Jail kitchen worker accused of smuggling drugs into Men’s Central Jail

LOS ANGELES — A Men’s Central Jail civilian kitchen worker became an inmate herself Friday after she was caught bringing drugs into the facility, authorities said.
Lila Delruby Hernandez, 37, was arrested on suspicion of bringing narcotics into the jail shortly before 3 a.m., according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and booking records. She had worked at the Los Angeles jail for 15 months.
“After a brief investigation by investigators from the Internam Criminal Investigations Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, suspect Hernandez was arrested as she entered the security area of the kail and narcotics were found in her possession,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The type and amount of drugs allegedly found in her possession was not disclosed.
According to county booking records, Hernandez was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail at the sheriff’s East Los Angeles Station’s jail pending her initial court appearance.

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Suspect arrested, 10 pounds of meth seized by Industry deputies in West Covina

Deputies looking for suspects in an earlier pursuit arrested one man and found about 10 pounds of methamphetamine in a pickup the culprits abandoned Wednesday, authorities said.
Sheriff’s Lt. Ray Enriquez said the narcotics unit told patrol deputies about a suspect vehicle containing a large quantity of narcotics. Deputies spotted the vehicle, a Ford F-150, on Gale Avenue around 4:45 p.m.
The driver was seen making several traffic violations, Enriquez said. Deputies tried to pull over the pickup but the driver didn’t stop.
The suspects pulled into a gas station at Azusa and Temple avenues. Enriquez said the driver used the pickup to push another occupied vehicle.
At Valinda and Merced avenues, he said the pickup sped up to 70 mph. Enriquez cancelled the chase because it could be dangerous to the public.
The pickup truck headed to West Covina, where it was abandoned on Gaybar Avenue. The two suspects ran.
Enriquez said one of the suspects, a man in his 20s, was arrested in the area on suspicion of possessing narcotics for sale and assault with a deadly weapon.
The estimated street value of the seized methamphetamine is well over $40,000, officials added.
Investigators did not release the suspect’s name Thursday , citing the ongoing investigation and search for the second suspect.

- Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales

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Officials: Rosemead gang member and wife arrested with pound of cocaine after El Monte traffic stop

An admitted gang member from Rosemead faces a potential third-strike after he and his wife were arrested last week following a traffic stop in El Monte that led to the discovery of more than $20,000 worth of cocaine, authorities said.
Duong Che, 32, who is on parole for home-invasion robbery, and his wife Helena Hong, 30, of Rosemead, were booked on suspicion of possession of cocaine for sales and transportation following their arrests Thursday night, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
About a pound of cocaine was seized in the bust, with an estimated street value of $20,000 to $30,000, sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Kim said in a written statement.
Sheriff’s gang investigators assigned to the Asian Gang Team pulled Che over for a minor traffic violation as he was driving with his wife as a passenger near El Monte Superior Court, 11234 E. Valley Blvd., Kim said. Deputies discovered Che was on parole, giving them authority to search him and his vehicle.
Several packages of cocaine were found in his pocket, and more packages were found inside the vehicle, the sergeant said. More than nine ounces of the drug were recovered from the traffic stop, and Che and Hong were arrested.
Kim said investigators then turned their attention to Che’s home in the 7400 block of Whitmore Street in Rosemead, Kim said.
“During the search, an additional seven ounces of cocaine, and other evidence of narcotics — such as scales, empty bags and cash — were discovered and seized,” he added.
As a potential third-strike offender, Che faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted as charged, officials said. He was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance.
Hong was released from jail Friday afternoon after posting $60,000 bail, according to county booking records.
Both Che and Hong were scheduled to appear in El Monte Superior for arraignment Monday.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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1,000 Ecstasy capsules seized, 3 arrested in bust

Gang investigators arrested three suspects, seized 1,000 Ecstasy capsules and uprooted a small indoor marijuana grow in busts linked to Asian organized crime in Rowland Heights and Arcadia earlier this week, authorities said.
Denis Lam, 20, and Ruoyo Mike Dong, 22, both Arcadia residents and members of an Asian street gang, were arrested along with Juan Carlos Cabrales, 23, of Azusa, in the operation, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The arrests took place late Wednesday at a strip mall in the 18900 block of Gale Avenue in Rowland Heights.
Lam and Dong had hired Cabrales to deliver 1,000 capsules containing a powder form of the drug Ecstasy to a buyer at the strip mall, officials said. The capsules were expected to fetch $5,000.
“Cabrales was arrested by investigators before the transaction was completed,” according to the sheriff’s statement. “Lam and Dong, who were monitoring the transaction nearby, were located by the investigators and arrested as well.”
Detectives then obtained a search warrant for the Arcadia homes of Lam and Dong in an unincorporated county area near Arcadia, where they discovered a “small but functional” indoor marijuana grow, sheriff’s officials said.
All three suspects were booked on suspicion of drug charges and released Thursday pending their initial court appearances after posting $30,000 bail each, according to officials and Los Angeles County booking records.

