Storefront marijuana shop raided in Covina


COVINA >> Police raided a an illicit marijuana shop selling marijuana and pot-laced candy out of a Covina storefront Thursday, officials said.
A tip from the public first brought the attention of police to the commercial unit in the 400 block of West Badillo Street, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
The Covina police Special Enforcement Bureau launched an investigation and began staking out the business, Peterson said.
0304_NWS_SGT-L-MARYJANE3“They surveilled the location and determined that the location was possibly involved in the sales of marijuana,” the sergeant said.
Police went in to the business about noon to speak with the owner and immediately saw evidence of marijuana sales, he said.
The business owner, 40-year-old Juan Francisco Pacheco of Covina, was detained as police obtained a search warrant for the unit, Peterson said.
Police recovered a significant amount of marijuana, cash and marijuana-laced candy, some of which was still in the process of being manufactured, he said. A tally of the amount of drugs and money seized was not available late Thursday.
0304_NWS_SGT-L-MARYJANE4Police also seized a handgun from the business, Peterson said.
Pacheco was expected to be booked on suspicion of selling marijuana as well as possible weapon violations, however, the investigation was ongoing, Peterson said.
It was not immediately clear of the business was operating as a medical marijuana dispensary, though city law prohibits such businesses in Covina.
According to county booking records, Pacheco was released from jail Friday pending his initial court appearance after posting $25,000 bail.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Covina Police Department

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UPDATED: Sheriff’s patrol car involved in crash in Covina


COVINA >> No significant injuries were reported after sheriff’s patrol car and a black sedan collided in a Covina intersection Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The collision took place about 1:50 p.m. at Covina Boulevard and Citrus Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jorge Chavez said.
The deputy involved in the crash, who is assigned to the sheriff’s San Dimas Station, was taken to a hospital as a precaution, but she did not appear to have suffered any significant injuries, Covina police Sgt. Tom Tardif said. A man at the wheel of the other car — a Chevrolet Monte Carlo — was also hospitalized as a precaution, but appeared OK.
Tardif said witnesses relayed that the Monte Carlo drove through a red light as it headed south on Citrus Avenue, colliding with the patrol car, which was heading east on Covina Boulevard.
The deputy was not using of the patrol car’s emergency lights or siren when the crash occurred, Chavez added.
A photograph of the crash aftermath showed the patrol car with moderate front-end damage, and the black sedan with moderate damage to the passenger side.
No citations or arrests had been made as the investigation continued, Tardif said.

PHOTO courtesy of John Recendez

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50-pound tortoise stolen in Covina

COVINA >> Police are seeking a 50-pound tortoise stolen from a Covina backyard Friday.
The pet reptile — valued at about $450 — was reported missing about 9 p.m. in the 1500 block of East Adams Park Drive, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said.
Its owner arrived home to find the side gate leading to the backyard open and the tortoise gone, officials said.

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Covina man killed in crash between motorcycle, city truck identified

COVINA >> Coroner’s officials have released the identity of a 21-year-old Covina man killed Thursday when his motorcycle collided with a city truck.
David Antonio Hernandez died at the scene of the crash, which took place just after 2 p.m. along San Bernardino Road at Prospero Drive, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator B. Kim said.
An autopsy determined Hernandez died from “multiple blunt force trauma,” and the death was ruled accidental, Kim said.
The rider was heading east on San Bernardino Road when his Harley-Davidson Sportster collided with a city-owned Ford F-250 pickup truck being driven by a 54-year-old Covina Department of Public Works employee, California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
The truck was heading north on Prospero Drive at San Bernardino Road when the two vehicle collided in the intersection, officials said.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation, Jimenez said.

