Sacto 9-1-1
August 31, 2013
Now 35 percent contained, Rim fire still burns out of control

About 5,000 firefighters continue wage an uphill battle against the Rim fire that is burning in Tuolumne County and Yosemite National Park.

The 14-day old fire has engulfed 219,277 acres and destroyed 111 structures so far. The blaze, the fifth largest in state history, is now 35 percent contained.

Evacuations have been expanded along Old Yosemite Road to include areas north and south of Bull Creek Road to Little Grizzly Mountain, according to the Mariposa County Sheriff.

August 31, 2013
Auburn police arrest homeless man for having lewd photos

A homeless man was arrested after he was discovered to have lewd photographs of a female juvenile, authorities said.

Auburn police arrested Robby Dean Odom on Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. at East Placer Street. Officers determined he was on active parole and searched his personal property. Police said they then discovered he was in possession of "lewd photographs of a female who appeared to be under the age of 18."

Odom was arrested and booked into Placer County Jail, where he remains.

August 30, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Has man who pleaded guilty in Ponzi scheme been sentenced?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Defendant Garry Bradford pleaded guilty to a Ponzi scheme charge. Sentencing was scheduled to take place in April 2013. It was postponed. What is the status of this case?
Submitted by: George, Truckee

ANSWER: More than two years after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Sacramento to four counts of federal wire fraud, Garry Bradford has yet to be sentenced.

August 30, 2013
Roseville sting nets suspected unlicensed contractors

A sting operation in Roseville targeting unlicensed contractors has resulted in eight arrests.

The undercover operation was conducted Tuesday at a home near Maidu Regional Park with members of the Contractors State License Board's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team posing as homeowners. They were assisted by the Roseville Police Department and the Amador County District Attorney's Office, whose investigators are part of a multiagency workers' compensation unit.

The operation netted not only phony contractors, but also a number of legitimate contractors who, despite having state contractor's licenses, were violating various aspects of the state's contractor's license law, according to a Contractors State License Board news release. Violations by the licensed contractors included using a business name not listed with the state license board, failing to include their license number in advertisements, and submitting a bid for work outside the job classification. In one case, officials said, a licensed electrician submitted a bid for painting.

August 30, 2013
Sketch released of suspect in medical office robbery

Med office suspect sketch.jpgThe Sacramento Police Department has released a composite sketch of one of two suspects in an Aug. 21 armed robbery at a medical office.

The robbery occurred at 4:27 p.m. when two men entered a medical office in the 2300 block of American River Drive. The suspect depicted in the sketch was armed with a handgun, according to a Police Department news release.

The second suspect was confronted by an employee and the two fought. The employee suffered injuries that required medical treatment, police said.

August 30, 2013
Foresthill area's wildfire declared contained as Rim blaze continues to burn

Three fires that have raged in California this week were declared fully contained this morning.

The fires that are now 100 percent contained are the Deer fire in Tehama County, the Little fire in Riverside County and the American fire in Placer County. The American fire, northeast of Foresthill in steep terrain, burned 27,440 acres.

Progress continued to be made on the hard-to-fight Rim fire near Yosemite National Park. The fire, now recognized as the fifth largest in recorded California history, has now burned 201,894 acres, according to a press release from Cal Fire.

Firefighters have been able to get the blaze 32 percent contained through a combination of aerial and ground attack. About 8,300 firefighters are working throughout the state on the seven remaining large wildfires. Nearly 5,000 firefighters are battling the Rim fire.

Evacuation advisories for Tuolumne City, Soulsbyville and Willow Spring were lifted Thursday. The advisory remains in place for other communities in the area, and mandatory evacuations are in place along the fire's southeast edge, according the the Associated Press.

August 29, 2013
Police seek identity of suspect in Greenhaven sexual assault

SPD suspect sketch1 (1).jpgSex assault suspect van veh.jpgSacramento police are asking the public's help in identifying a man accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl earlier this month.

About 3:10 p.m. Aug. 14, an unknown man inappropriately touched the girl in front of her residence in the area of Florin Road and Greenhaven Drive. The man approached the victim and briefly spoke with her. During the conversation, he touched the girl on the outside of her clothing, according to a Police Department news release.

The girl was not physically injured, officials said.

August 29, 2013
Man accused of arson in Sacramento school, park fires

RUSSELL, DOUGLAS-37.jpgA 37-year-old man has been arrested in connection with fires at schools and parks in the southern part of the city of Sacramento.

Sacramento Fire Department investigators on Wednesday arrested Douglas Russell on suspicion of arson.

