Annual Report 2006 - San Diego County District Attorney

sandiegohealth.org

Annual Report 2006 - San Diego County District Attorney

Table of ContentsDistrict Attorney’s Message 2Staffing, Organization & Overview 4Conviction Rates 4Administrative Organizational Chart 6Fiscal Revenues & Expenditures 7Branch Offices 8Bureau of Investigation 12DivisionsAppellate and Training 14Case Issuance and Extraditions 16Cold Case Homicide 18Communications / Community Relations 20Economic Crimes 22Family Protection 24Gangs 26Information Technology 28Insurance Fraud 30Juvenile 34Narcotics 36Pretrial and Case Disposition 38Restitution Enforcement / Victim Services 40Sex Crimes / Stalking 42Superior Court 44Special Operations 46San Diego County District Attorney


the hugely successful and nationally-recognized FJC inSan Diego. This is where victims of domestic violencecan go for all the services they need in one location.The San Diego Victims Emergency Relief Fund wasestablished in April 2006 to provide immediateemergency help to victims of violent crimethroughout the County, with the help of privatedonations. When violent crime strikes, it often robsvictims of more than health and safety. It takes awaytheir dignity and often leaves them helpless andhopeless. We want to give more victims hope andthis fund goes a long way in achieving that goal....more innovative programs andinitiatives that we accomplishedin 2006...Our office, local law enforcement officials and childwelfare and health professionals signed an updatedand improved version of the San Diego CountyChild Victim-Witness Protocol in 2006. The 12-pagedocument is designed to assist and protect childrenwho have been the victims of a crime or witnesseswho have been exposed to any kind of child abuse.This is the best way we have found to protect thechildren of San Diego County. Our goal is to get to thetruth in child abuse cases.This new and improved service allows San Diego arearesidents to get information about crime near theirhomes, schools or when looking to move to anotherneighborhood. It also provides law enforcementwith a regional approach to fighting crime.There are many more innovative programs andinitiatives that we accomplished in 2006 and theyare explained in more detail in the pages to follow.As you will see, we take our Mission Statementvery seriously at the Office of the San Diego CountyDistrict Attorney and we live by our values every day.We continue to work with our community and all oflaw enforcement to make San Diego safer.Bonnie M. DumanisDistrict AttorneyWe teamed up with the San Diego Association ofGovernments (SANDAG), the Automated RegionalJustice Information System (ARJIS), and our lawenforcement partners in the official launching ofthe San Diego County Regional Crime MappingApplication for Public Safety (MAPS) project. TheInternet-based mapping system allows the user toget crime information throughout San Diego Countyby region, neighborhood, date and time.San Diego County District Attorney


STAFFING, ORGANIZATIONAND OVERVIEWCONVICTION RATESThe San Diego County DistrictAttorney’s Office maintained a 94percent conviction rate in 2006, oneof the highest among all counties inCalifornia. This figure is determinedby tallying the total number offelony cases that resulted in a guiltyverdict or guilty plea out of the totalnumber of felony cases filed andresolved countywide.2006 Annual Report


The San Diego County District Attorney’s Officeis staffed with nearly 1,000 employees servingsix offices countywide—more than three millionresidents. The DA’s jurisdiction is one of the largest inthe U.S., comprising more than 4,000 square miles.A dedicated group of employees maintained a 94percent felony conviction rate during 2006—one ofthe highest of all of California’s 58 counties.In addition to the office’s full-time employees, theDA also hires Temporary Expert Professionals, retiredemployees who work on specialized assignments,student workers, volunteers, and Americorps workers.…the DA’s jurisdiction is one ofthe largest in the U.S….Assistant District Attorney Jesse Rodriguez isresponsible for overseeing all administrative issuesfor the office. Several significant staffing changes onthe DA’s Executive team occurred during 2006.Assistant District AttorneyJesse Rodriguezsubmit to drug screening. DA Dumanis’ return toDrug Court in 2006 refocused public attention to thisvaluable program and re-energized it.The District Attorney’s Office commitment toprosecuting misconduct by public officials wasbolstered through a new partnership in 2006. Oneof the DA’s seasoned prosecutors was temporarilyassigned to assist the California Fair PoliticalPractices Commission in Sacramento.Chief of Administrative Services, Vaughn Jeffrey,retired and was replaced by Michelle Bush. Bureauof Investigation Chief Michael Connelly also retiredand was replaced by Paula Robinson. Gail Stewartwas named Special Assistant to the District Attorney,and Paul Levikow was promoted to Director ofCommunication/Community Relations.There were new Division Chiefs named in CaseIssuance/Extraditions, Insurance Fraud, andFamily Protection.The FPPC received help with its heavy enforcementworkload, while the Deputy District Attorneyreturned to San Diego with further expertise incomplex Political Reform Act cases.These are just two examples of how commitment,diligence, and expertise among employees at theDistrict Attorney’s Office continue to effectively servethe citizens of San Diego County.It was also a year when the flexibility of the DA’sstaff helped provide statewide leadership. DistrictAttorney Bonnie M. Dumanis lead by example,personally serving as the prosecutor in the NorthCounty Drug Court. DA Dumanis started San Diego’sDrug Court in 1997 as a Municipal Court Judge.The program puts non-violent drug offenders intreatment, trying to get them sober and makingthem productive members of society. This is donethrough a phased, year-long commitment to theCourt, in which defendants appear each week and2006 StaffingAttorneys 306DA Investigators 113Paralegals & Supervisors 113Victim Advocates & Supervisors 16Support Staff 366Unclassified Employees 28Total Permanent Personnel 942San Diego County District Attorney


FISCAL REVENUESAND EXPENDITURESFiscal Year 2006 – 2007 BudgetFiscal Year 2006 – 2007 RevenuesTotal Budget $ 118,600,000Salaries/Benefits $ 111,210,000Supplies/Services $ 12,930,000To Other Agencies $ 2,650,000Assets $ 120,000Public AssistanceFraud Reimbursement $ (8,272,683)Reserves $ -All costs of Public Assistance Fraud prosecutions are paidfor by the County’s Health and Human Services Agency.Fiscal Year from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007Proposition 172 $ 48,482,037General Revenues $ 49,372,162Federal Funds $ 2,565,505State Funds $ 15,179,495Other Funds $ 3,341,202TOTAL $ 118,940,401All costs of Public Assistance Fraud prosecutions are paidfor by the County’s Health and Human Services Agency.Fiscal Year from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007Fiscal Year 2006-2007 RevenuesFelony Prosecutions by Crime Type$ Million504030VehicleTheft 7%DUI 3%Robbery 4%OtherFelony 9%Drug-relatedOffenses 40%20Assault 9%10WeaponsOffenses 3%0Theft 9%Traffic-related 1%Proposition 172Federal FundsOther FundsSex Offenses (Incl. Rape) 2% Burglary 13%General RevenuesState FundsSan Diego County District Attorney


Central OperationsThe District Attorney’s headquarters is locatedin the Hall of Justice in downtown San Diego.The top seven floors of that building house theDistrict Attorney, Assistant District Attorney and theexecutive management staff which includes ChiefDeputy District Attorneys. The Bureau of Investigationis also headquartered here, as well as AdministrativeServices, Employee Relations, Personnel, Training,Crime Analysis, Technical Services, Budget, TravelDesk, Communications Division, CommunityRelations, Information Technology and theRestitution/Victim Assistance Program.Mothers Against DrunkDrivingProsecutor of the YearAward 2006DDA Natalie VillaflorThe North County Branch servesabout one third of San DiegoCounty’s population—some onemillion residents.The downtown office also houses the DivisionChiefs and Assistant Division Chiefs of the followingdivisions: Gangs, Narcotics, Special Operations, ColdCase Homicide, Case Issuing/Extraditions, CentralPretrial and Case Disposition, Family Protection,Superior Court, Sex Crimes/Stalking, Appellate,Economic Crimes and Insurance Fraud.One of the most significant casesprosecuted by the South Bay Branch in2006 was the murder of a high schoolstudent, Donna Hernandez. The crimeshocked residents of the South Bay.Hernandez was shot while sitting ina car with friends. After a thoroughinvestigation, the two defendantspleaded guilty and received substantialprison sentences.North County BranchThe North County Branch serves about one third ofSan Diego County’s population—some one millionresidents. Ten law enforcement agencies, includingsix sheriff’s substations submit crime reports to theNorth County Branch for prosecution.North County Branch2006 StaffingAttorneys 34Investigators 9Paralegals 7Support Staff 33TOTAL 832006 Felony Conviction RateCases Received 6,636Cases Issued 5,231Cases to Trial 47Conviction Rate 92%2006Misdemeanor Conviction RateCases Received 12,816Cases Issued 11,500Cases to Trial 86Conviction Rate 89%San Diego County District Attorney


