crime Victims During Emotional Ceremony 


Citizens of Courage 2011
(L to R) Adriana Camacho; Malissa Sorn; Viola Contreras; DA Dumanis; Candace Torian and Mary Brugger. 

Five women were honored for their courage in the face of crime during the annual Citizens of Courage Awards luncheon. The event was held as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis honored five reipients, two of whom came from out of state to be recognized. Honorees included a girl who was 9-years-old at the time a registered sex offender pulled her into the back of a van and a woman who was 86 when she was repeatedly beaten by a man attempting to carjack her. Both fought off their attackers.

All victims testified against their attackers, greatly helping the District Attorney's Office in its prosecution efforts. The women were honored in front of more than 300 invited dignitaries, elected officials, community leaders and guests.

 Read more and watch the videos, here.

CHP Arrests, District Attorney Charges Highway Shooter

Stephen Joseph Dragasits
Defendant Stephen Dragasits 

A 58-year-old man, who shot randomly at cars on State Highway 163 in San Diego, has been charged by the District Attorney's Office with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of shooting at an occupied vehicle.


Stephen Joseph Dragasits, a transient living in a motor home, was ordered held without bail.


"The California Highway Patrol made this investigation a priority and arrested the defendant in about two weeks time," said DA Bonnie Dumanis. "The CHP, along with the San Diego County Sheriff's Crime Lab did a great job in solving the case and calming public fears."


The shooting spree, which happened in early April, injured a 21-year-old college student.


Dragasits, a native of New York, is scheduled to be back in court this month.

Probation Sweep Nets Arrests, Prescription Drugs, and Cash


The San Diego County Probation Department, along with various law enforcement agencies, arrested 15 people and confiscated cash, drugs and weapons during a two-day crackdown on prescription drug traffickers and abusers.

The District Attorney's Office and other law enforcement agencies assisted in the sweep, which was conducted at 52 homes. Officials concentrated on probationers with a history of prescription drug abuse or who have been involved in "doctor shopping."

In addition to the probation arrests, more than $3,000 in cash was confiscated. Various prescription drugs, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and drug paraphernalia were seized along with two replica firearms.

Deputy DA Cari Philpott in the DA's Narcotics Division will be prosecuting the cases.

 Operation Trail Mix

DA Gives Check to YWCA for Domestic Violence Programs


Last year the District Attorney's Office reviewed more than 6,000 domestic violence cases. During that same period, 12 victims were murdered by their intimate partner.


To aid organizations fighting domestic abuse, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis presented the YWCA with a check for $15,000 for their domestic violence programming during a recent luncheon.


The funding came from the Asset Forfeiture Program, which includes money seized from the proceeds of crime.  


YWCA Check

DA Dumanis presents a check for $15,000 to the YWCA.


Bill to Give Police Better Tools to Combat Human Trafficking  


County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Assemblymember Marty Block, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Sheriff Bill Gore announced support of a bill aimed at fighting sexual exploitation and human trafficking in San Diego County.

 jacob newserAssembly Bill 918 would help law enforcement tackle the growing problem of gang-related criminal sexual exploitation by adding pimping, pandering and human trafficking to the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (STEP Act). 

The change will help law enforcement more effectively investigate, document and prosecute criminal street gangs and rescue victims of gang-related pimping.

The bill was approved in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on April 12, and is waiting to be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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Xavier Akeem Adams, 20, was sentenced to life in prison for participating in the beating and stabbing death of an Oceanside businessman.


Dania Haros, 26, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for beating to death her 4-year-old foster daughter, Agelina Esplain. The girl and her sister had been in Haros household in Oceanside for about six months.


Luis Alberto Duran, 22, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for somothering his 4-month old daughter to death. In June, he pleaded guilty to 2nd-degree murder. Duran became upset that his daughter was crying while he tried to sleep.


The Employees of the San Diego District Attorney, in partnership with the Community we serve, are dedicated to the pursuit of truth, justice and protection of the innocent, and the prevention of crime through the vigorous and professional prosecution of those who violate the law.