POMONA >> A La Mirada man died early Thursday after his speeding Honda Accord rear-ended a big rig on the 10 Freeway in Pomona, authorities said.
Cody Tyler Campbell, 25, died following the 12:52 a.m. crash on the westbound 10 Freeway, just east of Kellogg Drive, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
The driver of the big rig involved in the collision, a 42-year-old Corona man, was uninjured, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
Investigators said Campbell was driving at “a high rate of speed” in the right-hand lane when his 2002 Honda Accord rear-ended the big rig.
“As a result of Mr. Campbell’s unsafe speed for prevailing road and traffic conditions, the left front of (the Honda) collided with the right rear of (the big rig),” according to the CHP statement.
Despite wearing a seat belt, Campbell was thrown from his car and suffered major head injuries, CHP officials he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials shut down all but the left-hand lane of the westbound 10 Freeway for several hours following the crash.
The collision was being investigated by officers from the Baldwin Park office of the CHP.
LA MIRADA >> A pickup truck fatally struck an 86-year-old La Mirada woman Thursday morning, officials said.
Amparo Garcia died at the scene of the collision, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Courtney Morrow said.
The collision took place just after 7 a.m. at an unmarked intersection at Rosecrans Avenue and Jacana Drive, Lt. Eric Smitson of the sheriff’s Norwalk station said.
He said Garcia crossing Rosecrans Avenue got hit by a pickup truck heading eastbound. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.
Smitson didn’t know how fast the vehicle was traveling before the collision.
The 40-year-old man driving the pickup stayed at the scene. He wasn’t arrested. The investigation was ongoing.
– By Ruby Gonzales and Brian Day
LA MIRADA >> A man armed with a baseball bat robbed a La Mirada liquor store late Wednesday, authorities said.
The robber fled with several hundred dollars following the 8:30 p.m. robbery at Palisades Liquor, 15827 Imperial Highway, just east of Santa Gertrudes Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Stephen Moreno said.
He brandished a baseball bat and threatened the clerk while demanding cash, officials said. The clerk was not injured.
The robber was described as a Latino man, about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, wearing a black hooded sweat shirt and blue jeans, Moreno said. He was last seen driving east on Imperial Highway in a black, four-door car similar to a Honda.
LA MIRADA >> Deputies issued 20 tickets but made no arrests during a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint Saturday night in La Mirada, officials said.
The checkpoint was held from 5 p.m. to midnight on westbound Imperial Highway, just east of Santa Gertrudes Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Eric Smitson said.
No drivers were arrested during the checkpoint, however 19 tickets were issued for driving without a license, and one was issued for driving on a suspended license, sheriff’s officials said. Thirteen cars were released to other licensed drivers at the checkpoint.
Deputies impounded six vehicles for one day, and a one vehicle was impounded for 30 days, he added.
Funding for the checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
LOS ANGELES >> A doctor from La Mirada has been convicted of federal drug trafficking charges for the improper and illegal distribution of powerful painkillers, officials announced Friday.
A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted Dr. Andrew Sun, 78, of 14 counts of distributing controlled substances and three counts of money laundering for concealing the proceeds of his crimes, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement. The conviction came after three days of trial.
Sun, who ran clinics in San Gabriel and East Los Angeles, faces up to 157 years in prison when he returns to court for sentencing Nov. 10, officials said.
His medical license was already probationary after he was targeted in a similar investigation in 2004. His license was suspended in late 2013.
Sun was ordered to appear at an Aug. 25 hearing in which the court will determine whether Sun must forfeit almost $350,000 in drug proceeds, officials said.
Sun turned himself in to authorities in April after being indicted by a indicted by a grand jury.
He was convicted of prescribing powerful drugs such as hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin, alprazolam, also known as Xanax, carisprodol, also known as Soma, and promethezine with codeine, which is used to make the street drug known as “purple drank” or “sizzurp.”
Through an undercover sting operation, investigators determined Sun “profited by prescribing addictive painkillers and other controlled substances to persons whom he believed were drug addicts, and thus that the defendant acted without lawful medical purpose,” according to court documents.
The doctor issues more than 24,000 for controlled substances, netting $1 million in cash between 2009 and 2012, according to the DOJ.
When undercover agents visited Sun seeking drugs, “Sun failed to conduct any physical examination and he sold prescriptions for $150 in cash — even when he believed he was writing the prescriptions for drug addicts,” Mrozek said.
The investigation was carried out by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the IRS, the California Department of Health Care Services and the Monterey Park Police Department.
LOS ANGELES — A doctor from La Mirada who ran clinics in San Gabriel and East Los Angeles pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally prescribing painkillers and money laundering, officials announced.
Andrew Sun, 78, agreed to plead guilty to one count of distribution of hydrocodone and one count of money laundering, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement. The powerful painkiller hydrocodone is better known by it’s brand name, Vicodin.
He surrendered to authorities April 10 after being indicted on 24 charges related to drug distribution and money laundering.
Though he pleaded guilty only to money laundering and illegally prescribing hydrocodone, “(Sun) admits in his plea agreement that he also illegally prescribed and distributed other drugs, including those best known by the brand names Xanax and Soma,” Mrozek said.
The improper prescriptions issued to undercover investigators between 2011 and 2012, “outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose,” he said.
The doctor further admitted accepting $554,070 in cash payments for the drugs, which he deposited into a personal bank account, “for the purpose of disguising the source and nature of the funds,” according to Mrozek.
