Weekender Updater: Sex Offender GPS Bills, Gang Banger's Murder Conviction and More

Megan's Law
New legislation is being proposed in the wake of serial killings to which Steven Dean Gordon is claimed to have confessed.
This weekend you are updated on: Orange County legislators trying to improve Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring of sex offenders; the murder conviction of a gang member who gunned down a young man on a bike and then handed his hood rat a flower; a man being ordered to stand trial on charges of kidnapping his former live-in girlfriend's teenage daughter and sexually assaulting her over 10 years; mercy shown for an ex-drug dealer who had been indicted for murder in his girlfriend's heroin overdose death; a lost appeal of Orange County's first guilty verdict for human trafficking of a minor under terms of Proposition 35; and the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit in an electrical worker's electrocution in an underground vault in Huntington Beach.

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Rudolph Peter Juarez and Gabriel A. Garcia Join the Club of Ex-Buena Park Officials Behind Bars

Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office
Gabriel A. Garcia (left) and Rudolph Peter Juarez pleaded guilty and got prison sentences today.
What's good enough for Buena Park's lying ex-mayor is good enough for the city's embezzling two former parks and recreation managers: guilty verdicts in an Orange County courtroom.

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Judge M. Marc Kelly Rebuked by OC Board of Supervisors, But He Also Has Defenders

Categories: Court

Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office
Was the sentence Judge M. Marc Brown gave Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto just?
UPDATE NO. 3, APRIL 23, 10:58 A.M.: The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a resolution calling for the resignation Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly, although the rebuke was less harsh than a previous version of the resolution the supes considered last week.

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Michael D. Drobot Says He Does Not Owe State $125 mil But If He Does Others Should Pay, Too

HealthSmart Pacific
Michael D. Drobot
Michael D. Drobot, the Corona del Mar resident accused in a $500 million kickback scheme involving risky spinal surgeries for injured workers, is adamant that he does not owe the State Compensation Insurance Fund $125 million despite the fund's racketeering lawsuit against him that argues otherwise.

But according to a recent filing by Drobot in the matter, if he is found responsible, 22 doctors, health executives, chiropractors and a lawyer he identifies should be on the hook financially with him.

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Peter Heinrich Conrad Reinert Tied to Scams Involving Hybrid Cars, Anti-Counterfeiting

Keep reading before you buy in.
An Irvine businessman has been hauled into federal court and remains in custody for allegedly duping about 50 investors out of at least $3.6 million in scams involving technological "inventions" to thwart counterfeiters of state documents and increase gas mileage of any car to 150 mpg.

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Real Estate Workers and Home Loan Modifiers Keep Orange County Courtrooms Humming

Photo by flickr user Kevin McShane
The missing "e" is for "embezzlement."
I went to my newspaper's crime page and a real estate section broke out! That's how it feels given the recent spate of Orange County cases involving those in the home sales/mortgage loan modification industry. Consider ...

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Second Smoking Gun Of Prosecutorial Team Cheating Emerges In Death Penalty Case

R. Scott Moxley
DA Rackaukas addresses reporters in March
We reported earlier this week ("Dial Eme For Murder," April 15) that the Orange County district attorney's office (OCDA) won a 2007 death penalty case after hiding a key piece of evidence that would have undermined the government's trial position. Prosecutor Dan Wagner argued defendant Anthony R. Navarro, a Mexican Mafia associate and a prolific FBI informant, ordered three gang soldiers to carry out an October 2002 hit near Knott's Berry Farm. Navarro said he couldn't have commanded the soldiers because the gang wanted him dead for being a snitch, an assertion Wagner mocked as a "ridiculous" lie.

The prosecutor wasn't just wrong; law enforcement possessed evidence proving the error. Nearly two months before successfully asking jurors to impose death, government agents recovered the Mexican Mafia's secret "hard candy" list, which recorded the names of individuals the gang wanted murdered on sight, including Navarro, a.k.a. "Droopy." In a flagrant violation of ethics, officials hid that document from the defense, Judge Francisco P. Briseno and a jury of seven men and four woman. The 48-year-old defendant now lives on San Quentin State Prison's death row hoping the state Supreme Court will someday overturn his conviction.

But the Weekly has learned Wagner's prosecution of Navarro, his only death penalty victory before taking over the OCDA's homicide unit, cheated the defense of a second piece of critical exculpatory evidence: a letter written by Armando Macias, one of the gang soldiers that killed victim David Montemayor and months later used shanks in a murder attempt on Navarro inside a Fullerton courthouse holding cell.

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DA Tony Rackauckas Once Again Milks A Pedophile Case

Courtesy: Jack Lindsay / City of Vancouver archives
Milking it
It's not often when Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas conducts a press conference. It's exceptionally rare when Rackauckas calls the media to his office to announce he's filing an appeal. But the DA has suffered huge public relations setbacks this year involving alarming prosecutorial team incompetence and cheating in death penalty cases.

So, this morning, Rackauckas issued his third "media advisory" in two weeks to draw attention away from the messes and to a no-lose PR stunt: Attacking Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly's decision to go relatively soft on 19-year-old Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto, a pedophile who sodomized a three-year-old female relative and received a 10-year prison sentence instead of a 25 years to life term sought by prosecutors.

Or, more accurately: Renewing his re-attacks on Kelly, who--by the way--is, like the DA, an ultra-conservative Republican.

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Dial Eme For Murder: How Prosecutors Teamed With Mexican Mafia In Death Penalty Case

R. Scott Moxley
Prosecutor Wagner defending questionable DA moves in pending death penalty case

It's odd when both the Mexican Mafia and the Orange County district attorney's office (OCDA) want the same guy dead. It's remarkable when two assumed-enemy outfits work together to achieve a mutual goal. But that is what happened to Anthony R. Navarro Jr.

The Mexican Mafia (a.k.a. La Eme, the pronunciation of M en español) put Navarro on its "hard candy list," marking him for death. OCDA simultaneously worked to hand him capital punishment. In the process, a church-going prosecutor and an unsavory disciple of Eme bosses collaborated in a Santa Ana courtroom. As a result, Navarro today sits on San Quentin State Prison's death row.

The 48-year-old hoodlum admits he's no angel. At the age of 12, he became a gangster, two years later landing in the California Youth Authority for manslaughter. He inked his body with underworld tattoos, took the moniker "Droopy" and became a leader of the Pacoima Flats Gang in the San Fernando Valley. During a prison stint for robbery, the smooth-talking car enthusiast, small-time methamphetamine dealer and $19-per-hour Warner Bros. studio extra won prized Mexican Mafia associate status.

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Lawyer For Santa Ana Police Says Ex-Cop's Sexual Orientation Lawsuit Is Ridiculous

SAPD chief Rojas
A lawyer for the City of Santa Ana is calling a lawsuit filed by a retired, high-ranking police officer who says she was discriminated against because of her sex and sexual orientation "an attempt to extort money" based on a claim that "borders on ridiculous."

Diana L. Field with Ferguson, Praet & Sherman filed those remarks in advance of a scheduled April 20 hearing with U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.

Field is asking Selna to dismiss Tammy Franks' lawsuit before the case reaches a jury trial.

The Weekly first reported in January about the case, which alleges a homophobic officer filed a frivolous, theoretically anonymous complaint designed to smear Franks' reputation and sabotage her career that saw her rise to the rank of commander.

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