CSLEA & COLRE Meet with LREs in Bakersfield
BAKERSFIELD – The California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) and the California Organization of Licensing Registration Examiners (COLRE) would like to thank its licensing registration examiner-members who participated in lunch and a question and answer session at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) commercial office in Bakersfield on April 16, 2016.
COLRE President Enrique Razo and CSLEA Senior Counsel Jim Vitko visited with members, received feedback and concerns, and answered questions.
“It’s important that our members see us and know us,” said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. “We’re a statewide organization with members throughout California, it’s our job to branch out away from our Sacramento and Southern California offices and meet our members at their job sites. Thank you to COLRE President Razo and Senior Counsel Vitko for your commitment to our members and to the working class!”
State Investigations Leads to Manslaughter Charge in Baby’s Death A Department of Housing & Community Development and Bureau of Real Estate investigation
BAKERSFIELD - On April 12, 2018, the Kern County District Attorney’s Office announced that it filed a felony county of involuntary manslaughter against a trailer park management company as a result of findings by state investigators into the fiery death of an infant.
Jenica Lozano, five months old, died in a fire inside a trailer her parents rented at 4J’s Trailer Park in Oildale on January 24, 2016. Three trailers were destroyed in the fire, some of which had been tagged by state code enforcement officers who claimed the trailers should not have been occupied due to the lack of permits and no hazard detectors, such as a smoke alarm. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, however the parents received restitution in a civil suit against the trailer park’s managers and owners.
“The manslaughter charge filed by the Kern County DA is a fitting but somber end to a long investigation,” said Marcus Nenn, president of the Association of Deputy Commissioners (ADC) which represents state investigators in this case. “The heartbreaking loss of life and destruction of three homes is a tragedy that could have been avoided were it not for the defendant's disregard for permits, safety standards, and official State notices and licensing. On the positive side, the case highlighted cooperation between local and State agencies that promises to better safeguard park residents and promote discipline against Pama Management officers and their state licenses. The Kern County Fire Marshall and Prosecutor's office, along with California's HCD Investigators and BRE Special Investigators, all worked together to seek justice for the effected families.”
The felony charge of involuntary manslaughter is filed against Pama Management, Incorporated. Pama Management operated the trailer park and leased the trailer in which the infant was living in. Pama Management is accused of failing to abide by its legal duties to maintain the trailer in compliance with the state of California’s statutory requirements for inhabited dwellings. At the time of the fire, the child was sleeping in a bedroom. The adult occupants in the trailer were able to escape safely but baby Jenica died as a result of the fire.
ABC Agents Arrest Three in Bell Gardens Restaurant Investigation Post Notice of Revocation at Perry Burger restaurant
BELL GARDENS- On April 11, 2018, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) announced that ABC agents arrested three people in a drug investigation at Perry Burger in Bell Gardens. They also posted a Notice of Revocation at the restaurant prohibiting it from selling beer and wine as it was licensed to do.
ABC agents worked with the Bell Gardens Police Department to investigate complaints about possible illegal drug activity at the restaurant. During the investigation ABC agents arrested two suspects at the restaurant and a third suspect at a home. Agents seized 29 bindles of methamphetamine and $183 in cash at the restaurant. At the home of one of the suspects, they arrested a third individual and seized two pounds of methamphetamine and $13,000 in cash. The suspects were booked for drug possession and possession for sales.
“Seizing methamphetamine and arresting those who sell it can dramatically, and immediately, improve the quality of life for neighborhoods and communities,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “ABC agents work undercover to discover where illegal activity is taking place within, and on, the premises of ABC licensees and investigate tips from the community. Great job by ABC agents and Bell Gardens police.”
CHP-PSDA Treats Dispatchers & Operators to Lunch During NPSTW
VALLEJO - On Sunday, April 8, 2018, CHP-Public Safety Dispatchers Association (CHP-PSDA) purchased lunch for all of the public safety dispatchers and operators at the CHP Golden Gate Communication Center. April 8th kicked off National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, a week in which public safety dispatchers and operators are honored for their incredible public safety and first responder work throughout the year.