high incidence of DUI cases that cause death or greatbodily injury on back county roads.The North County Branch was led by Branch ChiefDavid Greenberg and Assistant ChiefKimberly Lagotta.Led by East County BranchChief Dan Lamborn, the branchprocessed approximately 20percent more felony cases in 2006.During 2006, this branch saw a nearly 50 percentdecrease in the number of misdemeanor casesthat resolved on the day set for trial. This providesa significant cost savings to law enforcement andthe public, and was done without any change indisposition guidelines.In one of the branch’s cases that did go to trial,Deputy District Attorney Frank Jackson prosecuteda North County man who shot and killed his ownmother following months of threats. Relying solelyon circumstantial evidence, DDA Jackson obtained aconviction and the defendant now faces 50 years-tolifein prison.East County BranchLed by East County Branch Chief Dan Lamborn, thebranch processed approximately 20 percent morefelony cases in 2006. In addition, a substantiallylarger number of those cases (about 93 percent) wereresolved prior to trial.The East County Branch often deals with casesinvolving illegal smugglers fleeing from the BorderPatrol with their human cargo. The branch also has aCases of note include People v. Jason Morreo, inwhich the defendant carjacked a truck but wasarrested by police. While he was being processed bypolice, the defendant stabbed an officer in the neckwith a stick pen. Assistant Chief Glenn McAllistersecured a conviction against the defendant, who wassentenced to 64 years-to-life in prison.Deputy District Attorney Terrie Roberts prosecutedthe case of People v. Archie Thomas. The defendantwas a door-to-door salesman who found a youngEast County Branch2006 StaffingAttorneys 25Investigators 6Paralegals 8Support Staff 22TOTAL 612006 Felony Conviction RateCases Received 4,685Cases Issued 3,647Cases to Trial 48Conviction Rate 91%2006Misdemeanor Conviction RateCases Received 6,781Cases Issued 6,040Cases to Trial 74Conviction Rate 90%102006 Annual Report


woman home alone, forced his way into the house,and sexually assaulted her. The defendant wasconvicted of several counts of violent sexual assaultand sentenced to 80 years-to-life in prison.South Bay BranchThe South Bay Branch, located in Chula Vista andled by Branch Chief Patrick McGrath and AssistantChief Jeff Dort, prosecutes all of the felony andmisdemeanor crimes that occur in the cities of ChulaVista, National City, Imperial Beach, San Ysidro andCoronado. In addition, the branch also prosecutes casesemanating from the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facilityand crimes committed at the U.S./Mexico border.The most significant case prosecuted by the SouthBay Branch in 2006 was the murder of a high schoolstudent, Donna Hernandez. The crime shockedresidents of the South Bay. Hernandez was shotwhile sitting in a car with friends. After a thoroughinvestigation, the two defendants pleaded guilty andreceived substantial prison sentences.South County Branch2006 StaffingAttorneys 21Investigators 6Paralegals 9Support Staff 29TOTAL 652006 Felony Conviction RateCases Received 4,361Cases Issued 3,196Cases to Trial 35Conviction Rate 96%2006Misdemeanor Conviction RateCases Received 5,957Cases Issued 4,715Cases to Trial 21Conviction Rate 89%San Diego County District Attorney 11


Bureau of InvestigationThe Bureau of Investigationconducted 671 surveillances, 37witness protection operations, andrelocated 76 protected witnessesin 2006.The Bureau of Investigation is the law enforcementcomponent of the District Attorney’s Office. TheBureau’s District Attorney Investigators (DAIs) areassigned to eight divisions and four branches. During2006, the Bureau of Investigation continued to beaggressive in its efforts to support the prosecutorialmission. Utilizing reactive and proactive methods, theBureau’s numbers for 2006 are impressive.Bureau investigators handled 3,172 cases, 10,217investigative service requests, served 499 searchwarrants, made 529 arrests, monitored 629 gang122006 Annual Report


injunction orders, participated in 42 wiretaps, conducted671 surveillances, conducted 37 witness protectionoperations, and relocated 76 protected witnesses.The Bureau’s Public Assistance Fraud Division alsohad a very successful year. Bureau investigatorshandled 16,680 cases, conducted 62,810 interviews,responded to 6,383 Child Protective Services recordschecks, conducted 3,388 compliance visits and made209 arrests.There was a changing of the guard in the Bureauin 2006. The Bureau’s Chief Investigator MichaelConnelly retired, and was replaced by Chief PaulaRobinson. Prior to her new assignment, Robinson wasan Assistant Sheriff at the San Diego County Sheriff’sDepartment and has more than three decades ofexperience in law enforcement.Assistant Chief Carlos Gonzalez oversaw theoperations of the Bureau, and two Deputy Chiefs wereappointed. Butch Etheridge was appointed to overseeand direct the California Witness Protection Program,Training, Range Operations, Fleet Managementand the Public Assistance Office. Mike Bishop wasappointed to oversee all Financial Crimes Divisions,which include Public Assistance Fraud, Economic andInsurance Fraud, the CATCH Team and the RegionalComputer Forensic Lab (RCFL).Staffing of the Bureau remained consistentthroughout the year, staffed by 168 investigators,45 of which were assigned to Public AssistanceFraud. Turnover of Bureau staff in the supervisoryand management levels increased during 2006. Inorder to meet the future needs of the Bureau, onegoal is leadership, supervisory development andsuccession planning.The Bureau continues to participate in several CountyTask Forces such as the Narcotics Task Force (NTF),Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force (SAFE),Regional Auto Theft Task Force (RATT), and ViolentCrimes Gang Task Force (VCGTF).DAIs working with the CATCH Team establisheda new class in 2006 designed to educate lawenforcement officers on the growing danger of theinternet social website MySpace. With tremendousgrowth in such websites, numerous individualsinvolved in crimes (i.e. murderers, taggers, hackers)have profiles on MySpace, or similar sites whichcontain evidence of their deeds.The Bureau of Investigation is recognized throughoutthe state as a leader in the field of witness protectionand extradition training. Our innovative teachingtechniques and curriculums have received praisefrom investigators, supervisors and administratorswho routinely send their personnel to attend theclasses led by our investigators.During 2006, the Bureau added a paralegal positionin order to stay current with the large amount ofpaperwork required by the Department of Justice forthe California Witness Protection Program (CWPP).That program provides financial assistance to theDistrict Attorney for the relocation of witnesseswhose lives have been threatened as a result ofagreeing to assist with the prosecution ofdangerous criminals.Every member of the Bureau plays a vital partin its success and accomplishments. Workingcollaboratively with other law enforcement agenciesis critical to the successful prosecution of casesby our office. We are proud of our reputation andbelieve it is our responsibility to provide supportand resources to help our counterparts locally andthroughout the state.San Diego County District Attorney 13


