Alleged Orange County Courthouse Property Auction Scam Exposed By Federal Prosecutor

Going once, going twice, swindled!
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officials have busted an alleged Orange County Courthouse property auction conspiracy that involved fake high bids and kickbacks.

According to DOJ records obtained by the Weekly, Sean Frankhouse--an auctioneer at Reliable Posting and Publishing (RPP) that sells foreclosed residential properties usually at local courthouses--used an accomplice to cheat honest bidders.

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Santa Ana Winds Bedevil Santa Ana

Categories: Breaking News

Photos courtesy of the City of Santa Ana
Santa Ana winds bending power poles has caused the closure of part of Raitt Street in Santa Ana.

Southern Californians are used to Santa Ana winds howling strong and wreaking havoc, but they are usually at their worst inland, in places like my old stomping grounds of Fontucky. Right now, however, the Santa Anas--or "Devil Winds," as the preacher man calls 'em--are doing a number on the City of Santa Ana.

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Medical Marijuana Distributor Sentenced To 22-Year Prison Term Wins 8-Year Reduction

The ringleader of a huge, Southern California medical marijuana distribution network has won a whopping 94-month reduction in his punishment, according to federal court records reviewed by OC Weekly.

In July 2013, U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna sentenced John Melvin Walker to a term of 262 months in prison, but this week amended the punishment to a term of 168 months for the conspiracy and efforts to evade federal tax obligations.

Selna's dramatic move, done after a secret, April 8 filing by Walker-defense attorney Kate Corrigan, came without public explanation.

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Long Beach Cops Flood City With Slate Mailers, Including For Notorious Drug Trafficker's Ex-Lobbyist

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If there's an invisible hand guiding Long Beach's April 8 primary election, its true color is blue.

More than any other entity in the city, the Long Beach Police Officers Association (LBPOA) is flooding local candidates with cash, most notably incumbent city attorney Charles Parkin. Last year, Parkin replaced outgoing city attorney Robert Shannon, who managed the city's benighted medical marijuana lottery, which led to a successful lawsuit against the city filed by Parkin's competitor, city attorney candidate Matt Pappas.

Despite the fact that Parkin was never elected as city attorney, campaign literature created and funded by the LPBOA boldly (and incorrectly) urged voters to "re-elect" him to the seat. This has led to yet another lawsuit by Pappas, this time against Parkin himself. (Pappas, who was denied a business permit by the city, also claims that local prosecutors have stated in open court that his law firm, which represents various cannabis collectives suing the city, is currently under investigation for drug trafficking, which he claims is an unfounded smear tactic).

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Quake Damage to Keep School Building Closed for More Than a Week; Aftershocks Surpass 60

Categories: Breaking News

See the update on earthquake damage keeping a Brea school's main building closed for more than a week, more closures and the aftershock count passing 60.

Wrong kind of shake
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 31, 7:07 A.M.: The swarm of earthquakes and aftershocks that shook Orange County Friday and Saturday caused some damage, no serious injuries and the displacement of some residents.

As many as 50 residents of La Habra, which was at or near the center of many of the shakers, spent Friday night in a Red Cross shelter as building inspections were conducted to determine if homes there were safe.

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5.1 Earthquake Hits OC, Just After 3.6 Shaker; Both Centered Near La Habra

Categories: Breaking News

ORIGINAL POST, 9:13 P.M. Poor little La Habra all the way up in North OC rarely gets into the news outside the pastrami burritos at Imperial Burgers and the city's mighty Highlanders high school football team--but it's all over the news right now. Two earthquakes hit Southern California tonight--a 3.6 magnitude shaker at 8:39 pm, and a 5.3 one that shook just a couple of minutes ago. at 9:09 p.m.

KCAL-TV Channel 9 is saying right now that the 3.6 one was a foreshock to the 5.3...but now they're saying maybe the 5.3 was the foreshock? Let's hope not...and now a 2.9 hits near Brea. WTF is going on???

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4 Disneyland Cast Members Hospitalized Due to "Wet Paint" Fumes: Update

See the update at the end of this post on four cast members being hospitalized.

ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 28, 1:49 P.M.: A "strange odor" that is not believed to be from a hazardous material has sent Anaheim fire crews to Disneyland today.

As many as six people have complained of symptoms, according to initial reports.

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Manual Ramos Wants Immunity In Kelly Thomas Killing To Hinder FBI Probe

Ramos: May I keep my mouth shut or, at least, field only softball questions?
Fearing he will be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice for murdering Kelly Thomas, fired Fullerton cop Manual Ramos is asking a judge to grant him immunity from a scheduled civil deposition or alternatively to limit the scope of questions asked by lawyers for the dead man's father who is suing officers for the savage killing.

In January, an Orange County jury in state court acquitted Ramos as well as ex-officer Jay Cicinelli of any criminal wrongdoing and District Attorney Tony Rackauckas dropped charges against a third defendant, Joseph Wolfe.

At a post-verdict press conference, Ron Thomas--the victim's father--urged federal prosecutors to pursue justice.

Ramos is now using that statement plus an acknowledgment by the FBI that a case is "active" to at least temporarily thwart Thomas' civil lawsuit that has won a tentative December 1 trial date.

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Los Alamitos-Long Beach Hit with 2.7 Quake

An earthquake measuring 2.7 on the Richter scale just shook the area bordering Los Alamitos and Long Beach.

Did you feel it?

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Ashton Colby Sachs, Alleged Killer of Parents, Paralyzed Brother and Tried to Shoot Sister: DA

See Update No. 2 one Page 2 with the charges against Ashton Sachs and details on other family members the DA says he targeted. Update No. 1 on the next page identifies Sachs as the only suspect in his parents' murders.

Andra and Bradford Sachs, R.I.P.
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 7, 12:47 P.M.: The 19-year-old son of a divorced couple found dead in their San Juan Capistrano home in the early morning hours of Feb. 9 is behind bars today in connection with the fatal shootings, according to a broadcast report.

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