PHOTO of Ecstasy capsules courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Drugs stolen in overnight La Crescenta pharmacy break-in

LA CRESCENTA — Two burglars made off with an unknown amount of prescription drugs in an overnight burglary at a Walgreens Pharmacy, authorities said.
Deputies responded to a burglary alarm about 3 a.m. Saturday at the store, 3001 Foothill Blvd., but the burglars had already fled, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Randy Tuinstra said.
The two burglars, initially described only as male, smashed the front window of the business to get in, then helped themselves to the pharmaceuticals, the sergeant said.
The type and amount of drugs stolen were not clear Saturday, he added.
Tuinstra said detectives were going over video surveillance footage in hopes of developing a description of the burglars.
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Cops to collect unwanted prescription drugs

Police and sheriff’s stations throughout the region will be collecting unwanted prescription drugs later this month as part of a national campaign sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
The DEA’s National Take-Back Initiative will take place Sept. 29.
“Medicines that languish in hoem cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse,” Monterey Park police officials said in a written statement.
Additionally, flushing drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can be harmful to the environment and poses health risks, police and DEA officials said.
Those with unwanted prescription drugs may drop them off at one of dozens of area collection sites during the event. Most collections will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Collection sites will include:
WHITTIER AREA:
*Whittier City Hall, 13230 Penn Street, Whittier
*La Habra Police Department, 150 N. Euclid Street, La Habra
*Montebello Police Department, 1600 W. Beverly Blvd., Montebello
*Sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station, 6631 S. Passons Avenue, Pico Rivera
*Sheriff’s Norwalk Station, 12335 Civic Center Drive, Norwalk, CA
PASADENA AREA:
*Pasadena Police Department, 207 Garfield Ave., Pasadena
*South Pasadena Police Department, 1422 Mission Street, South Pasadena
*San Marino Police Department, 2200 Huntington Drive, San Marino
*San Gabriel Police Department, 625 S. Del Mar Ave., San Gabriel
*Monterey Park Police Department, 320 W. Newmark Ave., Monterey Park
*Arcadia Police Department, 250 W. Huntginton Drive, Arcadia
*Monrovia Community Center, 119 W Palm Ave., Monrovia
*Sheriff’s Temple Station, 8838 E. Las Tunas Drive, Temple City
*Sheriff’s Altadena Station, 780 E. Altadena Drive, Altadena
*Sheriff’s Crescenta Valley Station, 4554 N. Briggs Ave., La Crescenta
*Rite Aid, 647 Foothill Blvd., La Canada Flintridge
SAN GABRIEL VALLEY:
*Kaiser Permamente Medical Center parking lot, 1249 S. Sunset Ave., West Covina
*Glendora Police Department, 150 S. Glendora Ave., Glendora
*La Verne Police Department, 2061 3rd Street, La La Verne
*Sheriff’s Industry Station, 150 N. Hudson Avenue, Industry
*Sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station, 21695 E. Valley Blvd., Walnut
*Sheriff’s San Dimas Station, 270 S. Walnut Ave., San Dimas
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Glendora police arrest three on suspicion of meth possession, ID theft

GLENDORA — Police arrested to men and woman Wednesday after discovering methamphetamine and equipment used for identity theft inside a motel room, officials said.
Brian Joanis, 32, and Thomas Jensen, 43, were booked on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine for sales and other charges related to identity theft, officials said. Mary Carlson, 43, was arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine.
An officer approached the three after they were spotted jaywalking shortly after 6 a.m. near a motel in the 300 block of West Route 66, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
The officer discovered Jensen, who was registered at the nearby motel, was on probation, and therefore subject to police searches of his residence, the lieutenant said.
Upon entering the motel room Jensen had rented, police found a small amount methamphetamine, along with packaging supplies such as a scale, a machine used to create false drivers’ licenses and other materials related to identity theft, Lamborghini said.
According to county booking records, Jensen was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail at the Glendora Police Department’s jail, while Joanis was being held in lieu of $90,000 bail and Carlson was being held in lieu of $10,000 bail. All three were scheduled for arraignment Friday in West Covina Superior Court.
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Glendora man suspected of painkiller robbery

GLENDORA — A man robbed a pharmacy of six bottles of painkillers Friday but was arrested quickly after an employee held up a “Call 9-1-1″ sign at the drive-thru window.

Glendora police Lt. Jamie Caldwell said a customer waiting for a prescription at the drive-thru saw the sign.
The robbery at Walgreens, 550 S. Grand Ave., was reported at 7:15 p.m. Caldwell said a man entered the store, jumped over the counter and pulled out what employees thought was pepper spray. He said the man demanded OxyContin.
One employee wrote, “Call 9-1-1″ on a piece of paper and held it out for the driver at the drive-thru window to see, according to Caldwell.
“The driver nods and calls us,” he said.
Officers who were across the street on an unrelated incident got the call about the robbery.
“They see a guy come out wearing a zipped up sweatshirt in 85 degree (weather) with bottles bulging out of the pockets,” Caldwell said.
Officers stopped the man and later arrested him.
He allegedly told police he ran out of insurance, was out of medication and was desperate. Police didn’t buy the story.
Caldwell said the man also told officers he’d been addicted for 20 years. The suspect didn’t have pepper spray.
“He had a small black flashlight,” the lieutenant said.
Caldwell said Donald Prestwood, 50, of Glendora was arrested on suspicion of robbery. Prestwood was being held at Glendora jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.
- Ruby Gonzales
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AP: Sinaloa cartel cell busted in Phoenix

TEMPE, Ariz. — Authorities say that have busted up an elaborate drug trafficking cell in Tempe, Ariz., that is linked to the deadly Sinaloa Cartel from Mexico.
Tempe police announced Friday that 20 people have been arrested and $2.4 million was found
after a six month investigation involving local and federal authorities.
After obtaining 15 search warrants, police said they also seized an airplane, 14 weapon and
three tons of marijuana.
Doug Coleman, said DEA Special Agent in Charge, said the bust was part of an effort called
“Operation Nayarit Stampede” aimed at attacking a drug trafficking organization that stretched
across the Mexico border and into Arizona.
Officials said the operation sent drugs to New York, Alabama, California and throughout other
parts of the country.
- From the Associated Press
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Couple deemed ‘persons of interest’ in 2011 Pasadena slaying

PASADENA — Police have named a parolee and his girlfriend as ‘persons of interest’ in the shooting death of a 43-year-old Altadena man in late 2011 as they await trial on unrelated drug charges, officials said.
Chauncey Hollis, 40, whose last known address was in Monrovia, and Jewel Taitt, 46, of Pasadena were arrested Friday and booked on suspicion of murder, as well as possession of cocaine and marijuana for sales, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
But police ultimately did not ask prosecutors to file murder charges against the two, Ibarra said. “We’re seeking additional evidence for prosecution.”
They remained jailed in connection with the drug case, and in the case of Hollis, alleged parole violation, she said.
Hollis was already being sought as a parolee who had absconded from supervision when he was first identified as a person of interest in the early-morning shooting, police said.
When officers searched a home in the same neighborhood as the killing where Hollis was believed to frequent, they discovered the marijuana and cocaine, Ibarra said.
The drugs were found, “as we were conducting a search warrant in connection with murder,” the said.
Hollis was never found until Friday, Ibarra said, though investigators had been in contact with Taitt.
Detectives stopped Hollis and Taitt and arrested them without incident after they were spotted driving through the east end of Pasadena Friday.
Few details were available regarding the circumstances of the fatal 2011 shooting, to which no eyewitnesses have been located, police said.
Police responded to reports of gunshots when they discovered bullet casings in the street at Marengo Avenue and Tremont Street, then found the fatally wounded victim lying between a fence and a wall at Marengo Avenue and Dearborn Street, officials said.
Witnesses did report seeing a vehicle leaving the area just after the attack, police added.
Hollis was believed to have ties to a Pasadena-area street gang, Ibarra said.
It was not clear Thursday what, if any, relationship existed among Hollis, Taitt and Santana, she said.
Because of his status as a parolee, Hollis was being held without bail pending his arraignment in Pasadena Superior Court, while Taitt was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail.
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