S. Broadway street from Bishop to Richland streets shut down until further notice. Please stay clear of the area.
Eddy Bustamante Infante of Santa Ana , a 25-year-old former SAUSD after-school instructor, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Dec. 10, to molesting four girls at Greenville Elementary School, in Santa Ana, according to the O.C. Register.
Infante accepted charges including four counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14. Unfortunately a fifth count of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14 and a count of oral copulation or sexual penetration of a child 10 years or younger were dismissed.
We do not know yet how much prison time Infante will serve as he is not scheduled to be sentenced until Feb. 7, at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
Infante began to work as a n SAUSD after-school teacher in 2015. He victimized students who he was in charge of.
The SAPD arrested Infante back on Oct. 5, 2018, as a suspect in the sexual assault of three girls. He got out on a $1 million bail but went right back to jail when a fourth victim stepped up and spoke with the police investigators. She told them that Infante molested her when she was only 6 years old!
Infante also admitted that he sexually assaulted both an 8-year-old girl and a 10-year-old girl between August 2016 and June 2017 and a 9-year-old girl between August 2015 and June 2017, according to the OCDA.
One has to wonder how exactly the SAUSD is vetting their hires.
SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) is proud to announce that it has been chosen by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to continue serving as the statewide traffic safety training agency in an ongoing effort to combat drugged and drunk driving across California.
OTS has awarded the OCDA two grants totaling $1.47 million in order to fund the office’s Alcohol and Drug Impaired Driver Vertical Prosecution Program, which dedicates eight prosecutors to prosecuting drugged and drunk driving cases, as well as continue the California Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Training Network, which trains California law enforcement and prosecutors on how to effectively prosecute driving under the influence cases.
Unfortunately, the number of drug-impaired driving cases investigated and prosecuted across California has increased in the wake of the state’s 2016 decriminalization of marijuana.
“I have committed my public safety career to stopping drunk and drugged driving.” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “The unnecessary loss of life is why I, as a member of the State Assembly, authored the Steve Ambriz Act to require every Californian who wants a driver’s license to sign a form that states he or she has been advised that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, impairs the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, and if they do so anyway and someone is killed, they can be charged with murder.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has taken the statewide lead in providing police officers and prosecutors with cutting edge training to hold drugged and drunk drivers accountable and make California streets safer.”
OCDA was awarded $754,563 for the Alcohol and Drug Impaired Driver Vertical Prosecution Program and $722,513 for the California Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Training Network.
In 2011, OCDA developed a multi-agency collaborative driving under the influence of drugs prosecution, investigation and toxicology model which has served as the innovative foundation to develop a statewide program.
In October 2016, OCDA expanded its traffic safety training role to the Southern California region, serving as the lead agency in prosecution and law enforcement training. This includes the delivery of live trainings, roundtables, training videos, and legal updates. In 2017, OCDA began to develop a statewide training program through its administration of the Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor (TSRP) Training Network. As part of this process, OCDA has begun to align law enforcement and prosecution agencies throughout the state to create a massive statewide training, resource and education network. This responsibility offers agencies throughout the state the opportunity to share expertise in the area of traffic safety as the OCDA works in partnership to proactively investigate and prosecute traffic related crimes, increasing public safety in all jurisdictions throughoutCalifornia.
During the 2019 grant year, our TSRP team conducted more than 50 trainings to prosecutors, peace officers, toxicologists, community members, and policymakers about the dangers, investigation, and prosecution of driving under the influence of drugs
As part of these OTS grants, OCDA maintains eight vertical DUI-Drug prosecutors assigned throughout Orange County.
These deputy district attorneys review, file and prosecute nearly all drug-impaired driving cases filed in Orange County.
Collectively in the 2019 grant year, OCDA prosecutors filed charges on more than 1,000 Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) and combination cases submitted by police agencies and secured more than 400 convictions in DUID and combination cases.
This year, the eight prosecutors assigned to the program are Deputy District Attorneys Matthew Bradbury and Jessica Le of Central Justice Center, Alex Brown and Andrea Schug of West Justice Center, Charles Henninger and Katheryn Fernandez of Harbor Justice Center, and Ben Atienza and Christina Cornejo of North Justice Center.
The Alcohol and Drug Impaired Driver Vertical Prosecution Program grant is overseen by Assistant District Attorneys Suzie Price and Brock Zimmon. The TSRP Training Network grant is under the supervision of Senior Assistant District Attorney Keith Bogardus and Assistant District Attorney Brock Zimmon. The TSRP team consists of Deputy District Attorneys Hoon Chang and Dalia Wahab and OCDA Investigator Eric Franke.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man who served as a male nanny for families across Southern California was charged with additional felony child molestation charges today for victimizing 17 young boys under his care. The boys ranged in age from two to 12 years old.
