Did You Know...? Monthly Newsletter Issue 5, 2014
From the Office of Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley
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MISSION STATEMENT

To review and prosecute criminal violations of the laws, to protect consumers and the environment and to support and protect victims of crime within the County on behalf of the people of the State of California.

Elder Abuse Awareness Month 2014
The month of June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month. The Alameda County District Attorney's Office and the Alameda County Social Services Agency have joined forces to organize a series of free educational workshops designed to provide safety tips to seniors. The District Attorney's Office is committed to ensuring the physical and financial safety and well- being of the elder community of Alameda County.

Representatives from the DA's Office Elder Protection Unit will be joined by Adult Protective Services, Local Law Enforcement, U.S. Postal Inspectors, Legal Assistance for Seniors and the Superior Court Investigators Office.

This series of workshops, entitled An Ounce of Prevention, will provide valuable information, resources and expertise in all areas of elder abuse prevention. Workshops will take place throughout the county as follows:

Wednesday, June 11
10:00 - 11:30 am
Newark Senior Center
7401 Enterprise Dr., Newark

Friday, June 13
1:00 - 2:30 pm
Dublin Senior Center
7600 Amador Valley Blvd., Dublin

Thursday, June 19
10:00 - 11:30 am
North Oakland Senior Center
5714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland

Thursday, June 26
1:30 - 3:00 pm
13909 E. 14th St, San Leandro
DA O'MALLEY & U.S. ATTORNEY MELINDA HAAG HOST BAY AREA PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE SUMMIT
On May 7, DA O'Malley and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag hosted the Bay Area Prescription Drug Abuse Summit in San Francisco, CA. The summit brought together leaders from throughout the Bay Area, the state and the nation, all of whom are working to address awareness, education and prevention efforts.  

"Prescription drug abuse is a public safety and public health issue," stated DA O'Malley. "These drugs are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse, which can lead to addiction, accidental poisoning, or other grave consequences. Rates of prescription drug abuse and addiction in Alameda County as well as around the state and nation are alarmingly high, as are the numbers of tragic accidental overdoses due to these drugs. I applaud our Federal partners for their attention and dedication to addressing this epidemic."

U.S. Attorney Haag remarked: "The summit is intended to be the start of a movement to get in front of the issue in Northern California - to collect information, share best practices, develop ways to track and measure this growing phenomenon, and devise ways to contain this growing epidemic - before we are years down the road and more lives are lost or destroyed."

According to information provided at the summit, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic in the United States.  According to the CDC, more than 2.1 million people in the U.S. are addicted to prescription opioid painkillers. Nationally and locally, prescription drug overdoses and accidental poisoning has been exceeding traffic accident fatalities in recent years. Additionally, opioid addiction can and does lead to heroin addiction, with a recent study revealing that 81% of heroin initiates misused prescription pain relievers before turning to heroin. All too often, teens and young adults turn to heroin when they can no longer obtain or afford to buy prescription drugs.

As part of its efforts towards eliminating prescription drug abuse in our community, the DA's Office is an active participant in National Drug Take Back Day. This spring, DA Inspectors collected 757 pounds of unwanted prescription and over the counter medications at four collection sites. Safe disposal of both over-the-counter and prescription medication is crucial to prevent the misuse of these substances.
Recent Verdicts
  • On May 29, 2014, a jury convicted Ricardo Vazquez of aggravated sexual assault for a series of sexual assaults involving digital penetration, oral copulation and rape. The assaults happened when the victim was 11-13 years old. The defendant will be sentenced on August 18, 2014. The case was prosecuted by DDA Edward Vieira-Ducey.
  • On May 6, 2014, a jury found Rakesh "Paul" Singh guilty of aggravated mayhem and conspiracy to commit aggravated mayhem. This case comes out of a vicious attack that took place in Fremont, CA on February 11, 2013. On that date, the Defendant's ex-wife was leaving her Fremont home at 9:00 a.m. when two men brutally assaulted her with both hammer and knife. As a result of the beating and slashing, the victim sustained multiple deep lacerations to her cheek, nose, and ear and had to undergo extensive and ongoing medical treatment...see here for case details.
  • On May 1, 2014, a jury convicted Tomas Orona of ten felony counts, including the willful, deliberate, and premeditated attempted murder of Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Duane Fisher with the personal and intentional discharge of a firearm clause. Additional felony convictions correspond to crimes committed between June 1 and June 4, 2012, when the defendant engaged in a crime spree in Oakland... see here for case details.

For a full description of all felony and misdemeanor verdicts, please visit our website.
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