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UPDATED: Motorcyclist killed in collision with city truck in Covina

COVINA >> A 21-year-old Covina man died Thursday after his motorcycle collided with a Covina Department of Public Works pickup truck, authorities said.
The crash took place at 2:04 p.m. on San Bernardino Road at Prospero Drive, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
Paramedics pronounced the motorcyclist dead at the scene, he said. His name was not available.
California Highway Patrol officers were summoned to handle the investigation to avoid any perceived conflict of interest, since the fatal collision involved a city-owned truck and city employee, Peterson explained.
The motorcyclist was heading east on San Bernardino Road at an “undetermined speed” in the left-hand lane on a 2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster just prior to the crash, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said. A 2014 Ford F-250 truck being driven by a 54-year-old Covina man and city employee was heading north on Prospero Drive, approaching San Bernardino Road, at 5 to 10 miles per hour, Jimenez said in a written statement.
“The public works truck entered the intersection, directly in the path of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle,” the officer said. “The Harley-Davidson motorcycle collided with the left side of the truck, causing the rider to be thrown off the motorcycle.”
The cause of the crash remained under investigation, though intoxicated driving did not initially appear to be a factor, Jimenez said.
The driver of the truck was unhurt and cooperated with investigators, Peterson said.
Officials shut down both directions of San Bernardino Road between Grand and Barranca Avenues for several hours as they carried out their investigation Thursday afternoon.

PHOTO courtesy of the Covina Police Department

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Police to hold DUI checkpoint in Covina Saturday night

COVINA >> Police are will screen drivers for sobriety during an overnight checkpoint in Covina Saturday night, officials said.
It will be held from 6 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday at an undisclosed location within the city, Covina police officials said in written statement.
The checkpoint is dedicated to the memory of 22-year-old Dustin Ray Travis-Plummer, who was killed by a drunk driver on Dec. 15, 2006, on the 210 Freeway near his home in Rancho Cucamonga, police said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

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Ontario man arrested in Covina with three guns, ski mask, cash

COVINA >> Police arrested a probationer found with three handguns, a ski mask and cash in Covina Saturday afternoon, police said.
Police pulled over a car in which Thomas Michael Mulero, 28, of Ontario was riding as a passenger in just before 5 p.m. at Citrus Avenue and Rowland Street, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said. Officers stopped the car after noticing Mulero drinking beer.
A search of Mulero’s backpack turned up two semi-automatic pistols and one revolver, the lieutenant said. Police also seized a ski mask from the car and cash from Mulero’s person.
Mulero was jailed on suspicion of weapons violations, investigation of robbery and investigation of receiving stolen property as detectives continued looking into where the guns and cash came from, Walczak said.
The woman driving the car, as well as a second woman riding as a passenger, were not arrested.
Walczak said Mulero is already on Post Release Community Supervision, or felony probation, under AB 109 guidelines for a previous assault conviction.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Mulero was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending an arraignment hearing, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

PHOTO courtesy of the Covina Police Department.

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FedEx delivery men beaten, robbed in Covina Hills

COVINA HILLS >> A group of three robbers used a rock to attack two FedEx delivery men and steal several packages from them Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The crime unfolded about 3:40 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 20600 block of Via Verde Street, in the unincorporated county area of Covina Hills, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said.
The three attackers approached the two delivery men and attacked them with fists, feet and rock, the lieutenant said. The robbers then fled with several packages.
One of the delivery men was taken to a hospital for treatment of a 3- to 4-inch gash on his head, Edwards said. The other delivery man suffered apparently minor injuries and declined to be taken to a hospital.
The robbers were described as three Latino men in their early-20s, of average height and weight. They fled the area in a blue minivan.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man fatally struck by train in Covina identified

COVINA >> Authorities Wednesday released the identity of a 60-year-old Covina man fatally struck my a Metrolink train.
Michael Martin Olson died at the scene of Tuesday’s 7:20 a.m. incident on a set of train tracks near Sunflower Avenue and Covina Boulevard, Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said.
Officials initially said it appeared Olson stepped in front of the westbound commuter train, but it was unclear whether the death was a suicide or an accident.
An autopsy was yet to be performed Wednesday, Winter said.

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Covina middle school burglarized

COVINA >> A burglar or burglars broke into two classrooms at a Covina middle school overnight, making off with a drum belonging to the band and video equipment, police said Friday.
The break-in at Royal Oak Middle School, 303 S. Glendora Ave., took place sometime between 11 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday, when staff discovered the damage and and theft, Covina police Sgt. Tom Tardiff said.
“Two classrooms on the north side of the campus were broken into. Windows were smashed near the doors,” Tardiff said.
Missing were a video camera and other pieces of video equipment, along with a snare drum, the sergeant said.
Some of the stolen video equipment was found discarded on the campus of nearby Quest Academy, he added.
No information regarding the intruder or intruders was available.

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