Minimal impact on crime rate
By Allen Payton
In a letter to Pittsburg Police Chief Brian Addington, on Friday, July 15, 2016, Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Peterson informed him that of the 204 reports in 2015 listed by the Pittsburg Police Department as “suspicious circumstances” 103 should have been listed as crimes.
Following a request by Addington seeking an opinion by the District Attorney’s office, one deputy district attorney and one deputy sheriff performed an audit, reviewing each of the reports. They determined that 40 of those 103 reports should have been listed as Part I crimes and 63 as Part II crimes. Part I crimes include murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
Peterson’s letter states “Although the police reports listed the applicable crime, apparently your department did not the 103 incidents as crimes to the FBI.”
The reclassification of those crimes, will increase the total Part I crimes the Pittsburg Police Department will have to report to the FBI for 2015, changing the statistics to better reflect the true crime rate in the city.
The letter, however also states, “It should be noted that during the 2015 calendar year, the Pittsburg Police Department wrote 9,975 reports. Thus, the 103 police reports we have discussed are only 1% of all the police reports written that year.”
The result is an increase of 0.5% in reportable Part I crimes and 1% in Part II crimes.
Peterson concluded that “had the 103 Suspicious Circumstances cases been correctly classified as crimes reported to the FBI, there would have been minimal impact on city’s crime rate.”
To read the entire letter and audit, click here: Pittsburg PD 2015 Audit
Today, Thursday, July 14, 2016, the Contra Costa County District Attorneys’ Association announced their endorsement of Steve Barr for County Supervisor in District 3.
The District Attorneys’ Association represents more than 75 Deputy DA’s who serve our community as prosecutors in the District Attorney’s office.
Aron DeFerrari, the group’s president, said the decision came down to Steve’s direct and open style, as well as his financial skills.
“Steve is very honest and tells you exactly how it is,” said DeFerrari. “We don’t always agree on everything. But we think his direct and open style is going to make him a great partner as we work on a lot of tough public safety issues.”
“Having a small business owner who understands finances and has a track record of using public money responsibly, was also very attractive to us,” DeFerrari continued. “We don’t have unlimited resources and need leaders who can make sure our public safety officers and prosecutors have enough money to do their jobs effectively. Steve Barr has our full trust.”
Barr said the endorsement was great news.
“Their vote of confidence means a lot and the role of prosecutors play in the county is vital,” he said. “I really look forward to working with them throughout this campaign and beyond.”
Barr, who was the top vote getter in the primary, is currently in the runoff election that will be held November 8th. As a Brentwood City Councilman he has made public safety a top priority, and his campaign already has the support of the Brentwood Police Officers’ Association.
On Thursday morning, July 7, 2016 at about 11:00 a.m., Detectives from the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Special Investigation Unit, assisted by the Contra Costa County Anti-Violence Support Effort (CASE) team, served a search warrant at a home on the 4500 block of Elkhorn Way in Antioch.
During the search, detectives seized approximately one pound of heroin, methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), and marijuana in sales quantities. The value of the drugs is estimated to be about $30,000.
There were also seven firearms seized, to include one shotgun, two assault rifles with hi-capacity magazines and four handguns, two of which were stolen. Detectives also recovered a stolen motorcycle. In all, over $76,000 in cash was seized.
Two people were arrested at the scene: 40-year-old Michael Green and 30-year-old Joseph Lowery. Both lived at the residence. They were both booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on various charges that include possession of a narcotic controlled substance for sales, maintaining a place for the purpose of selling drugs, possession of drugs while armed with a loaded firearm, possession of stolen property, and child endangerment.
Green is being held in lieu of $430,000 bail; Lowery’s bail is set at $340,000.
The Contra Costa District Attorney has filed eight felony counts of grand theft by fraud and embezzlement against Quyen Tran, age 60, and his wife, Mai Han Tran, age, 56, both of Antioch, for conducting a Ponzi scheme that lasted over four years. The total loss to eight victims was $256,000.
Quyen “Tony” Tran and Mai “Lisa” Tran, made friends with the victims in the Vietnamese church and social community. Mai Tran invited the victims over to her house in Antioch for a social event, but once there, Quyen invited the victims up to his office and told them of his 25 years of investment experience, his investment savvy, and how he could make a lot of money for them through his investments skill.
He told one victim that he had an inside line on a Pharmaceutical company IPO, that was later found to be non-existent. The victims were impressed by Quyen’s lavish lifestyle and expensive jewelry and cars and his perceived financial acumen and appearance of wealth. Victims believed him when he told them he never lost any money. The investments, primarily in cash, ranged from $4,000 to $156,000 and the agreements were all verbal.
In this classic Ponzi scheme, instead of investing their money, Tran used the victim’s money for personal expenses, and to maintain his lavish lifestyle, and to pay dividends to early investors, in order to keep the illusion that he was making money in order to attract new investors. When some of the victims demanded their money back after receiving nothing after several months, he told them it was a loan, or that the money was generating returns and was locked up and if he returned money it would be taxed at 45% tax rate. He told other victims that he had lost their money and his bank accounts were frozen. When the victims demanded proof that he had purchased stock, he never provided any. Tran did engage in some minor day-trading, but lost money in 4 of 6 years. In the two years that he made a small profit, he never returned any money to the investors. But Tran continued to tell new investors that he never lost any money.
A forensic accountant and an investigator found that there were several victims from years beyond the four year statute of limitations who lost money to Tran, but these victims never went to the police, because of the cultural shame and distrust of the police.