Appellate andTraining DivisionAppellate and Training DivisionResponsibilities• Maintain a central law library• Pretrial motions for Superior Court• Public Records Requests• File Peoples writs and appeals• Respond to defense writs• Basic research, opinions, andmemos for the entire office• Maintain MCLE certification forattorney staff142006 Annual Report


name change and addition of responsibilitiesA are two big changes for the Appellate Divisionduring 2006, when it merged with the Training Unit.The new Appellate and Training Division not onlyprovides support to the District Attorney’s Officethrough its work on motions, appellate and writs—now it’s also responsible for conducting effective andcutting-edge office-wide training.…the District Attorney’s Officecontinues to be on the cutting-edgeboth technologically and topically…DDA Cathy Stephenson was appointed chief of thenew division. Her background in both training andthe appellate function helped make the consolidationof the two entities a seamless transition.In addition, the division moved its offices—includingthe entire law library—to another floor of the Hall ofJustice. This major undertaking was supervised byAssistant Division Chief Craig Fisher.In spite of all the changes, the outstanding workof the division continued unabated. There was asignificant increase in post-conviction discoveryrequests in capital cases under Penal Code section1054.9. This relatively new statute is expected tocontinue generating more litigation in the future andsteps were taken to deal with the added workload ina systematic way.Members of the division also took a lead role instemming the sudden tide of defense constitutionalchallenges to the manner in which jury venires aredrawn in San Diego County.Significant cases included work by Deputy DistrictAttorneys Charles Nickel and James Atkins, whocollaborated on an amicus curiae brief on behalfof the California District Attorneys Association,supporting the Attorney General’s winningargument that expands the applicability of the 10-20-Life sentencing scheme in People v. Shabazz.In an appeal to the Fourth Appellate District Courtof Appeal in People v. Dye, Deputy District AttorneyMichael Zachry succeeded in reinstating an Illinoisattempted robbery prior as a serious felony andstrike prior. The defendant’s sentence was increasedto 25-years-to-life in prison.On the training side, the District Attorney’sOffice continues to be on the cutting-edge bothtechnologically and topically. Traditional office-widetraining sessions were held in February and Octoberon a variety of useful topics, including computerforensics, demonstrative evidence, and sentencing.Training staff presented several smaller trainingsessions as well, covering specialized topics of vitalinterest to attorneys, investigators, and paralegals.Assistant Training Director Jim Kelly created anumber of streaming live video presentations.Demonstrating a mastery of new technologies, thesepresentations were then edited and made availableon the DA’s internal website.Appellate And TrainingDivision 2006 StaffingAttorneys 11Paralegals 1Support Staff 8TOTAL 20San Diego County District Attorney 15


Case Issuance andExtraditions Division2006 High- ProfileInternational ExtraditionIn 2006, alleged child molesterRichard Gibbs was returned to theU.S. He was arrested and expelledfrom Panama, likely as a resultof a Red Notice filed by the SanDiego County DA’s ExtraditionsDivision. He is currently standingtrial in Ohio, with a list of otherjurisdictions waiting to try himas well.2006 High-ProfileExtraditions• Cynthia Sommer, accused of poisoning herMarine husband• Max Anderson and James Torkleson, charged inthe Five Star murder caser• Abraham Shorey, known as the College TownCreeper, a convict from New York who hasalready been sentenced to prison in California• Larry Wilson, accused of kidnapping and sexuallyassaulting a college student in 1999• Antonio Washington, accused of sexuallyassaulting and robbing two University ofSan Diego Students162006 Annual Report


The Case Issuing and Extraditions Division iscomprised of five units:• Felony Issuing• National and International Extraditions• Probation Revocation Unit• Lifer Unit•DA Liaison UnitFelony IssuingDuring 2006, the attorneys in this division reviewedcases on 7,900 felony suspects for case issuing. Thedivision also handled a variety of legal issues andprovided legal advice on criminal law, procedure,and evidence to the law enforcement officers whosubmitted cases. The division is led by Division ChiefDave Lattuca and Assistant Chief Jane Via.Attorneys in the Case Issuing and ExtraditionsDivision created the protocol for the DA’s “John Doe”Warrant Project, in which cases are filed when a DNAprofile is discovered on evidence at a crime scene, butthe actual name of the person is not known. This wasdone to ensure the statute of limitations does notexpire on cases by failing to initiate prosecution.National and InternationalExtraditionsThe Extraditions Unit is responsible for the officewideefforts to return fugitive defendants from otherstates to San Diego, and for cases involving the returnof fugitives located in San Diego to other states.This unit also works to bring San Diego defendantsback to San Diego from foreign countries when theyflee the United States. In 2006, the unit extradited79 defendants from other states to San Diego andhandled 238 hearings for the extradition of fugitivesfrom San Diego to other states.Probation Revocation UnitThe division’s Probation Revocation Unit targetsconvicted felons who commit a new offense whilethey are on probation and holds them accountable atthe earliest possible juncture. When the probationeris re-arrested on a new offense, the unit files apetition alleging the new offense as a violationof probation in lieu of filing a new complaint. Byproceeding in this manner instead of filing a new case,the division saves significant prosecutorial resourcesin seeking a commitment to state prison. During 2006,the Probation Revocation Unit handled approximately600 cases with a 90% commitment rate.Lifer Hearing UnitThe division also contains the DA’s Lifer Hearing Unitwhich has two main goals: ensure that dangerous lifeprisoners are not released carelessly, and ensure thatcrime victims and their families are given a respectfulopportunity to participate in the parole hearingprocess. During 2006, the Lifer Hearing Unit processed290 cases for parole and suitability hearings.DA Liaison UnitThree prosecutors have been assigned as liaisons tolocal law enforcement agencies. These prosecutors arelocated offsite and work closely with law enforcementby assisting with investigations. The liaisons providecritical assistance in making sure evidence iscollected lawfully so it can be introduced in court byprosecutors. They also assist police with the draftingof legal documents such as search warrants, arrestwarrants, and other court orders.Case Issuance and ExtraditionsDivision 2006 StaffingAttorneys 13Paralegals 4Paralegal Interns 1Support Staff 29Legal Interns 2TOTAL 49San Diego County District Attorney 17


Cold CaseHomicide DivisionCODISThe FBI Laboratory’s CombinedDNA Index System (CODIS) enablesfederal, state, and local crime labsto exchange and compare DNAprofiles electronically, therebylinking crimes to each other.This tool is invaluable in helpingthe Cold Case Homicide Divisionidentify and convict offenders.182006 Annual Report


The Cold Case Homicide Division continued itsoutstanding work in 2006, delivering a 100percent conviction rate. The division had its busiestyear since its inception, taking five cases to trialand receiving guilty verdicts in each case. In a sixthcase, the defendants pleaded guilty to two counts offirst-degree murder, admitted a special circumstanceallegation, and were sentenced to life in prisonwithout the possibility of parole.…solving these cases brings anelement of closure to familieswhose lives have been shatteredby tragedy…Solving these cold cases not only delivers justice, butalso brings an element of closure to families whoselives have been shattered by tragedy. The Cold CaseHomicide Division has closed the file on more than adozen unsolved murders since it was established in2003. Led by Division Chief Jeff Dusek, many hours ofinvestigation and tremendous amounts of patiencecontinue to go into solving these crimes.The division also maintains a close workingrelationship with law enforcement agenciesthroughout San Diego County, including policelaboratory criminalists. Ongoing investigationsrequire prosecutors and investigators to travel tocities all over the United States.Of the division’s 2006 cases, three deserve specialmention: Deputy District Attorney Paul Myerssecured a conviction against a Los Angeles mancharged with first-degree murder. The defendant wasfound guilty of stabbing Antonio Ayala, 20, to deathOutstanding AchievementAward 2006Deputy District AttorneyGarland PeedSan Diego Deputy District AttorneysAssociationduring a robbery in his San Diego apartment in 1991.DNA found on a ski mask left at the scene was linkedto the defendant 13 years later.In 1995, Pamela Shelley was found shot to death ina Chula Vista park. A DNA hit tied two Navy sailorsto the attack, who were successfully prosecuted byDeputy District Attorney Garland Peed.DNA also helped the division solve a 1988 murder.Janet Moore was found stabbed to death in herapartment. The suspect had cut himself duringthe attack, leaving his blood behind. Investigatorsmatched the suspect’s blood to DNA found in aFlorida sexual assault case. Ultimately, the defendantwas identified and brought to justice by DeputyDistrict Attorney Andrea Freshwater.Cold Case Homicide Division2006 StaffingAttorneys 3Investigators 4Paralegals 1Support Staff 1Student Workers 1TOTAL 102006 Felony Conviction RateCases Received 5Cases Issued 5Cases to Trial 4Conviction Rate 100%San Diego County District Attorney 19


