SB County’s top prosecutor seeks greater partnership with feds

RIVERSIDE — District Attorney Michael A. Ramos announced plans Wednesday to strengthen his office’s partnership with federal prosecutors.

Ramos told members of the Inland Empire Chapter of the Federal Bar Association that he plans to cross-designate one of his local prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Ramos revealed the plan while discussing a host of top issues affecting public safety, such as street gangs, medical marijuana and mortgage fraud, alongside Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach and U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. during a meeting at U.S. District Court in Riverside.
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Montclair dispensary a target in crackdown

Staff and wire reports
Posted: 10/07/2011 12:37:02 PM PDT

Federal prosecutors in California are ordering dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries – including one in Montclair – to shut down in 45 days and warning their owners and landlords they face criminal charges or seizure of their assets if they do not comply.

The state’s four U.S. attorneys announced at a Sacramento news conference Friday that they have stepped up efforts to curtail both marijuana cultivation and retail sales of pot conducted under the cover of California’s 15-year-old medical marijuana law.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner, who represents California’s Central Valley, said not all of the thousands of storefront pot dispensaries thought to be operating in the state are being targeted.
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County prosecutors union wins round in battle with Cooley

By Rick Orlov Staff Writer
Created: 10/06/2011 06:00:16 PM PDT

The union representing Los Angeles County prosecutors won a major round this week in its battle with District Attorney Steve Cooley, with a tentative settlement granting it a permanent injunction and $575,000 in penalties.

The deal calls for the county to pay $125,000 to the Association for Deputy District Attorneys and $450,000 to Deputy District Attorney Marc Debbaudt, who had alleged retaliation for his union activities.

The settlement, still subject to Board of Supervisors’ approval, also made permanent a temporary court injunction ordering Cooley to refrain from harassing or intimidating ADDA members based on their union membership.
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Decision expected soon in case of Victorville grandmother

Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/29/2011 04:46:49 PM PDT

Prosecutors in the High Desert could reach a decision as early as today about whether to charge a Victorville woman accused of leaving her 11-month grandson in a hot car while she attended a wedding reception.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Maria Davila, 56, on Sept. 3 on suspicion of child cruelty after the little boy was plucked from a car seat inside the sweltering vehicle.

The outdoor temperature that day was about 97 degrees, and the grandmother had been entrusted with watching with the little boy, say sheriff’s officials.

The decision whether to charge Davila could come today or Monday, said Supervising Deputy District Attorney Jim Hill.
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Lawyers for Old Fire suspect seek to get indictment dismissed

Defense lawyers for Old Fire suspect Rickie Lee Fowler have filed a 170-page motion seeking dismissal of the Grand Jury indictment against him.

The motion alleges prosecutors failed to present exculpatory evidence – evidence that tends to show a person should not be indicted – to a criminal Grand Jury that was assembled in August 2009 to hear witness testimony about the 2003 deadly and devastating wildfire.

The motion from lawyers Donald Jordan and Michael Belter, which was authored by Jordan, was briefly discussed Monday at Fowler’s scheduled appearance before Judge Michael Smith in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Read the actual defense motion here or here.
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