Since late June, the department has responded to a series of fires at schools and associated parks. They included fires involving debris and personal property at YPS Academy, 7555 S. Land Park Drive; a trash can and bench fire at Parkway Oaks Park 7541 S. Land Park Drive; and playground structure fires at John Sloat Elementary School, 7527 Candlewood Way and Caroline Wenzel Elementary School, 6870 Greenhaven Drive.

August 29, 2013
Antelope man pleads to sexually assaulting children in 2009

An Antelope man arrested in August 2009 in connection with a series of sexual assaults on minors in Sacramento and Placer counties has pleaded to sex assault charges in Sacramento Superior Court.

Anthony Eugene Martin, 43, pleaded today to charges including lewd and lascivious acts by force, sex acts involving a child younger than 10 years old and false imprisonment, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

In July 2009, Martin sexually assaulted several children and a woman, none of whom were acquainted with him. Authorities said he grabbed the victims from behind.

August 29, 2013
Davis police identify suspect in alleged charity scam

McCune, Anthony Maurice.jpgDavis police announced that they have obtained an arrest warrant for a suspect in a fraud scheme involving door-to-door solicitation for a charitable organization.

Police identified the suspect as Anthony Maurice McCune (pictured), 28, of West Sacramento. He is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He typically is well-dressed, sometimes wearing a tie. He also has been known to speak with a Southern accent and to talk about his upbringing in Alabama, according to a Police Department news release.

McCune is accused of posing as a door-to-door charity worker seeking donations for an organization called Urban Development Solutions. Once he obtains personal checks, he allegedly alters the payee line or the amount, and proceeds to cash or the checks or deposit them into an account.

August 29, 2013
Former El Dorado Hills man sentenced in investment fraud case

A former El Dorado Hills resident was sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento to four years and nine months in prison for his role a multimillion investment fraud scheme.

Daniel Chartraw, 40, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to pay $2.8 million in restitution.

Chartraw pleaded guilty to wire fraud in January.

August 29, 2013
Auburn man arrested on suspicion of setting fires at Rocklin hotel

By Tillie Fong

Rocklin police arrested an Auburn man at his home Wednesday for reportedly setting at least two fires at a Rocklin hotel.

Hoyt Starkey (pictured below), 51, was held at Placer County Jail on suspicion of arson of an inhabited dwelling. Bond was set at $150,000.

Starkey is suspected of being responsible for two recent fires at the Howard Johnson Hotel, 4420 Rocklin Road. Dates were not given for those fires.

Although the blazes caused minor damage, they are considered felony violations.

On Sunday, a mattress caught fire at the same hotel, setting off the fire sprinklers and caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to that room as well as 10 others.

Starkey is considered a person of interest in Sunday's fire, as the investigation continues, officials said.


August 29, 2013
13 wild abalone poaching suspects in Sacramento, Bay Area arrested

By Tillie Fong

California game wardens arrested 13 suspects in Sacramento and the Bay Area early Thursday for reportedly catching wild abalone off the Northern California coast for the purpose of selling them.

Four of the suspects are from Sacramento: Dung Van Nguyen, 40, Hiep Ho, 46, Hung Van Le, 42, and Tho Than Phan, 59.

Seven were from Oakland: Chinh Quan Le, 60, Khoa Dang Nguyen, 40, Hung Ngoc Quoc Vo, 41, Toi Van Nguyen, 48, Hai Van Ha, 43, Duoc Van Nguyen, 48, and Nhan Trong Le, 46. The first four from Oakland had previous poaching convictions.

Two were from other areas: Andy Phan, 47, of Fairfield and Charlie Le, 55, of Alameda.

August 29, 2013
Mosquito Ridge Road, closed for fire crews, reopens Friday

By Barbara Barte Osborn

Bee Correspondent

FORESTHILL -- Mosquito Ridge Road near Foresthill will reopen to all traffic at 8 a.m. Friday.

A portion of the road has been closed for public and firefighter safety because of the American Fire burning in Placer County northeast of Foresthill.

But, as firefighters reach containment of the fire, emergency vehicle traffic on the road has decreased, Gwen Ernst-Ulrich, the forest's acting public affairs officer, said in a news release.

The fire, which started Aug. 10 and has burned 26,194 acres, was 98 percent contained Thursday morning, Ernst-Ulrich said. The cause is under investigation.

Three forest service roads, two popular trails and a campground within the fire area remain closed until further notice.

The roads include Deadwood Ridge Road from Foresthill Divide Road to the road's end, Foresthill Divide Road from the intersection of Humbug Canyon Road to Robinson Flat and Flat Ravine Road from Robinson Flat Campground to Mosquito Ridge Road.