Communications andCommunity Relations DivisionIn 2006, podcasts were addedto the DA’s public website.Capitalizing on the trend ofdownloadable audio files, thepodcasts featured the DistrictAttorney and prosecutorsdiscussing topics that rangedfrom Jessica’s Law to officerinvolvedshootings.The Communications and Community RelationsDivision is responsible for all internal andexternal communications, as well as communityoutreach coming from the San Diego County DistrictAttorney. The division strives to keep the officetransparent and accessible to the public throughtimely and accurate responses to the news media andby providing speakers for community groups.A shuffling of leadership marked 2006 whenCommunications Director Gail Stewart was promotedto Special Assistant to the District Attorney. Atthe same time, Public Affairs Officer Paul Levikowwas promoted to fill the Communications Directorposition. Steve Walker was hired as Public AffairsOfficer, while Public Affairs Officers Jesse Navarro, J.J.Anderson and Midge Costanza continued providing thecommunity relations function of the Division.Communications and PublicationsThe Communications Division handles all day-todayinquiries by journalists regarding individualcases, office policy and requests to interview theDistrict Attorney. This includes print, on-line andbroadcast news media. Fifty-four news releasesand news advisories were submitted to the newsmedia in 2006. The District Attorney hosted 15 newsconferences at the Hall of Justice in 2006 under thedirection of this division.Two media “brown bag” lunches were hostedby the DA in 2006 through the coordination ofCommunications. These were designed to givereporters an insight to the DA’s Narcotics Divisionand Child Abduction Unit within the FamilyProtection Division. More than a dozen reportersand editors attended these luncheons in March and202006 Annual Report


August. In addition, Public Affairs Officers preparedthe District Attorney for dozens of speeches and publicappearances throughout the year.The DA’s internal intranet site and public websiteare managed by this division along with the WebTeam. This includes responding to public inquiriesthat come in daily through the web site and ongoingcontent updates. In 2006, podcasts were added tothe DA’s public website. Capitalizing on the trend ofdownloadable audio files, the podcasts featured theDistrict Attorney and prosecutors discussing topics thatranged from Jessica’s Law to officer-involved shootings.The Division publishes the Law EnforcementQuarterly, a periodical that features training tips andarticles geared toward law enforcement officers andprosecutors. The DA’s Annual Report and variousbrochures are also projects as well as the DA’sE-newsletter, On the Record.…the division strives to keep the officetransparent and accessible…Community RelationsThe Citizens Academy is an innovative new programlaunched by the District Attorney’s Office in 2006in cooperation with the San Diego County Sheriff’sDepartment, Superior Court and Public Defender’sOffice. The Citizens Academy gives San Diego Countyresidents a chance to experience the inner workingsof the criminal justice system. About 75 people attendedthis first annual academy and gave it rave reviews.Community relations officers fanned out across thecounty throughout 2006, representing the DistrictAttorney at various community groups, chambersof commerce, city councils, civic organizations andeducational institutions. The goal is to educate thecommunity about resources available at the DA’sOffice and teach crime prevention.Community relations officers also oversee the DA’sCommunity Advisory Board, Ministers Advisory Boardand quarterly meetings with Tribal Governments.This is a comprehensive effort to make the DA’s Officeaccessible to all residents of San Diego County.San Diego Press Club2006 Excellence InJournalism AwardFirst PlacePublic Service Consumer AdvocacyWeb SiteSpecial EventsThe 17th Annual Citizens of Courage Awards luncheonwas held in April during National Crime VictimsRights Week, honoring crime victims and goodsamaritans who came to the aid of crime victims.Honored in 2006 were four girls who were molestedby their teacher and had to testify in court four times;a 6-year-old boy who played dead after being stabbedby his great-uncle who was attacking family membersin a rampage; a Navy Corpsman who came to the aidof an Oceanside police officer who had been gunneddown; and a Georgia woman who helped in thecapture of a fugitive wanted in San Diego County.The Second Annual Consumer Protection Day washeld in February in cooperation with the San DiegoCounty Board of Supervisors, Aging and IndependenceServices, AARP and 40 government and non-profitorganizations. The event is dedicated to helpingconsumers avoid becoming victims of fraud and scams.The San Diego Rotary Club’s Annual Law EnforcementSalute to Local Heroes was held in January, in whichthe DA, Sheriff and San Diego Police Chief honorindividuals who came to the aid of law enforcementand victims of crime.Special ProjectEfforts continued in 2006 to implement SB 618, aprogram that will help reduce the number of inmateswho return to prison once they are paroled. Thismulti-agency program being organized by the DistrictAttorney’s Office is scheduled to begin in 2007.San Diego County District Attorney 21


Economic CrimesDivisionDuring 2006, the Economic CrimesDivision increased resourcesdirected to fight identity theft,the fastest-growing crime inSan Diego County.222006 Annual Report


The Family Protection Division promotes publicsafety by prosecuting crimes of murder, bothindividuals and businesses in San Diego County. Thedivision is led by Division Chief Stephen Robinsonand Assistant Chief Michael Groch. It is organizedinto six specialized teams:• Computer and Technology Crime High-TechResponse Team (CATCH)• Complex Theft• Consumer Protection• Environmental Protection• Public Assistance Fraud• Real Estate FraudChild Care Fraud CaseIn October 2006, the division’s Public AssistanceFraud Team obtained criminal indictments ofseveral defendants in a child care fraud schemethat stole more than $550,000 from the county’schild care system. The defendants received moneyfrom the county for child care services that werenever performed. Four defendants entered felonyguilty pleas.During 2006, the division increased the resourcesdirected to fight identity theft, the fastest-growingcrime in San Diego County. By assigning twodeputy district attorneys, one investigator andone paralegal to the San Diego Regional FraudTask Force, the division is better able to pursuesignificant identity thieves.Ponzi Scheme CaseMembers of the Economic Crimes Division indictedfive defendants for conspiracy to commit grandtheft, forgery and other related fraud charges.All of the defendants were involved with anorganization known as “First Latino Group.” Thedefendants targeted churches, claiming to share thereligious beliefs of their victims to gain their trust.Approximately 118 victims gave these defendantsin excess of $1 million in exchange for the promiseof low income loans, credit repair, mortgageelimination and bogus real estate investments.During 2006, one defendant entered a guilty pleaand was sentenced to three years and eight monthsin prison.ECONOMIC CRIMES DIVISION2006 STAFFINGAttorneys 21Investigators 63Paralegals 13Support Staff 25Student Workers/Interns 2TOTAL 1242006 Felony Conviction RateCases Received 480Cases Issued 450Cases to Trial 6Conviction Rate 91%San Diego County District Attorney 23


Family ProtectionDivisionPEOPLE V. ANDRE CALACDomestic violence turned deadlyon the Rincon Indian Reservationwhen Andre Calac was informedby his pregnant girlfriend thatshe was leaving him. She soughtshelter at her mom’s house, butCalac found her, and took her backto his trailer where they argued.Calac then took a shotgun, pinnedhis girlfriend down to a coucharea, and fired. Both his girlfriendand their unborn baby girl weredead. The Family Protection Divisionprosecuted Calac for double murder,and he is serving a sentence of 80-years-to-life in prison.The Family Protection Division promotes publicsafety by prosecuting crimes of murder,domestic violence, crimes against children, andelder abuse. The division strongly supports victimsof crime and works closely with criminal justiceagencies and community partners.The division was led by DDA Genaro Ramirez in2006, along with Assistant Chief Tracy Prior.In 2006, there were 756 domestic violence feloniesfiled in San Diego County and 2,234 domesticviolence misdemeanors filed. A total of 213 ChildAbuse felonies and Internet Crimes AgainstChildren cases were prosecuted in the FamilyProtection Division.The Family Protection Division posted an overallconviction rate of 93 percent in the felony casesprosecuted.242006 Annual Report


Domestic ViolenceIn 2006, all Domestic Violence misdemeanors startedbeing heard in the same courtroom under a programcalled “Consolidated Courtroom.” From arraignmentto sentencing, these defendants now go before thesame judge, get consistent treatment from trainedprosecutors and defense attorneys, and are morequickly able to resolve their cases. This DomesticViolence Court ensures better courtroom efficiency,better perpetrator accountability, and bettervictim safety.…three Deputy District Attorneysare specially trained inprosecuting the exploitation ofchildren on the internet…Elder AbuseIn a true community-partnering effort, our office(along with Adult Protective Services, San Diego PoliceDepartment, and San Diego State University) launchedthe “Archstone Project” and was awarded a grantgeared toward helping our senior community. Weselect 150 elderly crime victims and provide one-ononepersonal services to them, such as home visits,advocacy, assistance with health and other home-careprojects, and court-accompaniment. Casey Gwinn(Special Assistant to the District Attorney), DDA PaulGreenwood (Director of Elder Abuse prosecutions) andSylvia Guzman (Archstone coordinator) have proven thatrapport and relationships with our elder victims endurewell beyond the prosecution of any particular case.Child Abduction UnitThe Child Abduction Unit was busy in 2006 with848 contacts that led to 188 cases being opened and143 children recovered. The Child Abduction Unitexperienced a 65 percent increase over 2005 in therecovery of children.Internet Crimes Against ChildrenThe Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force(ICAC) is comprised of law enforcement officers andprosecutors from the local, state, and national levelsSAN DIEGO DEPUTY DISTRICTATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION2006 OUTSTANDINGACHIEVEMENT AWARDwho work together to reduce the online sexualexploitation of children. Our unit has three DeputyDistrict Attorneys specially trained in prosecuting theexploitation of children on the internet.Efforts include full-time online investigationof Internet predators, aggressive prosecution ofoffenders, as well as community outreach to schoolsand parents. There are more than 40 ICAC Task Forcesnationwide. San Diego has been repeatedly recognizedand awarded for its cutting-edge approach to lawenforcement and a true multidisciplinary approachto catching and prosecuting online predators. Lastyear, the San Diego Task Force was credited withbreaking up and prosecuting the largest ring of childpornography distributors in history.Family Protection Division2006 StaffingDDA Kurt MechalsDDA Steve CarverAttorneys 32Investigators 12Paralegals 11Support Staff 23TOTAL 782006 Felony Conviction RateCases Received 3,972Cases Issued 2,181Cases to Trial 60Conviction Rate 93%San Diego County District Attorney 25