These first responders answer cellular 911 calls, perform radio dispatching for the California Highway Patrol, as well as assist allied agencies and the motoring public. They handle a wide variety of calls from the mundane to the major catastrophes.
“Providing lunch to our hardworking and valued members is a way for us to say thank you. We appreciate your work, your long hours and we know this job takes a toll on families and health,” said CHP-PSDA President Tina Brazil.
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is April 8-14, 2018.
Rangers Call State Parks a “Department in Crisis” – Part II
“Having one lone ranger, which is kind of what we have, is just not doing service to the public.” – RPPOA President Matt Yarbrough, State Parks Ranger
SACRAMENTO – California State Parks rangers with the Resource Protection Peace Officers Association (RPPOA) continue to make public their major safety concerns for park visitors and rangers, and the perceived lack of concern by State Parks management.
"Change is desperately needed. Addressing the Park restructure as an absolute negative to ranger retention and park safety – that is the number one goal,” said RPPOA Director and Ranger Nate Smith.
At issue is the State Parks transformation. At risk is public and officer safety.
For a look at public safety concerns as viewed by rangers who are sworn to protect and serve the public, we invite you to watch State Parks a “Department in Crisis” – Part II:
California State Park Rangers Fear for Your Safety and Their Own - Rangers Call State Parks a “Department in Crisis”
Crime in California State Parks and the Need for More Rangers
How Safe Are California’s State Parks?
CDFW Wildlife Officers Arrest Three for Poaching Succulents in Humboldt County
EUREKA – During the first week of April 2018, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers arrested three individuals for poaching more than 2,300 succulent plants near Trinidad in Humboldt County. Poaching succulents is a rising trend along California’s north coast and often has international connections.
CDFW officers arrested Taehun Kim, 52, and Taeyun Kim, 46, both of Korea, and Liu Fengxia, 37, of China on charges that include the illegal taking of the plants and felony conspiracy, among others.
Poachers profit financially from the illegal take of Dudleya by stripping plants from sea cliffs and shipping them overseas to other countries, including Korea, China and Japan, where they are prized by some for decorative purposes.
On April 4, wildlife officers intercepted and seized 1,334 of the plants in boxes on their way to be shipped overseas. An additional 1,000 Dudleya were found in the suspects’ hotel room during the service of a search warrant. The overseas market value of the plants is between $40 to $50 per plant, resulting in a conservative value estimate of more than $90,000.
The removal of Dudleya can result in environmental degradation of habitat and a destabilization of bluffs and cliffs on the coastline. Illegal harvesting is also alarming because California hosts a number of Dudleya species and subspecies that are rare or at risk of extinction.
CDFW enforcement initially identified this trend earlier this year, in part, after determining that a man was shipping Dudleya out of a Mendocino post office to China.
In recent months near Point Arena in Mendocino County, wildlife officers cited three individuals for a series of misdemeanor violations including illegal take and trespassing. The charges were elevated by the Mendocino District Attorney to felony conspiracy and grand theft, based upon the value of stolen plants.
On Jan. 29, one man was apprehended with approximately 50 succulents, and on March 6, two men were cited after being apprehended with 1,400 succulents. The individual in the January incident pleaded guilty to the illegal take of plants and received a sentence that included three years of probation, a $5,000 fine and 240 hours of community service. The March case is pending.
“California has a glorious coast filled with natural beauty,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Kudos to the officers who investigated this case and the others before it, as we must protect our natural resources. “
Law enforcement personnel from the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and East Bay Regional Parks, in addition to representatives of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), U.C. Santa Cruz Botany Department and local citizens, assisted with the investigation. CDFW personnel have replanted the seized succulents in the areas where taken whenever possible with assistance from CNPS and U.C. Santa Cruz botany experts.
Anyone who believes they are witness to unlawful poaching or pollution activity is encouraged to call CalTIP, CDFW’s confidential secret witness program, at (888) 334-2258 or send a text to tip411. Both methods allow the public to provide wildlife officers with factual information to assist with investigations. Callers may remain anonymous, if desired, and a reward can result from successful capture and prosecution.