Trail closures are on the Western States Trail, from the Michigan Bluff trailhead to Robinson Flat, and the Codfish Loop (Trail Loop 6) at its intersection with Tie 5-6 on Mitchell Mine Road.

Robinson Flat Campground also remains closed.

People with questions may contact the American River Ranger District at (530) 367-2224 or visit the district office, 22830 Foresthill Divide Road in Foresthill, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

For other Tahoe National Forest information, visit

August 29, 2013
Authorities announce DUI crackdown in Sacramento area for Labor Day weekend

Sacramento law enforcement officers will be out in full force during the long Labor Day weekend.

On Friday night, authorities will man a DUI checkpoint in Sacramento. For Saturday and Sunday evenings, several DUI patrols are planned for Citrus Heights, Folsom and unincorporated Sacramento County.

The California Highway Patrol is also deploying officers for DUI enforcement on freeways starting 6 p.m. Friday.

August 29, 2013
Rim fire near Yosemite is 30 percent contained

The Rim fire burning near Yosemite National Park is 30 percent contained, fire officials announced today.

The fire, the sixth largest wildland blaze in recorded state history, has burned 192,737 acres. With the expected return of warmer temperatures, fire officials say that full containment will not occur until Sept. 20.

Full containment of the Deer fire in Tehama County and the American fire in Placer County is expected today.

The Deer fire, 10 miles east of Los Molinos, has burned 11,429 acres. Placer County's American fire, northeast of Foresthill, has charred 26,194 acres.

August 29, 2013
Meadowview park homicide victim was Sacramento teen

A teenager shot in a Meadowview park earlier this week has been identified by the Sacramento County Coroner.

Timothy Heu, 17, of Sacramento died Wednesday after being struck by gunfire the day before.

Sacramento police officers responded to Pollock Ranch Park on Robinridge Way at 3:37 p.m. Tuesday and found the critically injured Heu. The youth was transported to a hospital in critical condition and died at 11:10 a.m. Wednesday.

Police said a number of witnesses were contacted at the scene and officers have canvassed the neighborhood. Homicide and gang detectives also were summoned to the scene Tuesday to assist with the investigation.

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information pertaining to the crime is asked to call the Police Department's dispatch center at (916) 264-5471, or Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357, or text a tip to 274637. Enter SACTIP, followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

August 28, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What did investigators conclude in 2007 deaths of three people at Folsom home?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What was the outcome of the investigation of the deaths of three people in early 2007? I believe they were found murdered in a house in Folsom. The people involved were a married couple and another woman. The married couple were soon to retire from Folsom Prison -- I think they were guards -- and going to move to Tennessee.
Submitted by: Lucy, Nashville, Tenn.

ANSWER: Folsom police determined that the deaths of three people at a home on Wembley Court in January 2007 was a double homicide and suicide.

August 28, 2013
Two arrested in raid on marijuana garden in Plumas National Forest

The Butte County Sheriff's Office reported that two people were arrested and more than 3,000 marijuana plants seized during a raid Tuesday of an illegal marijuana growing operation near Jordan Creek in the Plumas National Forest.

The early morning raid was conducted by the Sheriff's Office's Special Enforcement Unit, the U.S. Forest Service and the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force.

Upon entering the marijuana garden, deputies located several thousand marijuana plants being grown by a suspected drug trafficking operation, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

August 28, 2013
Davis man arrested driving vehicle taken in recent carjacking

A 25-year-old Davis man was arrested early today in connection with a carjacking that occurred earlier this month.

Miguel Hernandez was taken into custody about 1 a.m. after he was stopped by officers near Mace Boulevard and Alhambra Drive while driving the stolen vehicle, according to a Davis Police Department news release. Officials said the vehicle was stolen during an Aug. 19 carjacking in the 1800 block of Moore Boulevard.

Hernandez was arrested without incident and booked on outstanding warrants stemming from two different cases.

August 28, 2013
Teenager dies following shooting at Meadowview park

A teenager shot in a Meadowview park Tuesday afternoon has died.

Sacramento police officers responded to Pollock Ranch Park on Robinridge Way at 3:37 p.m. and found a 17-year-old male who had been hit by gunfire. The youth was transported to a hospital in critical condition and has since died, according to a police department news release.

The name of the youth has not been released.

August 28, 2013
Man sentenced to life in prison for murdering former boss

Dupree Pierre Barber, the laid-off Cordova Recreation and Parks District maintenance employee convicted of murdering his former boss, was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday afternoon.

Barber, 49, gunned down Steve Ebert, 59, around 6 a.m. on Jan. 23, 2012 at Hagan Community Park. Barber had been laid off 12 days before the killing at an emotional meeting where witnesses said he engaged in an angry exchange with Ebert.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette read the sentence to an emotionless Barber.