Gangs DivisionGANGS IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY10,000 GANG MEMBERS100 GANGSProsecutors in the Gangs Division saythese numbers are estimates that changeconstantly and may be substantiallyunder-reported.The Gangs Division continues to tackle theinsidious problem of gangs and gang violencewith dedication and innovation. Led by DivisionChief Richard Monroy and Assistant Chief BrockArstill, this division’s prosecutors are some of thefinest in the nation, securing a 93 percent felonyconviction rate for 2006.The Gangs Division targets violent gang crimesuch as murder, attempted murder, assault withweapons, drive by shootings, rape and robbery.The division also works with outside agenciesto proactively target known gang members andprosecute them for lesser violations in order toprevent more violent crimes from happening.Finally, gang members are targeted through civilinjunctions and abatements in order to disruptthe gang culture and lifestyle.Prosecutors in this division also use courtapprovedwiretaps, undercover operations,and gang injunctions to stop violence before itoccurs. Further, they work closely with local lawenforcement and community organizations todevelop programs to keep kids out of gangs.262006 Annual Report


While there are hundreds of success stories inthis division, the on-going seriousness of gangviolence in San Diego is reflected by the kinds ofcases and defendants prosecuted in 2006. Majorcases included:People v. Deron FordDeputy District Attorney Blaine Bowmansuccessfully prosecuted a gang member whoshot and killed a man in the Lincoln Parkneighborhood. The murder happened near anapartment complex known as “ground zero” forthe Skyline Gang. The victim was not a gangmember, but was shot and killed as he waswalking home from the store. A confidentialinformant later bought the murder weaponand turned it over to police. The defendant wasconvicted of first-degree murder and sentencedto life in prison.Prosecution of 35Mexican Maf ia MembersIn one of the most extraordinary prosecutorialexamples of 2006, the Gangs Division obtained a52-count indictment against 35 people, includingmembers of the Mexican Mafia. Following alengthy investigation, spearheaded by DeputyDistrict Attorney Mark Amador, the ViolentCrimes Gang Task Force, the Major MexicanDrug Traffickers Task Force, FBI, several localpolice departments and the San Diego Sheriff’sDepartment uncovered a network of criminalactivity. The allegations ranged from conspiracyto murder of a local police officer, conspiracyto distribute methamphetamine, possessionof assault weapons, residential robbery andkidnapping. The Grand Jury handed down theindictments after hearing from 70 witnesses,many of whom had been threatened by, orwere victims of the gang. All the crimes werecommitted for gang purposes to benefit theMexican Mafia. This investigation also led tothe arrest of the highest-ranking member of theMexican Mafia in San Diego.Gangs Division2006 StaffingAttorneys 24Investigators 18Paralegals 6Support Staff 8TOTAL 562006 Felony Conviction RateGang members are targeted through civilinjunctions to disrupt the gang culture andlifestyle. During 2006, 13 safety zones were inplace using these injunctions. Gang membersare prohibited from a list of activities insidethese zones.Cases Received 337Cases Issued 354Cases to Trial 27Conviction Rate 93%27San Diego County District Attorney 27


Information TechnologyDivisionDuring 2006, the IT Division resolved8,914 calls for assistance through it’s HelpDesk Program. Trial Support Servicescompleted 5,037 Investigative ServiceRequests, providing prosecutors withhigh-impact exhibits for the courtroom.282006 Annual Report


The Information Technology Division providesthe District Attorney’s Office with technologytools it needs to support legal staff, support staff,and the business operations. Under the leadershipof the Chief Information Officer Pam Summers, the36 employees of the division are responsible for thedesign, development, implementation, and supportof all information technology hardware, softwareand business applications for the office.Trial Support Services providesprosecutors with high-end graphicsand charts to use as evidence inthe courtroom.The year 2006 brought major planning efforts forthe Case Document Management project, which isunder development, and the COOP (Continuation ofOperations Plan).Table-top exercises were executed to thoroughly planfor the event of a regional disaster. This is necessaryto ensure that the DA continues to provide thecriminal justice prosecution services when normaloperations become interrupted by a disaster.To be better prepared, several systems have beenenhanced or upgraded and a new remote-accesssystem was been implemented in 2006. Many olderservers providing the databases for the DistrictAttorney’s information were replaced with newservers as part of the plan to modernize the DistrictAttorney’s Data Center.meet increased bandwidth needs. A larger and fasterconnection to the Internet was also established toaccommodate the office’s expanded need to accessinformation. In addition, the District Attorney’sOffice also approved the new Computer and SecurityPolicy tailored to the needs of the office.In the latter part of 2006, the Trial Support Services(TSS) unit began reporting to the InformationTechnology Division. Vacancies were filled,continuing education became a priority and newtechnology was leveraged.As a result, prosecutors now benefit from havingaudio and video-enhanced surveillance tapes,high-end graphics and charts to illustrate their case.The latest addition to the suite of services is 3-Danimation. As a result of this new technology, thetype of requests for services, including fingerprintcomparisons and discovery, started to change during2006, illustrated by the variety of InvestigativeService Requests completed.Several new systems were also developed duringthe year by the Applications Development unit. Onesystem tracks the provision of services to releasedprisoners of non-violent crimes reentering society(Senate Bill 618) in order to reduce recidivism.Also, a new integrated Public Assistance Fraudtracking system was developed, replacing detachedindependent spreadsheets and databases.In partnership with the San Diego County Sheriff’sDepartment, the circuit infrastructure for regionalconnectivity of all the DA’s offices was upgraded toSan Diego County District Attorney 29


Insurance Fraud Division302006 Annual Report


Insurance fraud costs consumers an estimated$80 billion per year nationwide or about $950per family. It’s the second largest economic crimein America, exceeded only by tax evasion. TheSan Diego County District Attorney’s InsuranceFraud Division is comprised of a team of specialistswho handle complex prosecutions from inception tosentencing-- with the assistance of several task forces.The Insurance Fraud Divisionincreased its number of convictionsduring 2006 by 20 percent.The Insurance Fraud Division was led by DivisionChief Dominic Dugo in 2006, and Assistant ChiefMichael Running.In 2006, the Division increased the number ofconvictions over 2005 by 20 percent, obtainingconvictions against 327 defendants for insurancefraud and/or related charges. It also collected morethan $5.5 million in restitution for victims, anincrease of approximately $1.5 million. Grand juryindictments were obtained against 51 defendantsand 7 jury trials were completed. Annual grantfunding awarded to the Insurance Fraud Divisionfor 2006 was approximately $8.5 million. This is thehighest amount of funding ever received and anincrease of more than $1.3 million from last year.OPERATION NORTHERN EXPOSUREIn 2006, RATT concluded a longtermundercover operation. Officerspurchased 19 stolen vehicles frommore than a dozen auto thieves. All18 defendants were indicted by theGrand Jury.This division consists of six grant-funded units:• Workers’ Compensation Fraud• Auto Insurance Fraud• Urban/Organized Auto Insurance Fraud• Disability Healthcare Insurance Fraud• Life Insurance Fraud• The Regional Auto Theft Task Force (RATT)Premium Fraud Task ForcePremium fraud involves businesses misrepresentingtheir true payroll to an insurance company in orderto purchase workers’ compensation insurance at lessthan the proper premium. These employers oftenalso evade taxes by paying workers in cash. Thiscash-based payroll is known as the “undergroundeconomy.” In California, the underground economy isestimated at $60 billion, with an annual tax lossof $3 billion.Insurance Fraud Division2006 StaffingAttorneys 16Investigators 13Paralegals 6Support Staff 15Legal Nurse Consultant 1TOTAL 512006 Felony Conviction RateCases Received 295Cases Issued 314Cases to Trial 8Conviction Rate 94%San Diego County District Attorney 31