Matthew Antonio Zakrzewski, 30, of Costa Mesa, was arrested on May 17, 2019 by Laguna Beach Police Department detectives at a local airport after deplaning an international flight. Zakrzewski was originally charged with three felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14, and one felony count of oral copulation of a child under the age of 10. He was also charged with one felony count of possession of child pornography.
Zakrzewski pleaded not guilty to the original charges in May. He is currently being held at the Orange County Jail on $1.25 million bail.
Zakrzewski now faces a total of 33 felony counts, including 27 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14, one felony count of oral copulation of a child under the age of 10, and one felony count of possession of child pornography. He also faces one felony count of using a minor for sex acts, two felony counts of distributing pornography to a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct, and one felony count of an attempted lewd or lascivious act with a minor under the age of 14.
Prosecutors allege the crimes were committed between January 1, 2014 and May 17, 2019. He faces 690 years to life plus eight years if convicted on all charges.
Investigators asked for the public‘s help in locating any other potential victims. As the investigation progressed, additional victims were identified through video evidence and tips from the public, resulting in additional charges being filed against Zakrzewski.
In early May 2019, a Laguna Beach couple had reported to Laguna Beach Police that their babysitter, Zakrzewski, had touched their eight-year-old son inappropriately and was concerned for the safety of their son and potentially other children.
The couple had hired Zakrzewski to care for their eight-year-old child through one of his several babysitting websites. The Laguna Beach Police Department’s Major Crimes & Intelligence Unit immediately opened an investigation, which led to the identification of a second seven-year-old victim in the City of Los Angeles, and ten more boys from across Southern California.
“These parents were led to believe that they could trust this man with the most precious thing in their entire world – their children,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Instead, he preyed on these innocent boys and violated that trust in a vile and sadistic way.”
Anyone who has information related to this investigation or any other unreported incidents involving Zakrzewski is urged to call the Laguna Beach Investigations Division line at (949) 715-1300.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Heidi Garrel of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Garden Grove man who carjacked a woman and led police on a televised high-speed pursuit that ended with the suspect being bitten by a police K-9, causing the dog to lose its front teeth has pleaded guilty.
Antonio Padilla Jr., 38, was sentenced to 19 years and four months in state prison.
Padilla pleaded guilty today to one felony count of carjacking, one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon on an officer, one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon, one felony count of assault on a police animal and one count of felony evasion.
Padilla was arrested on February 26, 2018, a week after he attempted to run over a Garden Grove Police motor officer who had pulled him over for speeding and was writing him a ticket. The officer managed to jump out of the way and was not harmed.
Garden Grove police tracked Padilla’s vehicle to Santa Ana on February 26, 2018, and asked Santa Ana police to assist in stopping the defendant.
Padilla refused to stop for police, and began driving more than 60 miles an hour on surface streets while running stop signs and traffic lights.
The high speed pursuit continued into the City of Irvine, where he dragged a 22-year-old woman out of the SUV she was driving and carjacked her. The woman’s brother witnessed the carjacking and began struggling with Padilla. While the two men struggled, Padilla accelerated the vehicle, narrowly missing hitting the carjacking victim’s brother.
Padilla continued the pursuit in the carjacked vehicle, hitting several other vehicles until he hit a raised curb, disabling the vehicle.
Padilla got out of the SUV and ran from the pursuing police officers. Sana Ana Police deployed K9 Puskas, who brought Padilla down.
While being held by Puskas, Padilla continued to hit the K9. The chase and arrest was covered live by multiple television stations.
Puskas suffered multiple injuries, including the loss of most of the dog’s upper and lower teeth, and had to undergo surgery. Puskas recovered from his injuries and returned to work patrolling the streets of Santa Ana.
“Our K-9s are invaluable assets to our law enforcement family, and it is due to the training and dedication of Puskas and his human partners that a dangerous criminal is off the streets and behind bars,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
Carlos Guadalupe Garcia and Leilani Celeste Parker, a pair of 18-year-olds, are facing charges of pimping a teenage girl in Santa Ana and Pomona, according to the O.C. Register.
The suspects were arrested last Friday for allegedly pimping the 15-year-old victim, according to the SAPD.
Garcia and Parker pleaded not guilty on Tuesday and will be returning to the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana on Sept. 5.
