ICE Special Agent Admits Guilt In Lengthy, Immigration Bribery Scheme

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A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agent today admitted guilt for his role in a bribery scheme that illegally funneled confidential Department of Homeland Security records to a Los Angeles immigration lawyer, doctored information in secret databases and sanctioned sham marriages involving foreign nationals.

Inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, James Dominguez changed his original plea from not guilty in front of U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford, a move that will likely win him a reduction in punishment.

Dominguez, a Ventura resident, faces a maximum punishment of five years in prison, a three-year period of supervised probation as well as a $250,000 fine.

The plea deal was a bargain for the special agent, who only admitted to making false statements.

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Judge Blocks Trial For Fatal Police Shooting, Sticks Victim's Family With Cop's Legal Bill

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Beware unarmed, Anaheim police protester: Cops will claim they mistook your Disney sign for a gun, kill you, demand immunity from public scrutiny and then win support from reality suspending, country club OC judges
Anaheim's Bernie Cervantes Villegas held the barrel end of a BB rifle when police officers approached him in January 2012, complied with commands to raise his arms and was nevertheless shot five times and killed though he never pointed the weapon at cops or grabbed for the trigger.

Officers "high-fived" each other after the shooting, according to a defense witness.

That's the version defense lawyers presented in a federal civil rights lawsuit against the trigger-happy shooter, Anaheim officer Nick Bennallack, who six months later also executed an unarmed Manuel Diaz by shooting him in the butt and back of the head.

According to court records, the cop--affectionately called "Buckshot Bennallack" by fellow officers and "Backshot Bennallack" by angry residents--demanded that a jury never see crime scene photographs of the gruesome results of his five shots because jurors might become nauseous by the overkill.

This week inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney ordered Villegas' surviving family members to pay Anaheim PD's legal bills after refusing to let the lawsuit go to a future jury because, in his view, even if the plaintiff's version of events is accurate, the cop acted "reasonably" in fear for his life.

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Orange County Cop Shot Man Holding Cell Phone, Claims He Thought It Was A Handgun

On Aug. 25, 2011, La Habra police officer Jason Sanchez arrived at the scene of a domestic dispute after 10:30 p.m., parked behind Manuel Galvan's Honda Accord, observed Galvan standing next to the vehicle's open driver's door, turned on his powerful spotlight to illuminate the suspect about 20 feet away, saw the man point a handgun at his wife and fired his police Glock 21 semi-automatic gun, striking Galvan. The suspect then pointed the weapon at Sanchez and, fearing for his life, the cop fired two more shots. Galvan dropped to the ground, but survived multiple wounds.

This picture depicts what Sanchez claims he clearly saw in Galvan's right hand:

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Galvan, who was guilty of violating a restraining order filed by his separated wife, tells a different story. When Sanchez arrived, the officer exited his vehicle, immediately pulled his gun and ordered Galvan "to drop whatever you have in your hand." Confirmed by a witness, the suspect replied, "It's a cell phone," raised his arms in the shaped of a football goal post, tossed what had been in his right hand on the roof of the Honda and resumed holding both arms up when Sanchez began firing his Glock.

This picture depicts what Galvan actually held in his hand:

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Charles Keating Jr. Dies: 5 Weekly Pokes at the Disgraced Lincoln Savings Operator

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Charles Keating Jr., who parlayed running Irvine-based Lincoln Savings & Loan into a starring role as poster boy of the savings and loan crisis of the late-1980s, has died, his family announced. He was 90. Keating died late Monday at a Phoenix hospital; the cause of death was not released.

Keating was famously played by James Cromwell in the 1996 Milos Foreman film The People vs. Larry Flynt. The moral crusader accused the titular Hustler publisher of ''the destruction of the soul of our country'' years before Keating crushed the souls of elderly Orange County savers and investors who lost everything.