Provider Fraud Task ForceThe Insurance Fraud Division also has a Medical andLegal Insurance Fraud Task Force which investigatesand prosecutes medical and legal providerscommitting insurance fraud. The unique nature ofthis task force, the first of its kind in the nation, isthat we have combined federal, state, and countyagencies together into one cohesive unit.These unfair practices enable unscrupulousemployers to underbid honest competitors. Thisresults in honest employers losing jobs andultimately driving them out of business.San Diego’s Premium Fraud Task Force helpsmaintain a level playing field by prosecutingbusinesses that commit premium fraud. This TaskForce is comprised of the following agencies: DistrictAttorney’s Office; Labor Commissioner; EmploymentDevelopment Department Criminal Investigationsand Tax Enforcement; Franchise Tax Board;Department of Insurance; Bureau of AutomotiveRepair; and the Contractors State LicensingBoard. The Task Force works very closely with theinsurance industry including State CompensationInsurance Fund (SCIF) which is the largest workers’compensation carrier in California.In 2006, the division’s Task Force prosecuted thelargest premium fraud case ever handled in SanDiego. A roofing company working throughoutSouthern California and in Fresno misclassified theiremployees’ rate of pay to SCIF for three years. TheTask Force served 15 search warrants in San Diego,Los Angeles, and Riverside Counties, seizing 187 boxesof evidence and 45 computers. The owners of theroofing company were indicted by the Grand Juryfor premium fraud after the Task Force producedwitnesses from the counties of San Diego, LosAngeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, andImperial. The owners pled guilty to felony premiumfraud and paid, in full, restitution of more than $3million to State Fund. This is the largest amount ofrestitution our division has ever collected in one case.Members include: District Attorney staff;Department of Insurance; Franchise Tax Board;FBI; the California Department of Justice; the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services; theMedical Board; the California State Bar; CaliforniaDepartment of Health Services; CaliforniaDepartment of Industrial Relations; U.S. Office ofPersonnel Management; U.S. Postal Service; U.S.Department of Defense; and the Dental Board.Life And Annuity ConsumerProtection ProgramIn 2006, the division established a new Life andAnnuity Protection Program to investigate andprosecute unscrupulous life insurance agents andothers who seek to steal the savings of victimsthrough power of attorney abuse and fraudulentclaims upon a legitimate policy. San Diego Countywas only one of four counties in the state ofCalifornia to receive funding for this new program.Life insurance and annuity scams are often targetedat senior citizens. The effect is profound and life-NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OFCOUNTIES 2006 ACHIEVEMENTAWARDSPROVIDER FRAUD TASK FORCEHonored for implementing an effectiveand creative program that promotesresponsible, responsive and effectivecounty government.322006 Annual Report


altering, since seniors do not have the time noropportunity for financial recovery. Our new programis committed to working diligently to protect seniorcitizens and their finances from those who would dothem harm.San Diego’s Premium Fraud Task Forcehelps maintain a level playing field byprosecuting businesses that commitpremium fraud.Uninsured Employer ProgramInsurance Fraud Division staff work with theCalifornia Labor Commissioner’s Office to investigateand prosecute employers without workers’compensation insurance. Workers’ compensationprovides injured workers the security of knowingthey will receive compensation and medicaltreatment as a result of their work-related injury.In 2006, the statewide Economic and EmploymentEnforcement Coalition was formed. Membersinclude: the District Attorney’s Office; theDepartment of Industrial Relations; OccupationalHealth and Safety Administration; EmploymentDevelopment Department; and the ContractorsState Licensing Board. Task force members conductinspections of seven target industries selected dueto an on-going pattern of non-compliance withworkers’ compensation and labor laws. This new taskforce will lead to more businesses obtaining workers’compensation insurance and increased prosecutionof those employers who fail to obtain insurance.Regional Auto Theft Task Force (Ratt)RATT investigates and prosecutes professional autothieves. RATT is a model of cooperation as peaceofficers from the following departments work inconjunction with one another: the District Attorney’sOffice; the California Highway Patrol; San DiegoSheriff’s Department; the San Diego ProbationDepartment; the California Department of Insurance;the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the ChulaVista, La Mesa, El Cajon, Escondido, Carlsbad, andOceanside Police Departments.San Diego County District Attorney 33


Juvenile DivisionThe Juvenile Division of the District Attorney’sOffice prosecutes all juvenile felonies andmisdemeanors committed in San Diego County.The Division is led by Division Chief Robert Eichlerand Assistant Chief Michele Linley. JuvenileDeputy District Attorneys review, issue andprosecute cases that range from serious feloniessuch as robberies, burglaries, sexual assaults,assaults with injuries, weapons or both tomisdemeanor charges.In order to handle certain cases in a manner that issuited to their unique circumstances, the Juveniledivision has made a commitment to verticallyprosecute the following types of cases:ArsonArson cases are supervised and handled by asenior deputy with help from other deputiesassigned to the arson team. These cases can rangefrom minors who are curious about fire, to thosehaving significant mental issues and are showingtendencies that are indicators of recidivism andfuture deviant criminal behavior. Each case isevaluated based upon the facts and informationgained as to the minor themselves and thecrime committed. Vertical handling allows forindividualized intervention and treatment at theearliest possible stage.Dual Dependency/DelinquencyThese cases are always a challenge as a decisionmust be made as to which system will best servea minor. An experienced Deputy District Attorneyhandles this caseload and works closely with thedefense, courts and other attorneys to ensure thatthe best possible decisions for the future of theminor are made.Graff itiThe Juvenile Division has just begun its fourthyear of issuing and prosecuting graffiti cases by asingle Deputy District Attorney. A senior deputyis now assigned as the team leader of this verticalunit to handle the cases. A DDA is also assigned342006 Annual Report


to help with this busy assignment. These casesget specialized treatment and both deputiesmake restitution to victims and members of thecommunity a priority. In addition, in 2006 theDDA assigned worked with law enforcement, localgovernment and private industry to develop andimplement a San Diego/North County graffitiabatement class which offenders must attend aspart of their probation.The Juvenile division handlesteen prostitution cases with aneye toward breaking the selfdestructivecycle.Teen ProstitutionProstitution cases are supervised by the samedeputy who handles and supervises sexual assaultand child abuse cases. There are many cross-overissues involved in prostitution cases as manyjuveniles involved in prostitution were priorvictims of sexual abuse. The supervisor is involvedin community organizations trying to find helpand programming for these offenders. The teamhandles prostitution cases with an eye towardbreaking the self-destructive cycle thisoffense creates.Teen Relationship Violence (TRV)These cases are domestic violence cases thatoccur between teenagers and juveniles. The DDAassigned to handle these cases is very involvedin committees related to TRV. During 2006, manyhours were spent working on a TRV project withyouths involved in day treatment schools. Theteam created a public awareness campaign aboutTRV that received national media attention. Theirproject was presented to probation, the courts andat a public television-sponsored awards ceremonyat the KPBS studios on the San Diego StateUniversity campus.TruancyThe District Attorney’s Office has long recognizedthe importance of keeping kids in school.Therefore, the Juvenile Division has a DeputyDistrict Attorney assigned to handle truancy cases.We have been in the forefront of assisting SanDiego County Schools with processing truancycases. The truancy deputy organizes a truancysummit each year in conjunction with the CountyOffice of Education in order to educate schooladministrators and truancy officers on the latestpolicies, procedures and legal developments.Due to the success of the program and changes indemographics, a truancy calendar is now held in theSouth Bay courthouse once a week.Vehicular Manslaughter andStreet RacingVehicular Manslaughter cases involve accidentsthat result in a death and are handled verticallyby deputies in the juvenile division. The deputykeeps in contact with the victim’s family and givescontinuity to the prosecution. Speed contest casesare handled vertically to ensure that the court isaware of the conduct involved and the possibledanger to the community.Juvenile Division2006 StaffingAttorneys 23Investigators 2Paralegals 5Support Staff 13TOTAL 432006 Juvenile Cases ReviewedCases Submitted 8,340Felony Petitions Filed 3,381Misdemeanor Petitions Filed 2,037Truancy Petitions Filed 503San Diego County District Attorney 35