Both of the suspects face multiple felony charges including human trafficking of an underage victim, pimping for a prostitute younger than 16, and pandering with a minor younger than 16. Garcia is also charged with pimping and pandering of another victim, who is an adult woman.
SAPD police officers who were working an operation in Santa Ana last Friday saw Parker and the teen in a high-prostitution area of the city, where the suspect was allegedly training the girl to be a prostitute.
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A 28-year-old Garden Grove man has been charged with beating and stabbing his mother to death, according to the OCDA.
Jonathan Michael Warner, 28, of Garden Grove was charged today with one felony count of murder. He faces a minimum of 25 years and a maximum of life in prison if convicted.
Warner is scheduled to be arraigned in CJ1 today. He is currently being held at the Orange County Jail without bail.
Warner is alleged to have beat, bludgeoned, and stabbed 62-year-old Vivian Wolff to death, leaving her body under a comforter in her bedroom. Wolff was discovered on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 by friends who came to check on her after she stopped returning phone calls.
Warner was arrested by officers the Garden Grove Police Department on August 8, 2019 near police headquarters.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.
SANTA ANA, Calif.- A mother and daughter from Westminster have been charged with felony welfare fraud charges for bilking Orange County’s Housing Authority (Section 8) and the County’s In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program out of more than $190,000. The pair is accused of engaging in the largest housing fraud scheme in Orange County history.
Errica Madkins Mickens 55, of Westminster and Brittany Monet Mickens, 29, of Westminster, were arrested Thursday by investigators from the Orange County District Attorney’s Public Assistance Division.
They are currently being held at the Orange County Jail on $190,000 bail each.
Errica Mickens and Brittany Mickens are each facing one felony count of grand theft public housing fraud, one felony count of grand theft of housing funds, one felony count of medical insurance fraud of IHSS, and one felony count of grand theft of IHSS funds. They are also facing four enhancements of aggravated white collar crime over $100,000 and under $500,000.
They face a maximum of eight years in state prison if convicted on all charges.
“The County’s In Home Supportive Services program provides the ability for relatives to provide the compassionate care to loved ones in need,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “The brazen way this program was exploited by these two individuals to steal taxpayer dollars is beyond disturbing. If you’re going to cheat the system, we will find out and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
Errica Mickens and Brittany Mickens used multiple birth certificates and identification cards in order to gain eligibility for public programs while concealing their true identities.
Errica Mickens is a current IHSS client who receives the maximum benefit, which is reserved for the most severely disabled clients who require 285 hours of assistance per month. Brittany Mickens was serving as her in-home care provider under the guise that her mother was unable to speak or walk.
While under surveillance by the District Attorney’s Public Assistance Division, Errica Mickens was observed moving trash cans, carrying vehicle tires, driving a vehicle, shopping in grocery stores and handling large suitcases without assistance.
The pair did not disclose their familial relationship when applying for public assistance. The investigation revealed that Brittany Mickens was the owner of the house for which her mother was illegally receiving a housing voucher.
Applicants are not eligible to receive housing vouchers while they are living in a home owned by a relative.
Errica Mickens and Brittany Mickens also recently flew to France, Belize, and Italy, posting pictures on their Facebook profiles of riding around Italy and touring Belize. Errica Mickens also posted a photo of her and her daughter on a rollercoaster at Disneyland Paris despite claiming to be bedridden.
The investigation revealed more than $600,000 in bank accounts held by Errica Mickens and Brittany Mickens as well as a 2019 Land Rover that the pair recently purchased.
The District Attorney’s Public Assistance Division launched an investigation into Errica Mickens and Brittany Mickens after being notified of discrepancies by the Orange County Housing Authority. The Orange County Housing Authority administers federal funding allocated to the County to provide monthly rental assistance to more than 12,000 very low-income households.
The investigation was assisted by the Westminster Police Department, the Orange County Probation Department, Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, and the California Department Health Care Service, which is the investigative arm of Medi-Cal.
Deputy District Attorney Demetra Lewis of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man who served as a head pastor at several Southern California churches faces 11 child molestation charges for victimizing seven children ranging in age from five to 15 years old.
John Rodgers McFarland, 67, of Fullerton was arrested on May 9, 2019. He is charged with seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14, and four felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor between the ages of 14 and 15.
Prosecutors allege the molestations for the current offenses occurred between 2003 and 2017.
McFarland is currently being held on $2 million bail at the Orange County Jail. He faces a maximum sentence of 179 years to life if convicted on all counts.
McFarland has been the head pastor at Orangethorpe United Methodist Church in Fullerton since 2016. He also served as a volunteer chaplain for the Fountain Valley Police Department and Fountain Valley Fire Department.
McFarland was a pastor at Surf City Church in Huntington Beach between 2011 and 2016, and served as senior pastor at Fountain Valley United Methodist Church for 26 years from 1988 to 2016. He served as a youth pastor at the San Dieguito Methodist Church in Encinitas from 1978 to 1981 and attended Christian Youth Camps during his ministry there. McFarland’s first appointment as senior pastor was at Calexico United Methodist Church in Calexico, where he served from 1981 to 1988.
He is scheduled to be arraigned on May 13, 2019 in Department CJ-1.
Deputy District Attorney Ann Fawaz of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Two men have been charged with murder in the dragging death of a 32-year-old Santa Ana woman while attempting to steal her purse. A third suspect has been charged with robbery, according to the OCDA.
Gregory Anthony Walker, 19, of Los Angeles, and Giovanni Solomon Guy, 20, of Los Angeles, have been charged with one count each of murder with a special circumstance of murder in the commission of a robbery. Brad Maurice Brown, Jr., 19, of Hawthorne, has been charged with one felony count of robbery.
Walker and Guy face a minimum sentence of life without the possibility of parole. They are eligible for the death penalty. Brown faces a minimum sentence of two years if convicted of robbery.
At the time of the murder, Walker was out on bail on two felony counts of robbery, one felony count of receiving stolen property, and one felony count of burglary. Guy was out on bail on one felony count of robbery and one count of carrying a concealed firearm.
On May 8, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives were conducting surveillance on vehicle used in a robbery. While under surveillance, Walker, Guy, and Brown drove in a SUV to the Garden Grove Plaza near the intersection of Brookhurst Street and Westminster Boulevard in Garden Grove.
At approximately 9:45 a.m., Guy and Walker exited their vehicle and confronted Nga Ngoc Nguyen, 32, of Santa Ana and attempted to steal her purse. Walker is accused of grabbing Nguyen from behind and throwing her to the ground and grabbing her wristlet. The purse was wrapped around Nguyen’s wrist while Walker continued to drag Nguyen as he ran back to the SUV. Guy returned to the driver’s seat and ran over Nguyen, resulting in traumatic injuries.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives asked for assistance from the Garden Grove Police Department. Nguyen was transported to a local trauma center, where she was pronounced dead.
The suspects were arrested near the area of the 110 freeway and Century Boulevard in Los Angeles County after they abandoned their vehicle.
The investigation is on-going and anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact the Garden Grove Police Department Crimes Against Persons unit at 714-741-5839.
“The Orange County District Attorney is taken aback by the brutal and callous acts of the defendants which resulted in the death of Nga Nguyen,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “The Orange County District Attorney’s Office would like to extend its sincerest condolences to the loved ones of Nga Nguyen.”
SANTA ANA, Calif. – District Attorney Todd Spitzer today announced he is launching an internal investigation into the use of jailhouse informants during the previous administration.
Since taking office on January 7, 2019, Spitzer has launched six critical initiatives designed to prevent misconduct from occurring in the future, including adopting a revised jailhouse informant policy modeled after the most comprehensive protocols from District Attorneys across California.
In 2015, then Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that she had launched a criminal probe into the use of jailhouse informants by then District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. Since assuming office, Spitzer has not received any requests from the state Attorney General for information related to the informant issue.
On April 19, 2019, Deputy Attorney General Darren Schaffer announced to Orange County Superior Court Judge James Rogan that the Attorney General’s perjury investigation of three Orange County deputy sheriffs associated with the jailhouse informant issue had ended. Shaffer did not clarify whether the Attorney General’s probe into the use of jailhouse informants by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office had concluded.
The District Attorney’s Office today released a letter Spitzer sent to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra inquiring about the status of the criminal probe into the use of jailhouse informants by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Read the letter here.
“I have repeatedly relied on the California Attorney General – who has supervisorial authority over all 58 elected District Attorneys – to get to the bottom of the Rackauckas scandal in Orange County,” said Spitzer. “While seeking clarification from the Attorney General, I am now moving forward on Phase Two of my reform efforts. I refuse to wait for the Attorney General to make any conclusions given this lack of communication on inquiries. It is my responsibility as the recently elected District Attorney of Orange County to move forward with my own investigation into what occurred and what, if any remaining personnel, are responsible.”
