The Law Office of Michael L. Guisti has been retained by Huong Thi Nguyen to defend her against criminal charges. On November 19, 2015, ABC7 news aired a story about a Santa Ana ride along where Ms. Nguyen was allegedly arrested by the Santa Ana Police Department for prostitution. As her legal counsel, we are shocked at the inaccuracies and outright fabrications in the ABC7 news report. It is ironic that an agency which shields itself behind the 1st Amendment would be so reckless and indifferent to the constitutional rights of someone who has been victimized in the human trafficking industry. This office will fight vigorously in Ms. Nguyen’s defense.
The ABC7 news report in question can be found here.
Los Angeles, CA — On Thursday, former Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka and former Captain William Carey surrendered themselves to the FBI after federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging them with obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and other crimes. The indictment follows a lengthy federal investigation into allegations of corruption and other misconduct in jails run by the LA County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the indictment, Tanaka and Carey, who both pleaded not guilty at their arraignment that afternoon, knowingly participated in a conspiracy to hide abusive behavior towards inmates in LA jails. Among the incidents detailed in the indictment is the defendants’ alleged involvement with the effort to keep an FBI informant from communicating with his handlers by shuffling him around the jail system and falsifying records. Both Tanaka and Carey have been charged with one count each of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Prosecutors have also charged Carey with two counts of making false statements after he allegedly perjured himself during the trial of a number of lower-ranking sheriff’s deputies who were convicted last year.
Newport Beach, CA — On Friday, Superior Court Judge Greg Jones postponed the sentencing hearing of Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti, but also revoked her bail and ordered her to return to jail until June 10th. Fakhrai-Bayrooti’s attorney, William Weinburg had requested the postponement because he had received a probation report about his client that very morning and needed time to review it.
Fakhrai-Bayrooti, an attorney from Rancho Santa Margarita, pleaded guilty to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated on March 10th of this year and Jones had previously allowed her to remain free on bail until Friday’s sentencing hearing. However, when he ordered the defendant to jail, Jones expressed frustration with the delay, saying that if he did not grant it, it would merely give the defense grounds to appeal his sentence.
Santa Clarita, CA — On Tuesday it was announced that three people had been arrested in Santa Clarita after allegedly setting up a phony police department for unknown ends. According to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Tonette Hayes, 59, David Henry, 46, and Brandon Kiel, 31, were arrested, booked on suspicion of multiple counts of impersonating a police officer, and released on bail on April 30th. Kiel, who was placed on administrative leave from his job with the state Department of Justice, was also charged with misusing a government id, and Henry has been charged with perjury and will appear in court on May 21.
Hayes, Henry, and Kiel first fell under suspicion in February, when they visited the Santa Clarita sheriff’s station. They told Capt. Roosevelt Johnson that they were with the Mason Fraternal Police Department and that they were planning to begin law enforcement operations in the city. The MFPD had also sent out letters to other local law enforcement stations and departments and even have a website which claims their organization is descended from the Knights Templar and identifying David Henry as the Absolute Sovereign Grandmaster. The website also says that the MFPD has jurisdiction in over 30 states and Mexico.
Rialto, CA — There are a number of aggravating and mitigating factors that can affect sentencing in a criminal case. California is one of many states which allows sentencing enhancements for hate crimes, in which violence is motivated by personal prejudice.
Prosecutors in San Bernardino County filed a charge of attempted murder with enhancements for hate crimes against Jeremiah Ajani Bell, 22. Bell, a resident of Fontana, was arrested on suspicion of severely beating a man with a baseball bat on Monday afternoon. Around 2:30 pm, surveillance video shows Bell carrying an aluminum baseball bat in Rialto, then later running away without it. According to witnesses, Bell walked up to the victim, Armando Barron, 54, and began attacking him without saying anything. Bell was arrested at his apartment later that day when officers conducting an unrelated investigation realized that he matched the description of the attacker.
Long Beach, CA — On Tuesday, a pair of alleged bicycle thieves were charged with grand theft in Long Beach. The suspects, Timothy Lewis, 51, and Joseph Griffin, 49, were taken into custody on Saturday following a sting operation near Belmont Pier.
Several businesses and community members had raised concerns about the number of bike thefts in the area, leading to an investigation by the Long Beach PD. On the day of the sting, investigators used a cable and padlock to secure a bicycle to a lamppost at the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Termino Avenue. They observed as the suspects rode up to the decoy on a pair of bicycles. Lewis was also reportedly rolling a third bicycle alongside his own.
Santa Ana, CA — The issue of police relationships with minority communities remains a sensitive one. Particularly when stories about police officers using lethal force against unarmed minority men fill the airwaves. Recently, a criminal suspect was so frightened for his safety that he called a local newspaper while barricaded inside his aunt’s mobile home in Santa Ana.
The Orange County Register reports that on Thursday morning of last week, their offices received a phone call from Armando Mendoza, 32. Earlier that morning—around 7:15 am— Mendoza, who is a suspect in a carjacking and kidnapping in January, was spotted by Garden Grove police officers who pursued him into the Park Terrace Mobile Home Park in Santa Ana. The Garden Grove and Santa Ana PD both searched for him and determined that he was inside the mobile home owned by his aunt.
Los Angeles, CA — The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for a suspect in a shooting that put an 8-year-old boy in the hospital on Sunday night. That evening, in the Del Rey neighborhood of Los Angeles, an intruder entered the family home and fired a gun at the boy's father. One of the shots struck the boy in the head and he was listed in critical but stable condition as of Monday morning.
According to the boy's father, he was expecting his 20-year-old son to come home, and so he did not initially find it suspicious when the front door opened around midnight. When the father left his son's room he found someone he did not recognize. When confronted, the intruder fired multiple shots at the boy's father. It is believed that one of these shots struck the boy. Nobody else in the home was injured. Witnesses say that they saw a white vehicle driving away around the time the gunman fled the scene.
Anaheim Hills, CA — In some cases it can take years before police are able to identify a suspect in a criminal case. In spite of investigators' best efforts, sometimes the trail goes cold and years pass before the next major development in the case.
Over the weekend it was announced that a major break had been made in a 30-year-old murder investigation. On July 2nd, 1981, a 6-year-old boy went missing while riding his bike in Anaheim Hills. The next day his body was discovered, strangled, at a construction site in Pomona.
Long Beach, CA — Four people have been arrested by the Long Beach Police Department in connection with the kidnapping and death of a 3-month-old girl in January, and the attempted kidnapping of a 4-year-old boy in El Segundo in February. At a news conference on Wednesday, police officials said that they believed Giseleangelique Rene D’Milian, 47, of Thousand Oaks sought to kidnap a boy and a girl in order to convince her married boyfriend that she had given birth to twins while traveling overseas.
As part of this plan, police allege that D’Milian pretended to run a charity that gives help to the mothers of young children in order to find targets for kidnapping. On January 3rd, D’Milian reportedly approached the mother of 3-month-old Eliza Delacruz in Long Beach, and had what police describe as a “basic conversation” with her. Shortly afterwards, Eliza was kidnapped by an assailant who shot her parents and uncle, and was found dead in a dumpster in Imperial Beach the next day.
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