Narcotics DivisionNARCOTIC DIVISION SEIZURES IN 2006• 500 Kilograms of Cocaine• 550 Pounds of Methamphetamine• Several Tons of Marijuana• $4 Million Cash362006 Annual Report


The Narcotics Division worked harder thanever in 2006 to prosecute drug-relatedoffenses and the numbers tell the story. Ledby Division Chief Damon Mosler and AssistantChief Dana Greisen, this award-winning divisionprosecuted more cases, conducted more wiretapoperations, and seized more drugs and drugmoney than ever before.The Narcotics Division seizedmore drugs and drug moneyduring 2006 than ever before.Further, the division’s felony conviction rateremained at 92 percent. Virtually all of thedefendants were convicted through pleadingguilty or by one of the jury trials conductedduring 2006.The division led and prosecuted Operation CleanSweep and Sherman Heights targeting streetlevelmethamphetamine dealers in North Parkand Sherman Heights. The operations resultedin 71 arrests. Taking these drug dealers off thestreets made those neighborhoods safer placesto live in 2006.The Narcotics Division also focused on shuttingdown more than 20 marijuana dealing enterprisesthat were illegally posing as medicinal marijuanadispensaries. In fact, the division pioneered whatis now a growing movement to do the same acrossthe state of California.The division continues to direct San DiegoCounty’s JUDGE Program (Jurisdictions Unitedfor Drug and Gang Enforcement). The programconsists of 18 law enforcement officers whotarget high-risk felons. In addition, the NarcoticsDivision runs the treatment side of drug cases inDrug Court and Proposition 36 Court, Federal andState Asset Forfeiture matters, and assists lawenforcement with proactive projects in specifichigh-crime areas.Notable cases included:People v. EsparzaIn September 2006, Deputy District AttorneyChris Lindberg convicted self-proclaimed gangand drug operation leader Victor Esparza forthreatening to kill a Parole Officer and hisfamily, and other law enforcement officers ifthey did not cease enforcement efforts againstEsparza’s operation and the Mexican Mafia. Aftertrial, Esparza was sentenced to 14 years in prisonPeople v. CourtneyIn March 2006, Deputy District Attorney JillDiCarlo convicted methamphetamine traffickerUriah Courtney for kidnapping and raping a16-year-old girl. The investigation led police toCourtney’s shed where he had a clandestinemeth lab, three rifles, three handguns, thousandsof rounds of ammunition and approximately$200,000 in cash. Courtney was sentenced to lifein prison.Narcotics Division2006 StaffingAttorneys 18Paralegals 2Support Staff 13TOTAL 332006 Felony Conviction RateCases Received 1,193Cases Issued 1,889Cases to Trial 29Conviction Rate 92%37San Diego County District Attorney 37


Pretrial and CaseDisposition DivisionIn 2006, the case disposition teamhandled more than 4,500 felonycase dispositions and had a felonyconviction rate of 96 percent.382006 Annual Report


merger between two of the busiest divisions inA the District Attorney’s Office occurred in 2006.The Case Disposition Division and Central PretrialDivision combined. The new Pretrial and DispositionDivision is led by Division Chief Gregory Walden andAssistant Division Chief Laura Tanney.…the team encourages the immediatesentencing of defendants, whereappropriate, significantly reducing coststo the taxpayer…The case disposition team works to appropriatelyassess felony cases in an attempt to reach fair andequitable resolutions of the cases at the earliestpossible opportunity. In 2006, the case dispositionteam handled more than 4,500 felony casedispositions and had a felony conviction rate of96 percent. The team encourages the immediatesentencing of defendants, where appropriate,significantly reducing costs to the County ofSan Diego. In 2006, there was an increase in thenumber of defendants sentenced immediatelyfollowing the disposition and plea of their case from1,183 in year 2005 to 1,500 in 2006. Of those 1, 500, or41 percent involved state prison commitments and59 percent were sentenced to probation. The factthat those defendants were sentenced immediately,instead of having separate and full sentencinghearings, resulted in a savings of millions of dollarsto the County.miscellaneous court calendars. Occasionally, theyconduct misdemeanor trials, which result if felonycharges are reduced at the preliminary hearing.Training and development of Deputy DistrictAttorneys is an important aspect of the Pretrialand Case Disposition Division. Monthly trainingsessions are presented on various aspects of criminalprosecution. Riding along with law enforcementofficers is encouraged as well.The unique combinations of senior trial attorneysand junior deputies in the division helps juniordeputies develop the skills and knowledge necessaryto become formidable felony trial attorneys whilepursuing justice at the same time.The preliminary hearing team handles a largenumber of serious cases. They arraign the defendantscharged in felony complaints, then prepare andconduct preliminary examinations in front of ajudge to prove the charges based upon a probablecause standard. In doing so, the preliminary hearingdeputies essentially become liaisons between theDA’s office, law enforcement and the victims andwitnesses of crime. The preliminary hearing deputiesalso handle suppression motions, bail reviews,plea negotiations, change of plea proceedings, andPretrial And Case DispositionDivision 2006 StaffingAttorneys 15Paralegals 3Support Staff 8TOTAL 2639San Diego County District Attorney 39


Restitution Enforcement/Victim Services DivisionCOMING TO THE RESCUE…AGAINIn 1995, Victim Assistance staff memberKitty Wall assisted with a case involvingthe murder of a young woman in ChulaVista, providing funeral assistance,counseling, and loss support for thevictim’s surviving spouse and children.In 2006, this cold case was prosecutedand two defendants were brought to trialand sentenced to 11 years in prison. Morethen a decade later, Ms. Wall was there tosupport the victim’s family once again.402006 Annual Report


The Restitution Enforcement/Victim ServicesDivision provides and arranges criticalservices meeting the material, emotional andinformation needs of victims and witnesses.During 2006, these services reached 10,820 victimsof violent crime. That’s nearly 2,000 more victimsthan the year before.Victim Advocates provided 4,232 crisisinterventions in 2006, attended court746 times and worked with 2,899assault victims.In 2006, the Restitution Claims Unit processed 950claims from victims of violent crimes and 2,856 billsfrom service providers, and paid $1.52 million tovictims from the State Victim Compensation Fund.The Restitution Recovery Unit handled 1,231 cases,assisted 337 victims, obtained restitution finestotaling over $1 million, and helped secure restitutionorders totaling over $459,000 payable to the stateand $2.98 million payable to victims.The work done by staff in this division allowsfor faster and more complete recovery from theeffects of crime-- with services ranging from crisisintervention, referrals, counseling, claim submission,and court support.As experts on restitution issues, attorneys, paralegals,and the senior probation officer in the division eitherhandled or provided direct assistance to DistrictAttorney staff and victims in 2,395 cases affectingmore than $43 million in restitution.In the Victim Assistance Program (VAP), VictimAdvocates provided 4,232 crisis interventions in 2006,attended court 746 times, provided informationabout the criminal justice system to 5,479 people,worked with 538 homicide survivors and 2,899assault victims.VAP personnel also provided the primaryorganizational support for the District Attorney’ssuccessful Citizens of Courage Awards luncheon inSexual Assault ResponseTeam AwardCyndi Forsythe received the SART Awardin 2006 for her passion and dedication.April, recognizing especially courageous victimsand people who performed noteworthy actsassisting victims.The Victim Assistance Program received high marksfrom the State of California, when it was audited in2006. The division also received a generous ParoleAdvocacy Program grant from the Governor’s Officeof Emergency Services to assist victims in the parolerevocation process.Led by Division Director Kim-Thoa Hoang and VAPDirector Cindy Charlebois, the division reachedseveral milestones during 2006. The Division createdthe San Diego County District Attorney’s EmergencyRelief Fund, which helps victims of crime whootherwise may not quality for state assistance.Staff members also participated in a ride-a-longwith California Border Patrol agents, providinginformation to agents on assisting victims of humantrafficking, child abuse, and gangs.Restitution Enforcement/Victim Services Division2006 StaffingAttorneys 2Paralegals 13VAP Director 1Victim Advocates 19Clerical Support 5TOTAL 40San Diego County District Attorney 41