Alejandro Galindo Dominguez, a 45-year-old man, pleaded guilty Tuesday, April 23, and was immediately sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for shooting and killing two Wienerschnitzel employees in Santa Ana during a robbery in 1991, according to the O.C. Register.
Dominguez shot Wienerschniztel employees Andres Bello, 28-years-old, and Juan Cabral, 18-years-old, on July 23, 1991, during a robbery of the restaurant, according to the OCDA. He then put the victims’ dead bodies in a freezer at the restaurant and escaped from the scene.
He would have gotten away with it but Dominguez ended up turning himself in to border patrol agents on Feb. 23 of last year. His last known residence was in Ensenada, Mexico. He was charged with the two murders in December of last year.
Dominguez accepted several felony charges including two counts of murder and admitted sentencing enhancements for the use of a firearm, multiple murders and a special circumstance allegation of killing during a robbery.
On 11-05-2018, SAPD Homicide Detectives investigated the shooting death of 20-year-old Victor Palomera in the 2300 block of South Ramona. This homicide was determined to be gang related.
During their investigation, detectives were able to identify Vincent Alcaraz (47) a Santa Ana Gang Member and Dorsa Pourhajir (21) and Santa Ana Gang Associate as suspects in the crime and both were taken into custody for unassociated criminal violations.
On 04-18-2019, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office filed charges of Homicide and associated enhancement(s) in both Alcaraz’s and Pourhajir’s names.
Carlos Antonio Chavez , a 59-year-old Anaheim man, was sentenced on Friday to 100 years to life in prison for molesting two cousins and the sister of one of the boys in and around a Fullerton church, according to the O.C. Register.
Chavez was convicted on Feb. 19 of three felony counts of lewd acts with a child younger than 14, after being given credit for serving 1,130 days in custody.
The Judge in the case, Gary Paer, noted Chavez’ long history of sex offenses before he announced his sentence.
Chavez’ past convictions:
- He was convicted of molesting a girl at a McDonald’s restroom in 2001 in Orange County. The victim is 21 years-old now.
- Chavez attempted to solicit an undercover police officer for sex in a public restroom in 2012.
- Chavez exposed himself to a “young kid” in Santiago Park in Santa Ana, in 1984.
The Judge felt his sentence would serve to keep Chavez away from children.
Chavez molested a girl and her brother at their Church, Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal. They finally told their father about this in 2014, after they had seen Chavez again at their church.
The molestations occurred between 2004 and 2007. The boy said that Chavez offered him candy and chips one day, at church, when the boy was only five years old. They then went to a nearby liquor store to get the snacks and when they returned Chavez took the boy into the bathroom and sexually assaulted him, according to the prosecutor.
As the boy told his father what happened his sister then said that Chavez had touched her too.
As police detectives conducted their investigation they found out that Chavez had also molested a relative of the boy and girl – their cousin. That victim was at first reluctant to cooperate with the police but the by changed his mind a few years later. He told investigators that Chavez molested him when he was 5 years old, at a bathroom at their church. Chavez was pretending to help the boy to get something off a high shelf when the incident happened.
Jacob Michael Margo, 24, a Santa Ana resident, was sentenced on Friday to 50 years to life in prison for killing Octavio Jesus Alcala, a 19-year-old man, at an Irvine construction site – because he thought the victim stole his bike, according to the O.C. Register.
Margo was convicted in October of first-degree murder as well as a sentencing enhancement for using a gun to commit murder.
The shooting occurred at a construction site near Wolf Trail and Orchard Hills, in Irvine. Margo lured Alcala to that site, according to the OCDA. Construction employees found Alcala’s body on June 5, 2015, as they were arriving at work.
The prosecutor told the jury that Margo had told one of his friends that he “was going to shoot the guy who stole his bike.”
Margo allegedly savagely beat Alcala before finally shooting him, according to the prosecutor. Police investigators found Margo’s DNA on a rock at the scene of the crime.
Margo’s defense attorney argued that the killing was a “strangulation” done in the “heat of the moment” but the prosecutor countered by saying that Margo chose the construction site because it was remote and not close to residences. He then dumped the gun and ammo in the nearby ocean, at Laguna Beach.
Margo also told the jury that only wanted Alcala to “walk home” and he did not intend to hurt him.
The prosecutor also alleged that Alala’s body was a bloody mess when he was found and that Margo clearly had the upper hand during the entire altercation. Margo was in fact seen after the killing with hardly a scratch on his body.
Margo also had to explain to the jury why he went to Mexico two days after the murder. He said he went there to “get away” not because of the case and the resulting publicity.