In addition to the eight counts of fraud, both Trans are charged with money laundering, conspiracy, sale of unlicensed securities and a white collar enhancement of stealing over $100,000. The District Attorney also filed a Temporary Restraining Order and a Lis Pendens on the Tran’s residence which has some equity that could be used to pay restitution.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the Tran’s arrest. If you have been a victim of the Trans in the past ten years, please contact Inspector Al Cofer at the District Attorney’s office at 925-957-8761.
WHAT: The first East County Men’s Health & Wellness Fair will offer free screenings, health education, promote re-entry work and link men from the area and their families to medical services. Attendees will be able to get shingles and pneumonia immunizations, Tdap booster shots, glucose testing, blood pressure checks, rapid onsite testing for HIV and hepatitis C, health education on substance abuse and addiction, prostate awareness, benefits of cardiovascular exercises, CPR education and even haircuts. The men’s health fair is being held in conjunction with the 7th annual Juneteenth Celebration in Pittsburg.
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 18
WHERE: Pittsburg City Park, 17th & Railroad Avenue
WHO: The health fair is being sponsored by Contra Costa Health Services in partnership with Souljahs, the American Heart Association, Walgreens and 1st Nor Cal Credit Union. Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation, Los Medanos Community Healthcare District and Supervisor Federal Glover provided funding support for the event.
By Allen Payton
In a rematch of the 2014 election for Congress in District 9, Democrat Representative Jerry McNerney will face retired U.S. Marshall Tony Amador in the November election.
After entering the race on the last day possible, Amador edged out fellow Republican candidate, Stockton Police Sergeant Kathryn Nance, who had been campaigning for over a year, by 2.9% of the vote.
“I want to thank those who supported me,” Amador said. “We’re going to need the help of independent and Democrat voters, and Kathryn’s supporters, as well.”
“I want to congratulate her for fighting the fight,” he added.
The latest vote count, as of Friday, June 10th at 6:47 p.m., McNerney had 50,144 votes or 55.7%, Amador had 19,644 votes or 21.8%, Nance had 16,975 votes or 18.9% and Libertarian Alex Appleby had 3,218 votes or 3.6% of the vote.
District 9 includes most of Eastern Contra Costa County, as well as most of San Joaquin County, plus Galt in Sacramento County.
Amador is leading Nance by only 435 votes in San Joaquin County where they both live, but in the Contra Costa portion of the district he’s leading her by 1,907 votes and by 327 votes in Galt.
To see the the election results as they’re updated, visit the California Secretary of State’s website at: http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/us-rep/district/9/
FULL FREEWAY CLOSURES:
There are no full freeway closures of State Route 4 planned for this week.
HIGHWAY LANE CLOSURES:
There will be highway lane closures in the westbound direction of State Route 4 between Hillcrest Avenue and Bailey Road on Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.
There will be highway lane closures in the eastbound direction of State Route 4 between Bailey Road and Hillcrest Avenue on Monday through Friday from 4:30 am to 12:00 pm.
There are no ramp closures of State Route 4 planned for this week.
LOCAL STREET CLOSURES:
There will be lane closures in the eastbound and westbound directions of Larkspur Drive between Hillcrest Avenue and Wildflower Drive on Saturday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 6:00 am.
There will be lane closures in the eastbound and westbound directions of Sunset Drive between Hillcrest Avenue and Devpar Court on Saturday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 6:00 am.
There will be lane closures in the northbound and southbound directions of Hillcrest Avenue between Larkspur Drive and Sunset Drive on Saturday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 6:00 am.
There will be lane closures in the northbound and southbound directions of A Street / Lone Tree Way between Rossi Avenue and E. Tregallas Road on Saturday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 6:00 am.
For questions or comments please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Allen Payton
While the County Elections Office continues to count ballots and provide updates, it’s clear that both Supervisor Federal Glover and Martinez Councilwoman Anamarie Avila Farias have taken the top two spots in the race for District 5 Supervisor, and will be in the November run-off.
County Elections Office staff stated they had 56,000 ballots in the county left to count as of Wednesday, not including 19,000 provisional ballots nor those ballots that were postmarked by Tuesday and received by today.
As of the Thursday afternoon vote count update, Glover holds the top spot with 10,443 votes which is 35.26% of the votes and Avila Farias is in second with 9,197 votes which is 31.05%. Trailing in a distant third is former Martinez Mayor Mike Menesini with 4,339 votes or 14.65%, Hercules Mayor Dan Romero with 3,930 votes or 13.27% and then Conrad Dandridge with 1,604 votes or 5.42%.
Avila Farias received a large boost of support from both the firefighters and the deputy sheriffs in the county, with over $68,000 spent on her behalf.
The Elections Office has 28 days to certify the election and is expected to provide another update, later today and more next week, as the remaining ballots are counted.
Following are the results from the County Elections website as of Thursday, June 9, 4:04 p.m.:
|ANAMARIE AVILA FARIAS||9,197||31.05%|
|FEDERAL GLOVER (I)||10,443||35.26%|
By Allen Payton
An update on the Contra Costa County Elections Office website on Thursday, June 09, 2016 at 4:04 p.m. shows Brentwood City Councilman Steve Barr expanding his lead over East Bay Regional Parks District Board Member Diane Burgis, to 1,930 votes. Burgis expanded her lead over Oakley Councilman Doug Hardcastle to 1,227 votes, with about an additional 4,000 votes counted since Tuesday night.
Barr has secured his place in the November run-off. If the trend continues as the remaining ballots are counted, Burgis will have secured her place, as well, as the top two finishers face off in the General Election.
The latest vote counts and percentages are as follows:
|MONICA E WILSON||2,798||8.97%|
|DOUGLAS F. HARDCASTLE||5,817||18.64%|