Pellicano pleads no contest in threats case involving Times reporter

From the DA’s office:

LOS ANGELES – Imprisoned former private investigator Anthony Pellicano and the man he hired to threaten a former Los Angeles Times reporter in 2002 both pleaded no contest today to making a criminal threat.

Pellicano, 65, and Alexander Proctor, 66, entered their pleas before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William N. Sterling, said Deputy District Attorney Ron Goudy with the Organized Crime Division.

Each defendant, already serving federal prison terms on unrelated convictions, was immediately sentenced to the maximum of three years in prison. The state terms are to be served concurrently with their remaining federal prison sentences. In exchange for their no contest pleas, the conspiracy charge was dismissed against each defendant.

The pair was charged in June 2005 with conspiracy and making a criminal threat against Anita Busch, who was a reporter with the Los Angeles Times. At the time, Busch was working on an article on the relationship between actor Steven Seagal and an alleged Mafia associate.

The felony complaint said Pellicano hired Proctor on or between April 9, 2002 and June 19, 2002, to threaten Busch to “cause her to fear for her life.”

Alleged corruption on the Rez — Soboba chief under federal indictment

This from the U.S. Department of Justice:

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The chairman of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians surrendered this afternoon to federal agents after being indicted on federal charges of accepting a quarter million dollars in bribes from tribal vendors and concealing income from the IRS.

Robert Salgado Sr., 67, was arrested by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation when he arrived at United States District Court in Riverside early this afternoon. Salgado agreed to surrender after being informed this morning that he had been charged in a 36-count indictment returned last week by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles. Salgado is expected to make his initial court appearance this afternoon in Riverside federal court.

The indictment charges Salgado with conspiring to solicit and accept tens of thousands of dollars in bribes from four vendors in exchange for them obtaining contracts with the tribe or being allowed to keep existing contracts. According to the indictment, the four vendors paid bribes to Salgado in the form of cash, payments made to his creditors and checks payable to a company that Salgado had established.

One of the vendors, Abbas Shilleh, the owner of California Parking Services, Inc., which provides valet parking at the Soboba Casino, is named in two of the bribery counts in the indictment. Shilleh, 46, of Diamond Bar, today agreed to surrender to authorities on Monday morning.

As the elected chairman of the Tribal Council of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, Salgado exercised substantial influence over the business dealings of the tribe, and he had the authority to sign contracts on behalf of the Soboba Band. The indictment alleges that the four vendors who paid bribes were involved in real estate purchases made by the tribe, had construction projects at the Soboba Casino and on the reservation, and provided services at the casino. The indictment includes 29 counts of bribery that outline payments totaling just over $250,000.

Here’s a copy of the indictment :

Soboba bribes – indictment.pdf

Burglary suspects jailed with help from good Samaritan

INDUSTRY — Deputies jailed three men Thursday with the help of a good Samaritan after they allegedly burglarized a delivery truck, authorities said.
Fernando Garcia, 30, of Los Angeles, Alfredo Cedeno, a 41-year-old transient and Erik Juarez, 31, of East Los Angeles were being held at the sheriff’s Industry Station on suspicion of burglary, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Steven Katz said.
The incident was reported about 6:30 p.m. in the 700 block of Epperson Drive, the lieutenant said.
An employee from a nearby business called authorities to report three men were breaking into the cargo area of United Parcel Service big rig, Katz said.
The witness followed the suspected burglars as they drove away in a white van, he said, all the while giving deputies their location via cell phone.
Officials pulled over the suspects’ van near Azusa Avenue and Hurley Street, Katz said. Two passengers fled into a nearby restaurant and were quickly arrested, and the driver was arrested in the car.
Deputies found several boxes from the UPS truck inside their van, Katz said.
Because the crime was a cargo theft, he added, the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau will be handling the investigation.

 

Man robbed of wallet in Pasadena

PASADENA — A man was robbed of his wallet late Wednesday by two men armed with a handgun and a knife, police said.
A man was walking to an apartment building in the 1300 block of Summit Avenue from his car and talking on a cell phone about 10:30 p.m. when he was approached by the robbers, Pasadena police Lt. Chris Russ said.
Brandishing a knife and a gun, the robbers demanded the man’s property, the lieutenant said.
The robbers fled with the man’s wallet and about $250 in cash, Russ said.
Both robbers were described as black men in their 20s, he said. One was about 5 feet 7 inches tall, 180 pounds, and wore black clothes and a black bandana over his face.
The other robber was about 6 feet tall, 160 pounds, wearing a black baseball cap, a black t-shirt and blue jeans, Russ said.

Two men rob La Canada Flintridge bank

LA CAADA FLINTRIDGE — For the fourth time in just over a week, a foothill city bank has been robbed by gunman, authorities said.
A robbery was reported about 9:45 a.m. Thursday at a La Caada Flintridge Chase bank branch, 749 Foothill Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Larry Landreth said.
Two robbers wearing masks helped themselves to an undisclosed amount of cash from two tellers at the bank, the lieutenant said, but abandoned some of the money and one of the guns, which turned out to be a fake, a short distance away when an anti-theft dye-pack exploded.
“Some of the money was recovered with the die pack,” Landreth said.
The robbers were both described as black men in their 20s wearing masks, he said. One of the robbers wore a grey hooded sweat shirt, grey overalls and a gorilla mask, Landreth said. A further description of the other robber was not available.
Witnesses at the bank reported seeing a silver car, possibly a Toyota, fleeing the area, officials said.
Deputies from the Altadena Station spotted a silver Honda Prelude with two black men driving extremely aggressively and fast down the eastbound 210 Freeway shortly after the robbery, Landreth added, but they were not found.
Another bank robbery occurred Monday at a Citibank branch in La Crescenta, 2621 Foothill Boulevard, authorities said.
In that case, the robber was described as a black man in his 20s, about 6 feet 4 inches tall, about 185 pounds, with a goatee and mustache, sheriff’s officials said. He wore a green heavy winter coat with a hood.
Two bank robberies were reported Oct. 15 in San Dimas and Altadena.
In Altadena, a black man who appeared to be in his 40s used a demand note to rob a Chase bank at 2333 N. Lake Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. John Stanley said.
He stood 6 feet 2 inches to 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighed about 200 pounds, the sergeant said. He was bearded and wore all black clothing, including a black beanie.
In San Dimas, three men armed with a handguns carried out a robbery at the Chase bank at 1198 Via Verde, sheriff’s officials said. A white car was used as a getaway car.
Though the suspect descriptions in each case bare similarities, Landreth said, there are also differences.
It was not clear Thursday if the robberies were connected, Landreth said.

From the mailbag, a plea for help

Frank,

I’m writing to you for the first time, I have read your stories on a daily basis for quite some time and find myself sickened by the day to day callousness that people extend to one another.  The old Clich  is that it will never happen to us.  The reality of  it is, no one is immune, you can’t run away from life, you can’t hide from it.

The reason I’m writing to you is that my friend, a 75 year old Japanese American was on his way home Wednesday 10/14 around noon from his doctors appointment for a routine checkup.  I’m not sure where the accident occurred but I know that it was somewhere between Good Samaritan Hospital and the 10 / 710 fwy.  The person that caused the accident left his vehicle and ran from the scene and left my neighbor Mr. Yoshi Ito in critical condition, he is in a coma at USC Medical Hospital and most likely will not recover.  I’m hoping that maybe you can look in to this accident, find out what happened and post it on your blog.  Maybe someone will come forward with additional information regarding the person who caused this and we can get them off the road before they destroy someone else’s family.

Mr. Ito was taking care of his mother, wife, 2 daughters and  grand daughter whom he is putting through college.  This man, my neighbor a person I can truly call everyones friend is in critical condition because of someone who doesn’t give a damn about anyone but him or herself.  Please look in to this and help us get them off  the streets.