Between pop culture and hard news you'll find the gooey nougat center occupied by OC Weekly, which allowed Mr. Keating to infiltrate our content over the years. Enjoy five examples after the jump . . .

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Westminster Police Sued For Allegedly Aiding Little Saigon Loan Shark

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The victim in a Little Saigon loan-sharking operation that FBI agents believe used at least one dirty lawman as an enforcer is suing the Westminster Police Department, its chief, three cops and the alleged loan shark.

Lounge owner Hanh Le claims in her 11-count federal lawsuit that a "team" of defendants "conspired" to "frighten, pressure, harass, intimidate, assault and threaten" her into making payments on "usurious loans" totaling $170,000 with an illegal 60 percent annual interest rate to accused loan shark Kevin Khanh Tuan Do of Fountain Valley.

Last August, prosecutors inside the U.S. Department of Justice charged officer Anthony Duong Donner and Do in the case, but Hanh believes the corruption extended to her named additional defendants: Police Chief Kevin Baker as well as veteran officers Phuong Pham and Timothy Vu, according to the lawsuit.

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As Quake Aftershock Wakes Up La Habrans, USGS Warns of Phony "Big One" Letter

As aftershocks continue to spook folks in Greater La Habra--a magnitude 2.8 shaker centered a mile south of the city woke some folks up at 6:02 this morning--the U.S. Geological Survey is warning Southern Californians about a fake alert that went out on the agency's letterhead about a Big One coming.

"USGS had no part in this letter or any alleged alert," responds the agency. "USGS does not predict earthquakes."

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Fannie Mae Foreclosure Specialist: Taking Bribes Is Illegal?

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A veteran Orange County foreclosure specialist at federal government-created Fannie Mae hoped a wild defense would allow him to evade a criminal conviction after executing a bribery plot against an Arizona real estate broker.

Armando Granillo claimed he didn't know that demanding and accepting bribes was illegal because kickbacks were commonplace in his Irvine office.

"If there is circumstantial evidence that other people took kickbacks or bribes, and that such behavior was tolerated, if not sanctioned, by Fannie Mae, then the jury should decide if this circumstantial evidence shows that Mr. Granillo had an honest belief he was not violating the law," argued the 45-year-old defendants's public defender, David I. Wasserman.

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Long Beach Bans Vaping in E-Cig Stores, Making it Most Anti-E-Cig City in Southern California

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John Gilhooley
Guess there won't be e-cig conventions in LB anytime soon!
In early February, Los Angeles banned the public use of e-cigs. Last week, Long Beach city council took those regulations even further and decided that no vaping in public means no vaping inside vape shops, either. Right now, they're the only city in Southern California that plans to strip this crucial liberty.

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New Charge Filed In Little Saigon Loan Sharking Case Involving Westminster Police

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FBI probes Westminster cops
The U.S. Department of Justice working with a federal grand jury in Southern California has issued a superseding indictment in the case of the Little Saigon businessman accused of operating a loan-sharking operation with the assistance of a Westminster police officer.

Last August, FBI agents arrested officer Anthony Duong Donner and businessman Kevin Khanh Tuan Do. The two men pleaded not guilty to the original two-count indictment.

This week, federal prosecutors Brett A. Sagel and Joseph T. McNally won an additional, grand jury approved count against Do: Lying to FBI agents in hopes of thwarting their investigation.

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African American Employee: Orange County Sheriff's Department Is Cesspool Of Racism

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Heil Hitler salutes reported inside OCSD
Describing the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) a cesspool of racism and the playground of incredibly juvenile thugs, an African American employee is suing and has won an October trial date.

Jeffrey Robinson, a correctional services technician in the OCSD's inmate services division, claims he is "subject to ongoing harassment and discrimination by fellow employees and supervisors" because of racism and that he complained about alleged abuses.

According to Robinson, he is "continually treated" in a "disrespectful, discourteous, harassing and hostile manner."

He claims he's had to endure OCSD co-workers:

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