LOS ANGELES — A father and two sons from Rowland Heights were sentenced this week for illegally importing an erectile dysfunction medication, manufacturing it into pills and selling them nationwide as a “male enhancement” drug, federal authorities said Friday.
United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson sentenced Won Bae Kim, 61, to 11 months in federal prison and ordered him to pay a $10,000 following his conviction for unlawfully importing tadalafil, which is the active ingredient in the commercial erectile dysfunction drug Cialis, U.S. Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
His sons, Jong Ik Kim, 35, and Jong Heon Kim, 34, were each sentenced to one year probation, including six months of home detention. The sentencing took place in federal court in Los Angeles.
The father started a business under the name Kawa Health, which sold pills labeled as “Xzen 1200” via the Internet and adult book stores, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. They imported “pounds” of tadalafil from China and sold it as Xzen 1200.
“The packaging for the drugs did not disclose that tadalafil was an ingredient, which prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a warning about the product earlier this year,” according to the statement. “the investigation revealed that the Kims generated sales of more than $300,000 over a one-year period.”
During a search of the family’s Rowland Heights home, officials said, investigators found large amounts of pills, packaging materials for Xzen 1200 and $13,000 in cash.
ROWLAND HEIGHTS — A deputy stopped a possible burglary suspect near a house then discovered 150 marijuana plants growing in the residence Friday.
Sgt. Christina Baker of the sheriff’s Walnut/Diamond Bar station said a deputy saw a man acting suspicious around a house in the 1500 block of Greencastle Avenue just before 4 p.m.
The deputy thought the man was a burglary suspect and detained him, she said. The man tried to distance himself from the residence which turned out to be a marijuana grow house, according to Baker.
Raul Villa, 23, was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana. He was being held at the Walnut/Diamond Bar station jail on $50,000 bail.
Villa will be arraigned Tuesday at West Covina Superior Court.
- Ruby Gonazales
Four people are accused of helping hide a gang member wanted for raping an El Monte convenience store employee.
El Monte Police Sgt. Roger Cobian said felony charges were filed Tuesday in El Monte Superior Court against Charlene Godinez, 39, of La Puente, John Godinez, 41, of La Puente, Lisa Beserra, 45, of El Monte and Mario Chavez, 43, Rowland Heights for allegedly assisting Joseph Amaya to evade capture and prosecution.
Booking records show the four suspects were arrested Saturday by El Monte police. Charlene and John Godinez are out on bond. Beserra is being held at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood on a $90,751 bail which includes bail for two other unrelated cases. The three have a Nov. 5 court date.
Chavez is in custody at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles and his bail is $50,000. His booking slip doesn’t show the date for his next court appearance.
Detectives may seek charges against others believed to have helped hide Amaya for the week following the Oct. 19 rape of a 19-year-old woman in El Monte, according to Cobian.
Prosecutors alleged Amaya was at the mini mart in the 4100 block of Peck Road earlier and left. He returned while the employee was getting ready to close the store.
The woman tried to lock the doors but he allegedly forced his way in. Amaya allegedly barricaded the doors, dragged the woman to the back of the business and sexually assaulted her, authorities said.
Detectives searched for the 18-year-old suspect.
“Amaya had been hiding with family and friends moving from El Monte to La Puente and Hacienda Heights,” Cobian said.
He was arrested in West Covina on Saturday after a traffic stop. Cobian said Amaya was in a vehicle with six adults and one minor.
Amaya remains in custody on $5 million bail. His Wednesday arraignment at Pomona Superior Court was continued to Nov. 13, court officials said.
- Ruby Gonzales
A motorcyclist died and two people were arrested early Sunday following a hit-and-run crash on the 60 Freeway at the 605 Freeway, authorities said.
The fatal collision was first reported about 2:40 a.m. in the westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway, just east of the 605 Freeway in an unincorporated county area near Industry, California Highway Patrol Officer Ed Jacobs said.
The name of the motorcyclist was not released by coroner’s officials pending notification of his family. CHP officials described him as a 28-year-old Walnut man.
Arrested were Ai Ho, 57, of Rowland Heights on suspicion of hit-and-run, as well as Gilberto Flores, 25, of Los Angeles, on suspicion of hit-and-run and drunken driving, California Highway Patrol officer Jennifer Cassidy said.
The motorcyclist was riding a 2012 Yamaha motorcycle at a “high rate of speed” in the No. 3 lane prior to the collision, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
He rear-ended a 1995 Lexus SC300 being driven ahead of him by Ho at about 65 mph, officials said.
“As a result of this collision, (the motorcyclist) was ejected into the No. 3 lane while his vehicle continued travelling westbound,” the statement said.
A 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe being driven by Flores then came upon the scene and struck the motorcycle, according to the CHP.
Paramedics pronounced the motorcyclist dead at the scene, Jacobs said. The Lexus and Chevrolet that were involved in the crash had fled the scene.
Investigators, aided by a license plate that fell off one of the vehicles during the crash, located the cars in Rowland Heights and Los Angeles, and the suspected drivers were arrested, officials said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Ho was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending her initial court appearance, while Flores was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Officials issued a Sig Alert on the westbound 60 Freeway for more than two hours following the crash.
Prosecutors filed murder and other charges this week against an Ontario man accused of stabbing his girlfriend’s brother to death with a foot-long Asian ornamental knife over the weekend in Rowland Heights.
Albert Camacho appeared in Pomona Superior Court Tuesday, where he was charged with the murder of 32-year-old Benjamin Cervantes, who died shortly after Saturday’s 1:30 a.m. stabbing at his home in the 1300 block of Gloriosa Avenue in Rowland Heights, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and superior court officials.
Camacho was also charged with four counts of dissuading a witness for threatening witnesses to the stabbing in an attempt to prevent them from calling authorities, Lt. Mike Rosson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
He entered no plea, and his arraignment was continued to Sept. 12, Los Angeles County district attorney’s officials said.
Rosson said Camacho and Cervantes had argued in the past prior to the fatal stabbing.
“They didn’t get along,” the lieutenant said.
He did not know the specific issue the men were disputing early Saturday when the argument escalated into a fight, and Camacho grabbed a 12-inch-long ornamental Asian knife that was already at the home. Cervantes was stabbed several times in the upper body.
Camacho fled the scene following the stabbing, but only after threatening to harm neighbors who witnessed the stabbing if they called authorities, Rosson said.
He remained at-large for more than 10 hours before ultimately turning himself in at the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station shortly after noon, according to officials and county booking records. He had received word from family members that he was being sought by homicide detectives.
Detectives recovered the knife believed to have been used in the stabbing, though Rosson declined to say exactly when and where it was found.
Camacho was being held without bail pending his next court appearance, records show.
A Rowland Heights man died early Saturday after he was stabbed by his sister’s boyfriend during an argument, authorities said.
Benjamin Cervantes died at a hospital shortly after the stabbing, which took place just before 1:30 a.m. at a home in the 1400 block of Gloriosa Avenue, Deputy Irys Alvarez of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement. He was 32 years old, coroner’s officials said.
His alleged killer, 30-year-old Albert Camacho of Ontario, was booked on suspicion of murder, according to sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
“Detectives have learned that the suspect and the victim were involved in an argument which escalated with the suspect stabbing the victim several times in the upper torso,” Alvarez said.
The wounded man was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Joyce Kato.
Camacho fled the scene but was ultimately arrested just after noon, Alvarez said. Further details of how where Camacho was arrested were not available.
Neighbors described Cervantes as a friendly and well-liked man, but added that he and Camacho did not get along.
According to county booking records, Camacho was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court
PHOTOS: Crime lab technicians work at the scene of a fatal stabbing in the 1400 block of Gloriosa Avenue on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013.
ROWLAND HEIGHTS – A 19-year-old Rowland Heights man pleaded no contest Tuesday to three counts of felony vandalism in connection with an alleged four-month graffiti spree, authorities said.
Deputies arrested Vicente Christoph Haro about 6:30 a.m. Friday after a tipster reported seeing him scrawling graffiti at Colima Road and Paso Real Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Christopher Blasnek said.
Haro was still at the scene when deputies arrived and discovered he had vandalized a bus bench, a wall and a utility box, the lieutenant said. And the marks he scrawled were familiar to officials, who had seen similar graffiti in the area over since December.
He’s accused of causing more than $2,500 worth of damage during his “bombing runs,” a slang term for scrawling graffiti on multiple spots at the same time, Blasnek said.
He appeared in court Tuesday, where prosecutors charged him with eight counts of felony vandalism, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
He pleaded no contest to three counts at his initial court appearance, she said. The remaining five counts of felony vandalism were expected to be dismissed at his sentencing, scheduled for Friday.
DIAMOND BAR — A 19-year-old Rowland Heights woman suffered major injuries Tuesday when an SUV struck her stopped Toyota Corolla on the Orange (57) Freeway, authorities said.
Kathryn Rios was hospitalized following the 2:27 p.m. crash on the southbound 57 Freeway, just south of Brea Canyon Cutoff Road, California Highway Patrol Officer Alex Antillon said in a written statement.
Edward Castaneda, 38, of La Habra, who was driving the Ford Explorer that rear-ended Rios’ car, was cited at the scene on suspicion of driving on a suspended license and failing to provide proof of insurance at a collision scene, the officer said. Driving under the influence was not initially suspected to be a factor.
The Corolla was travelling ahead of the Ford prior to the crash, officials said. “For an unknown reason, Ms. Rios’ Toyota came to a complete stop within the No. 4 lane,” Antillon said. “Mr. Castaneda failed to notice the Toyota stopped directly ahead of him,” he said.
“The front of the Ford subsequently struck the rear of the Toyota.” Rescuers took Rios to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center for treatment with “major injuries,” Antillon said. An update on her condition was not available. Castaneda was not injured.
Any witnesses to the crash where asked to contact the CHP’s Baldwin Park office during normal business hours at 626-338-1164.
Deputies following the signal from a LoJack vehicle anti-theft system found and arrested a man and woman in a stolen car, authorities said.
The names of the suspects, initially described as a man and woman in their 20s, were not immediately available pending the booking process, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Perez said.
The incident began about 8:45 a.m. when deputies from the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Statin picked up on the signal in the Rowland Heights area, Perez said.
Deputies closed in on the SUV and spotted it getting onto the eastbound San Bernarindo (10) Freeway from the Orange (57) Freeway heading into Pomona, the sergeant said.
When the SUV exited the 10 Freeway at Garey Avenue and headed south, deputies attempted to pull it over, but it sped away instead, Perez said.
Deputies did not pursue the SUV due to safety concerns, Perez said.
“He started driving a little erratically,” he said. A sheriff’s helicopter kept track of the car from above.
After travling a short distance south on Garey Avenue, the SUV came to a stop near Pearl Street, Perez said.
The female suspect was arrested without a struggle near the SUV, while the man fled into a nearby apartment complex, officials said.
Witnesses pointed out which apartment the fleeing suspect ran into, Perez said. Deputies found him inside and took him into custody.
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