Teenage burglary suspect captured by bystanders

COVINA — Two good Samaritans captured a teenage robbery suspect Wednesday and held them for police, authorities said.
The incident began about 2:30 p.m. when three roommates came home to find their apartment in the 1400 block of North Grand Avenue had been broken into, Covina police Sgt. Trevor Gaumer said.
The building maintenance man spotted a teen who appeared to be acting suspiciously at a restaurant across the street and went over to check it out, the sergeant said. He found the boy had apparently dropped a backpack filled with a computer and video games taken from the apartment in a trash can.
The maintenance man chased the boy, and with the help of another bystander, caught him and held him until police arrived, Gaumer said.
He added that the teen, who is from Covina, was booked on suspicion of burglary and taken to Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey.

Man robs beaty salon at gunpoint

WEST COVINA — A man used a rifle to rob a beauty salon Wednesday, police said.
The crime occurred shortly after 8 p.m. at the Infinite Beauty Salon, 2416 S. Azusa Avenue, West Covina police Lt. Marcos Plebani said.
The robber was described as a black man in his 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and of medium build, the lieutenant said. He wore a grey hooded sweat shirt.
He entered the store, brandished a rifle and was last seen fleeing on foot with an undisclosed amount of stolen cash, Plebani said.
No injuries were reported.

Man suspeceted of molesting Covina boy

COVINA — Police arrested a man they suspect of using the Myspace networking Web site to lure and molest a 14-year-old Covina boy.
Achilles Dartgnan Corelleone, 47, also known as Arlan Reynoldson, was charged Wednesday with five counts of child molestation.
Police released a picture of the suspected child sex predator in hopes of tracking down additional victims.

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“Our chief concern here is that this guy is a predator,” Covina police Sgt. Dave Foster said. “We feel very strongly that this is not his first victim or his only victim. If there’s any other victims or people who were being set up to be victims, we want to contact them.”
The boy’s father had begun to suspect something inappropriate was going on between Corelleone and his son and called police when he spotted Corelleone on Monday at Kahler Russell Park in Covina, Foster said.
Officers then jailed Corelleone without incident, he added.
Corelleone originally contacted the boy on Myspace in March and then met with him a few days later, according to police.
“Corelleone gave the 14-year-old gifts as a means of further developing trust with him, and the relationship eventually led to him being sexually assaulted,” according to a statement from police.
Foster said Corelleone and the boy continued meeting until shortly before the arrest.
Corelleone had no criminal history of sex crimes but had committed crimes of burglary in Texas and Wyoming, Foster said.
Police were seeking warrants Wednesday to get access to Corelleone’s computer and cell phone, the sergeant added.
“This is very early in the investigation,” Foster said. “There’s still many things that we need to do.”
Corelleone told police he was from Salton Sea, however the address he provided was false, Foster said. His true residence was not known Wednesday.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Corelleone is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail and is due in West Covina Superior Court for arraignment Thursday.
Anyone with information is asked to call Covina police at (626) 384-5808 and ask to speak to Detective Bobkiewicz or the on-duty watch commander.

PHOTO courtesy of the Covina Police Department.

Pasadena cops get a pass from DA in Barnes’ shooting

From reporter Dan Abendschein:

The two police officers who shot and killed 38-year-old Pasadena resident Leroy Barnes in February will not face any criminal charges from the county, officials said Wednesday.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office concluded its investigation Wednesday and notified the Pasadena Police Department of that finding, writing that the officers acted in “lawful self-defense.”

“This analysis must also allow for the fact that officers are often forced to make split-second judgments, about the amount of force that is necessary, in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving,” said the report’s conclusion.
Barnes, a parolee, was shot 11 times, including seven times in the back, after officers pulled over a car driven by Emeka Edwards on Mentone Avenue on Feb. 19. Barnes was a passenger.