Under the plea arrangement, Sun agreed to forfeit $342,000 that was seized from his bank account in July of 2012, officials added. He also agreed to pay nearly $87,000 in restitution to the California Medical Board, which participated in the investigation along with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the IRS, the California Department of Health Services and the Monterey Park Police Department.
Sun’s medical license was suspended in 2013, according to a California Department of Consumer Affairs database.
LA MIRADA — An off-duty law enforcement officer was hospitalized Sunday after accidentally shooting himself in the leg, authorities said.
The incident took place shortly after 1:30 p.m. as the man was driving his car on Valley View Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Beggs said.
The injured man, an off-duty law enforcement officer in his 20s, was stopped at a red light at Rosecrans Ave., when the accidental discharge took place, Lt. Kevin Beggs said.
He was moving the handgun from one place to another within the vehicle when it went off, striking him in the leg, the lieutenant said. The off-duty officer was expected to be OK.
The investigation was being handled by detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
Beggs declined to say what law enforcement agency the off-duty officer worked for, deferring further inquiries to homicide bureau detectives.
LOS ANGELES >> A doctor from La Mirada surrendered to federal authorities Thursday after being indicted on charges of illegally prescribing powerful painkillers and other drugs and laundering the proceeds from the illicit sales, authorities said.
Andrew Sun, 78, turned himself in at the United States Courthouse in Los Angeles, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement. A federal grand jury returned an indictment on March 18 charging him with 24 counts of illegally prescribing controlled substances, as well as four counts of money laundering.
Sun operated medical clinics in San Gabriel and East Los Angeles, according to federal officials.
“Sun prescribed drugs, including hydrocodone, to undercover agents on 13 separate occasions, each time in exchange for $150 cash,” Mrozek said.
The prescriptions were written between July of 2011 and April of 2012, according to the federal indictment.
In once instance, “Sun encouraged an undercover agent to provide a fraudulent justification for the ‘maximum’ allowable number of extra-strength Vicodin pills,” Mrozek said.
Other drugs allegedly prescribed illegally by the doctor include Xanax, Soma, Valium and cough syrup containing promethazine and codeine.
The indictment alleges that Sun prescribed the powerful drugs, “while acting and intending to act outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.”
Investigators noted that between mid-2009 and mid-2010, Sun issued nearly 5,000 prescriptions for controlled substances.
In addition to illegally selling drugs, “The indictment also charges Sun with four counts of laundering the proceeds generated by his illegal prescriptions,” Mrozek said. “The indictment charges Sun with laundering cash on four specific occasions when he deposited thousands of dollars in cash on dates that undercover agents met with him and received prescriptions,” Mrozek said.
The indictment lists $16,950 in allegedly laundered funds, which were deposited between July of 2011 and March of 2012.
While looking into the doctor, IRS investigators determined Sun and his wife controlled 44 bank accounts, and Sun had deposited more than $1.1 million in cash into the accounts between 2008 and 2012, according to the DOJ officials.
After pleading not guilty to all 28 charges, Sun was released from custody on a $500,000 bond, Mrozek said. A trial date was scheduled for May 27.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the IRS, the California Medical Board, the California Department of Health Care Services and the Monterey Park Police Department took part in the investigation.
Sun’s medical license has been suspended since late 2013 and he is barred from practicing medicine, according to a California Department of Consumer Affairs database.
He was first licensed to practice medicine in 1967 after graduating Harvard Medical School in 1966, records show.
If convicted as charged, Sun faces up to 248 years in federal prison, officials said.
FULLERTON >> A La Mirada woman accused of molesting three boys she met through the Fullerton junior high school where she taught math pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 10 felony charges, authorities said.
At at arraignment hearing in Orange County Superior Court, Melissa Nicole Lindgren denied five charges of committing lewd acts on a child, two counts of committing lewd acts on a child under 14 and three counts of distributing pornography to a minor, Orange County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Roxi Fyad said. She is also accused of the special allegation of lewd acts on multiple children, which could increase her sentence if convicted.
Lindgren, who remained free on a $100,000 bond, was ordered to return to court June 13 for a pretrial hearing, Fyad said.
She is accused of molesting and trading explicit text messages with three boys, ages 13 to 15, that she met while teaching math at Nicolas Junior High School in Fullerton,
She was reportedly placed on leave from the Fullerton School Disstrict at the outset of the investigation.
The alleged crimes took place during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years, district attorney’s officials said in a written statement. She’s accused of molesting two of the boys in a school classroom, and the third off-campus while the two met in a car.
Lindgren traded sexually explicit messages with the three boys, prosecutors allege. She was arrested Feb. 21.
If convicted as charged, Lindgren faces up to 16 years and 4 months in state prison.
LA MIRADA — A big rig that crashed and erupted into flames forced the closure of all but one lane of the northbound 5 Freeway in La Mirada early Sunday, officials said.
The driver escaped unharmed following the 2 a.m. crash on the freeway near Valley View Avenue, California Highway Patrol Officer Tony Polizzi said.
But the crash created a fiery wreck that snarled traffic for more than nine hours, officials said.
The big rig, which was believed to be the only vehicle involved in the crash, struck and damaged a 100-foot length of guardrail before catching fire, Polizzi said. Officials reported diesel fuel leaking into the roadway as well.
After firefighters initially extinguished the flames, the scorched truck rekindled shortly after 4:30 a.m., according to CHP logs.
All but the fast lane of the northbound 5 Freeway was shut down at Valley View Avenue as officials cleared the wreckage and made repairs to the damaged guardrail, Polizzi said. The No. 2 lane was reopened just before 11 a.m.
No estimate of when the two right lanes of the freeway would reopen was available.