Sex Crimes andStalking DivisionThe Sex Crimes and Stalking Divisionhas maintained a conviction rate of96 percent through its commitmentto keeping the community safe fromsex offenders.422006 Annual Report


The Sex Crimes and Stalking Division is composedof a highly-trained and specialized team ofDeputy District Attorneys, Investigators, Paralegalsand Secretaries dedicated to the aggressive and justprosecution of perpetrators of sexual assault andstalking crimes.The Division also treats the victims of those seriouscrimes with compassion, dignity, and respect. Guidedby Division Chief Summer Stephan, the division led theState in proactively prosecuting and utilizing cuttingedge technology including GPS (Global PositioningSatellite) to vigorously prosecute and enforce theregistration requirement of sex offenders.The Division is also committed to protecting thecommunity from sexually violent predators by thestrict application of the law to commit those qualifiedpredators, and by notifying and informing the publicabout any anticipated releases of sexually violentpredators. In addition, the division has joined othercommunity partners to combat human traffickingfocused on sexual exploitation.The Sex Crimes and Stalking Division has maintained aconviction rate of 96 percent through its commitmentto keeping the community safe from sex offenders.The division strengthened its partnership with theDepartment of Corrections and Rehabilitation to makeSan Diego County the first recipient of 80 GPS ankletsto track high risk sex offender parolees 24 hoursa day, seven days a week. The division’s attorneysalso worked to increase the number of sex offenderstracked by GPS to 143 parolees.The division also continued working with its partnersin law enforcement including the sheriff, police,SART AWARDDeputy District Attorney Dwayne Moringreceived the 2006 Sexual Assault ResponseTeam Award for “Response with a Heart” forhis dedicated prosecution, and compassionatetreatment of victims of sexual assault.parole, probation and the Sexual Assault FelonyEnforcement Task Force toward the prevention of sexcrimes through community education. An educationalconference on the often-deadly crime of stalking washeld by the division in 2006, along with the NationalStalking Center and Family Justice Center.The division was honored during 2006 to activelyparticipate in the Governor’s Task Force for High RiskSex Offenders and Sexually Violent Predators, whichproduced recommendations that have statewideimpact on maximizing the safety of our communities.People v. Christopher SmithThe defendant was a UPS driver who entered anursing student’s home in the University Cityarea and sexually assaulted her at knife-point. Theattacker was convicted by jury of all counts and wassentenced under the one strike rape law to 53 yearsto-lifein prison.Sex Crimes And StalkingDivision2006 StaffingAttorneys 15Investigators 5Paralegals 4Support Staff 6Total 302006 Felony Conviction RateCases Received 395Cases Issued 255Cases to Trial 54Conviction Rate 96%San Diego County District Attorney 43


Superior Court Division442006 Annual Report


The Superior Court Division prosecutes someof the most challenging cases in the DistrictAttorney’s Office—cases like kidnapping, assaults,robberies, attempted murders, and murders. Thedivision is one of the largest in the office and isresponsible for taking felony cases to trial thatare not handled by one of the other divisions.By the time these cases reach Superior CourtDivision, it usually means it will be going to trial.The Superior Court Division’sMajor Violators Unit prosecutescriminals with extensive felonybackgrounds.During 2006, the Superior Court Division handledmore than 4,000 felony defendants, and had afelony conviction rate of 90%. The division hada change in leadership in 2006 when DivisionChief Andrea Freshwater took over for DDA DanLamborn. The Assistant Chief in the SuperiorCourt Division is Victor Nunez.Within the division is the Major Violators Unit,which prosecutes criminals with an extensivefelony background, serial bank robbers and otherdefendants charged with numerous, seriousfelonies who are facing extraordinarily longprison sentences.The division also staffs various calendardepartments in Superior Court involvingsentencing hearings, motion hearings, restitutionhearings and second arraignments followingpreliminary hearings.In one high profile case prosecuted in 2006, HavelRavin was found stabbed to death in his home. Withno eyewitnesses available, prosecutors had to relyupon DNA evidence, bloody shoe prints and a singleshoe left at the scene to prove their case. Despitethe presence of unidentified blood as well as thedefendant’s blood, the jury returned a verdict of firstdegree murder against the defendant who is servinga sentence of 26 years-to-life in prison.MOTION PICTUREASSOCIATION OF AMERICAAWARD 2006Deputy District Attorney Danielle Hickmanreceived an award from the MPAA for herefforts in successfully prosecuting sixdefendants selling pirated music and movies.Appellate and TrainingDivision2006 StaffingAttorneys 25Investigators 12Paralegals 12Support Staff 32TOTAL 81San Diego County District Attorney 45


The Special Operations Division investigatescomplex cases involving misuse of public funds,political corruption, hate crimes and misconduct ofgovernment officials including police officers. Thedivision reviews all officer-involved shootings andin-custody deaths.During 2006, the division had more than 100 openinvestigations. That same year, the division beganutilizing the criminal grand jury for investigationof public corruption and violations of election laws.Division Chief Julie Korsmeyer and Assistant ChiefDavid Williams have made the public integrityarea of law an integral part of the SpecialOperations Division.Hate crime cases are also handled by the SpecialOperations Division. In 2006, People v. Carroll, wassuccessfully prosecuted by Deputy District AttorneyOscar Garcia. Three defendants attacked threevictims with a baseball bat while yelling anti-gayslurs near the Gay Pride Festival in Balboa Park.The attackers pleaded guilty—the ringleader wassentenced to 11 years in prison.The division’s Professional Standards Unit handlesall in-house investigations and background checksfor potential employees. During 2006, the unitperformed 335 such background checks meetingstandardized policy and procedure.Special Operations Division2006 StaffingAttorneys 9Investigators 15Paralegals 6Support Staff 6TOTAL 362006 Felony Conviction RateCases Received 25Cases Issued 22Cases to Trial 1Conviction Rate 100%In addition, the division has Tribal and InternationalLiaisons, who are called upon to assist with cases inother DA divisions or branches.PROSECUTOR OF THE YEARAWARD 2006Deputy District AttorneyDavid RubinSan Diego Deputy District AttorneysAssociationINVESTIGATOR OF THE YEARAWARD 2006Deputy District Attorney InvestigatorRichard “Buck” HenrySan Diego Deputy District AttorneysAssociation47San Diego County District Attorney 47


ValuesEthicsWe hold ourselves to the highest standard ofintegrity and personal and professional conduct.RespectWe treat each other and all members of thepublic with dignity and respect.AccountabilityWe accept a shared responsibility for ensuringsound fiscal management, operational efficiencyand continuous improvement.Support for VictimsWe will show compassion and understanding tothe victims of crime and their families.DiversityWe are committed to diversity, and recognize thesignificant and valuable contributions to our Missionfrom our employees and the community we serve.TeamworkWe are committed to teamwork in achieving ourmission, and acknowledge that, as employees of theDistrict Attorney we are also members of the San DiegoCounty Team, and we embrace its motto, “the noblestmotive is the public good.”Community PartnershipWe advocate and support the building of strong andviable partnerships with law enforcement, all membersof the criminal justice systems and the community weserve for the purpose of achieving the highest level ofpublic safety for our citizens.482006 Annual ReportCommunicationWe will be open and forthright in our communicationswith each other and all those with whom we comein contact.


CREDITSCommunications Director: Paul LevikowEditor: Steve WalkerPhotography: Tim TadderDesign: Màximo, Inc.San Diego County District Attorney 51


Main OfficeHall of Justice330 W. BroadwaySan Diego, CA 92101(619) 531-4040FAX: (619) 237-1351El Cajon OfficeEast County Regional Center250 E. Main StreetEl Cajon, CA 92020(619) 441-4588FAX: (619) 441-4095South Bay OfficeSouth Bay Regional Center500 3rd AvenueChula Vista, CA 92010(619) 691-4695FAX: (619) 691-4420Vista OfficeNorth County Regional Center325 S. Melrose Drive, Suite 5000Vista, CA 92081(760) 806-4004FAX: (760) 806-4162Juvenile Office2851 Meadow Lark DriveSan Diego, CA 92123(858) 694-4250FAX: (858) 694-4774sandiegoda.comPrinted using Asset Forfeiture Funds522006 Annual Report

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines