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Visalia Criminal Law Blog

Man accused of selling cocaine from a day care facility

Prosecutors in California say that a 48-year-old man sold cocaine from a home-based day care center he ran with his wife. The unlicensed Highland Park facility accepted children as young as 2 years of age according to reports. In addition to facing a raft of criminal charges, the man has been named as a defendant in a civil nuisance lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. The office is seeking an injunction to close the daycare center down as well as costs and monetary penalties.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer admitted during a press conference that authorities had known about drug sales taking place at the day care facility for at least two years, and he was unable to explain why action had not been taken sooner. Law enforcement seized 20 kilograms of cocaine from the facility when they took the man into custody in 2015, and another 20 kilograms of the drug were discovered on May 25 when officers with the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force searched the residence. The seized drugs are said to have a street value of more than $400,000.

Drug raid leads to 2 people taken into custody

Drug agents said that a California company was used as a front to sell methamphetamine. The Redding company was raided on June 7, and while there, authorities found a pound of processed marijuana as well as drug paraphernalia. During the raid, a 29-year-old man arrived at the scene with over a half-pound of methamphetamine. Another 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine were found at the man's home in addition to a .38 caliber revolver.

He was taken into custody and charged with conspiracy as well as possession and transportation of a controlled substance. He was also charged with possession of a controlled substance while armed and while on an ICE hold. A 44-year-old man was also present during the raid, and he was taken into custody and charged with conspiracy and running a place where controlled substances are sold. A 52-year-old woman who owns the company is still wanted by authorities.

Rapper Homie Rich Quan faces 30 years for pot possession

California music lovers who have been waiting for rapper Rich Homie Quan's debut album may be interested to learn that in late May he was taken into custody and charged with drug possession in Georgia. If the rapper is convicted, he could face a maximum of 30 years in prison.

The rapper and his crew were stopped at a police sobriety checkpoint when authorities suspected that they were in possession of drugs and stolen guns. Quan was allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana, though the amount was not reported.

Man charged after 4.4 pounds of synthetic heroin seized

On May 19, it was reported that a 26-year-old man was taken into custody in California and charged with multiple drug offenses after he was allegedly caught with approximately 4.4 pounds of Despropionyl Fentanyl and Ketamine. According to the authorities, the drugs had a total street values of $6.8 million.

Agents arranged to buy the 4.4 pounds of the synthetic heroin. As he was traveling along Highway 99 to the agreed location, the officers conducted a traffic stop. They located the alleged synthetic heroin in a secret compartment in the vehicle. Because the agents were not aware of what the synthetic heroin was made of, they wore HAZMAT suits to remove the drugs.

Auto shop exposed as cover for drug operation, 4 charged

Four California residents are facing drug-related charges after law enforcement officials learned that they were using a local auto repair shop as a cover to sell controlled substances. The four men were detained after Ventura County Sheriff's Office investigators executed search warrants at five locations on May 12.

Earlier in 2017, the county sheriff's special crimes unit received information concerning the suspected illicit activity at the auto shop, which is located on E. Main Street in Santa Paula. Upon execution of the search warrants, investigators seized 2.7 pounds of cocaine and 1.6 pounds of methamphetamine. The drugs have a combined street value of more than $200,000, according to a spokesperson with the unit.

Bill could base traffic citations on a person's income

California lawmakers are considering a bill that would base the fees associated with a traffic violations on the person's income. According to the state senator who introduced the bill, the state's large fines for minor traffic violations can cause many people to go into debt as well as lose their driver's license and their job if they can no longer get to work.

Under the bill, those who are unable to afford the fines attached to traffic violations would only be required to pay what they can afford. They would also be able to set up a payment plan with the court, which could potentially reduce the fees by as much as 80 percent. Parking tickets would not be included in this suggested system.

Man accused of selling cocaine out of his home

California authorities reported that, after an investigation spanning several months, a man who was accused of selling and distributing cocaine throughout Sonoma County was taken into custody. The accused man was identified as a 24-year-old Santa Rosa resident who was believed to be using his home to store his supply of cocaine, which he then sold.

The Santa Rosa Police Department's narcotics unit reportedly began investigating the case in December 2016. During the months-long investigation, authorities said that they observed the man sell cocaine to numerous individuals. On April 27, detectives involved in the case obtained a search warrant for the residence. After serving the search warrant and searching the residence, the detectives said that they recovered a half kilo of cocaine, crack cocaine, Xanax, Psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA and packaging materials. Three loaded handguns were also seized. More firearms and ammunition were found under the man's bed. Authorities also found about $17,000 in cash.

Mandatory ignition interlock laws reduce fatal crashes

According to a study, states that have mandatory ignition interlock laws have seen a reduced number of fatal car accidents that involved at least one drunk driver. In fact, these mandatory laws were associated in a 7 percent decrease in fatal crashes. In California, these devices are mandatory only in certain counties.

These devices connect directly to the vehicle's ignition system. Before the vehicle will turn on, the driver must blow into the device. The device will detect the amount of alcohol drivers have in their blood stream. If the driver's BAC is over the preset amount, the driver will be unable to start the vehicle. Traditionally, these devices were often only required by repeat offenders or at the judge's discretion. However, as of March 2016, 26 states have mandatory ignition interlock laws that require first time offenders to have one of these devices installed.

Man convicted of 13th DUI

A California man who had 12 previous DUI convictions was found guilty of DUI on April 14 after he was accused of driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. It was reported that the 54-year-old Watsonville man was scheduled to be sentenced May 10 for his latest conviction.

On July 23, 2016, authorities conducted a traffic stop on the man's vehicle in Gonzales after he was observed swerving. During the traffic stop, the man reportedly refused to take a breath test and a blood test. He also refused to submit to field sobriety tests. A blood test was taken after a Gonzales police officer obtained a search warrant. The blood sample found that he had a blood alcohol level of .17 percent approximately four hours after the traffic stop was conducted. He could be facing a maximum of seven years in prison. The man has previously served four terms in prison due to his prior DUI convictions.

California governor pardons 72 ex-convicts

On April 15, California Gov. Jerry Brown announced that he had pardoned 72 ex-convicts and commuted the sentences of seven prisoners. Most of the offenders committed nonviolent drug crimes.

Among those Brown pardoned was a former U.S. military member who was deported to Mexico for firing a weapon at an occupied vehicle or home. The man later founded a support house for fellow deported military veterans in Tijuana. Another pardon was issued to a teenage girl who gave birth in a bathtub and killed her infant. Pardons do not expunge the records of former convicts, but the pardons are added to their public records. State and federal law enforcement agencies are also notified of the change.

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