Informant attacked in gang case

SAN BERNARDINO – Three of nine defendants in a conspiracy to commit murder case involving a local street gang took plea bargain Friday, while a fourth one picked up new charges for assaulting a confidential police informant.

The nine alleged members and associates of the Pimps, Players, Hustlers and Gangsters street gang appeared before Judge Michael A. Smith on Friday to determine if their case was ready to go to trial in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Prosecutors announced new charges were filed earlier this week against Dearnaz Lorenzo Wilson, after he allegedly attacked the informant – the prosecution’s sole witness in the conspiracy case – on Oct. 5.
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Dozens in Inland Empire indicted in huge tax fraud scheme

Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/03/2011 12:25:41 PM PDT

A federal investigation into the practices of two San Bernardino County tax service companies has resulted in one of the largest indictments issued for tax fraud, federal officials said.

The Fontana-based Old Quest Foundation Inc. and Rancho Cucamonga-based De la Fuente and Ramirez and Associates filed false federal income tax returns containing bogus claims for refunds that sought more than $250 million, officials said.

The IRS investigation, code named “Operation Stolen Treasures,” resulted in 32 federal indictments that name a total of 55 defendants. Nearly half were arraigned in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana.
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Judge won’t dismiss charges for three alleged gang members

SAN BERNARDINO – A Superior Court judge denied a request Friday to dismiss the charges against three of nine alleged members and associates of the Pimps, Players, Hustlers and Gangsters street gang, who are accused of conspiring to kill two rivals.

Lawyers for Edward Jermaine Lair, Henry Duffy and Dearnaz Wilson argued their case in a motion before Judge Michael Smith in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Lawyer Stuart O’Melveny argued there was a lack of evidence showing that his client, Lair, was a participant in the alleged conspiracy.

Meanwhile, lawyers Andrew Haynal and Marjorie Barrios, who represent Duffy and Wilson, said information from a confidential informant – who told police he had smoked PCP that night – is unreliable.
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Burum attorney argues DA has conflict of interest in corruption case

Alleging a conflict of interest exists, the attorney for Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum wants the district attorney recused from prosecuting his client.

The alleged conflict stems from conversations the pair had before conspiracy charges were filed against Burum, said attorney Stephen Larson.

Larson also said Tuesday in San Bernardino Superior Court that District Attorney Michael A. Ramos had appointed Burum to his advisory committee.

The relationship between the pair, says Larson, results in a conflict for Ramos in the prosecution of Burum.
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FBI warrants target possible conspiracy, bribery allegations tied to SBIA

SAN BERNARDINO – The FBI is investigating allegations of conspiracy, bribery, money laundering, wire and mail fraud and theft of federal funds in connection with Wednesday’s raid at San Bernardino International Airport, according to a federal search warrant.

Sources who received copies of the warrant on Wednesday and asked not to be identified confirmed the allegations. They also confirmed that investigators are hoping a truckload of documents seized during the raid will show a relationship between airport developer Scot Spencer and San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris, airport director Donald L. Rogers, aviation director Bill Ingraham and assistant director Michael Burrows, among others.

Spencer did not return several phone calls seeking comment.
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Boards to address FBI investigation at San Bernardino airport

An emergency joint meeting of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority board and the Inland Valley Development Agency board has been set for Friday to address the FBI’s serving of seven search warrants this week at the airport and the Riverside home of airport developer Scot Spencer.

The meeting was called by Josie Gonzales, who chairs the county Board of Supervisors, co-chairs the Inland Valley Development Agency board, and is a member of the airport authority board.

“I was angry,” Gonzales said. “I’m disappointed. I’m frustrated and angry because here we go again with not being able to get ourselves into positions of leadership and trust.”
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Tribal member’s lawyer calls alleged probation violations “technicalities”

Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/25/2008 10:01:44 PM PST

The lawyer for a San Manuel tribal member who was recently sentenced in a murder conspiracy case downplayed his client’s alleged violations of her probation as “small, technical issues” on Tuesday.

Stacy Barajas-Nunez was arrested Friday by sheriff’s deputies on suspicion of trespassing on casino property. On Tuesday, she appeared in San Bernardino Superior Court for allegedly violating her probation.

San Manuel security contacted deputies after Barajas-Nunez was seen blocking a tribal road to pick up a friend, was in a parking lot and was at a guard station to fill out a complaint about an employee, authorities said.
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Stacy Nunez-Barajas back in jail after violating parole

Mike Cruz and Joe Nelson, Staff Writers
Posted: 11/22/2008 10:17:55 PM PST

A San Manuel tribal member who was sentenced to probation almost three weeks ago in a murder conspiracy case was back in jail Friday night after being arrested at the tribe’s casino and could face at least a decade in state prison.

Casino security reportedly contacted sheriff’s deputies after a disturbance developed involving Stacy Nunez-Barajas, who was sentenced earlier this month in San Bernardino Superior Court for her role in a murder conspiracy that was discovered by police and federal drug agents who were investigating the Mexican Mafia’s drug trade in San Bernardino.

Nunez-Barajas, 26, was arrested about 9 p.m. on suspicion of trespassing at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino and booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

She was being held without bail.
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Conspiracy target wants county probation report corrected

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/25/2008 09:58:45 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – The victim of a murder conspiracy involving two San Manuel tribal members has filed a complaint with the county Probation Department, claiming a probation officer erroneously noted in reports that he was a gang member.

Highland attorney Frank Peterson filed the complaint Monday on behalf of Leonard Epps, who has sued San Manuel tribal members Stacy Barajas-Nunez, 26, her brother Erik Barajas, 36, and several others involved in a conspiracy to kill him. He is seeking $50 million in damages.

Epps, the former manager of the now closed Brass Key bar in Highland, alleges in the one-page complaint that information included in Probation Officer Jeremy Smith’s reports, which indicate Epps is a gang member, is inaccurate.
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Former Sheriff’s son and others to appear in court on bail bonds case

SAN BERNARDINO – A son of former San Bernardino County Sheriff Floyd Tidwell and seven other defendants are scheduled to appear in court today for an arraignment on charges stemming from the county’s bail bonds investigation.

The defendants, who were indicted by a special criminal grand jury in December, are accused of participating in a scheme using jail inmates to help corner the county’s market on bail bonds from 2001 to 2003, according to court records

The appearance today in San Bernardino Superior Court is for the defendant’s arraigment on charges of two counts of conspiracy relating to unlawful solicitation of bail bonds and one count of unlawful solicitation of bail bonds.

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