"You are going to die in prison, Mr. Barber," the judge said. "At the very least, any further pain you inflict will not be in free society."

Barber looked up at the judge, blinked slowly, but did not say a word. He declined to make a statement during the proceeding.

Carol Ebert, the victim's wife, spoke out for the first time in a prepared statement read by the family's advocate.

"His soul is evil. For the sake of society, Mr. Barber should never be free again," the statement said.

August 28, 2013
Man arrested in connection with body buried in Rio Linda field

William Olsen mugshot.jpgSacramento County Sheriff's detectives have arrested a man in connection with the discovery of a body this week in a makeshift grave.

William Patrick Olsen, 47, was already in jail on Tuesday when detectives added an additional charge of suspicion of murder. He had been booked Monday into Sacramento County Jail on an auto theft charge.

The homicide case began when Placer County Sheriff's Department detectives contacted Sacramento detectives on Monday about a buried body. According to an unnamed source, a body was buried in a field in the 7500 block of 34th Street in Rio Linda.

August 28, 2013
Rim fire on list of state's largest blazes as fire crews make progress

glance.JPGFire officials say that progress is being made on the 10 major wildfires burning in California.

Meanwhile, the Rim fire near Yosemite National Park has grown to 187,466 acres and is 23 percent contained. It remains the 7th largest wildfire recorded in California.

Read more: Tahoe visitors, Sierra resdients endure smoky days as Rim Fire rages

The largest wildfires in state history as listed by the National Weather Service:

1. Cedar fire, San Diego County, 273,000 acres in 2003.

2. Rush fire, Lassen County, 271,000 acres in 2012.

3. Zaca fire, Santa Barbara County, 240,000 acres in 2007.

4. Matilija fire, Ventura County, 220,000 acres in 1932.

5. Witch fire, San Diego County, 197,000 acres in 2007.

6. Klamath fire, Siskiyou County, 192,000 acres in 2008.

7. Rim fire, Tuolumne County, 187,466 acres in 2013.

In Placer County, the American Fire northeast of Foresthill is 94 percent contained this morning, according to Cal Fire. The wild land blaze has consumed 26,000 acres.

The majority of the large wildfires are burning on federal land. Cal Fire and local fire departments are working in support of U.S. Forest Service firefighters.

Nearly 9,000 firefighters have been battling the blazes. About 4,200 of the firefighters are deployed at the Rim fire.

PHOTO CAPTION: While monitoring a controlled backfire along Highway 120 at the southwestern edge of California's Yosemite National Park, Captain Russell Mitchell with Yosemite Fire glances up as a U.S. Forest Service firefighting aircraft flies overhead on Tuesday, August 27, 2013. Don Bartletti/ Los Angeles Times

August 27, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to teen who killed Rio Linda couple in 1970s?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What happened to Mike Love, who murdered an older couple in Rio Linda back in the mid to late 1970s?
Submitted by: Terry, Rancho Cordova

ANSWER: Michael Lynn Love, was convicted in 1981 of two counts of murder for the 1979 slaying of his neighbors, Faye Alexander, 62, and her 63-year-old husband, Charlie.

August 27, 2013
Parolee accused of possessing lewd photos of teen

Odom, Robby.pngAuburn police have arrested a 52-year-old parolee accused of possessing lewd photos of a teenage girl.

Officers contacted Robby Dean Odom (pictured), who is homeless, in the area of East Placer Street, at High Street, about 7 p.m. Monday. After a brief conversation, they determined that Odom was on active parole.

In searching Odom's personal property, officers discovered lewd photographs of a female who appeared to be younger than 18 years old, according to a police department news release.

August 27, 2013
American fire reported 92 percent contained, mop-up under way

Firefighters today moved toward closing lines around the American fire in Placer County.

The fire, burning since Aug. 10 northeast of Foresthill, was reported 92 percent contained Tuesday evening with 25,520 acres burned. Full containment is expected on Thursday.

The number of personnel involved in the firefighting effort now stands at 1,082. One firefighter reportedly suffered a burned hand, and was treated and released, according to the online fire update by the U.S. Forest Service.

Officials reported that the southern portion of the fire area is cold, while ground on the western flank continues to hold considerable heat where hand crews and engines were conducting mop-up activities. Scattered smoldering pockets were reported in the northern section. Active fire was reported along the southwestern flank in timber and brush.

- Cathy Locke

August 27, 2013
RT exercise to focus on terrorism response capabilities

The Sacramento Regional Transit District will conduct a field exercise Wednesday morning to evaluate the emergency response capabilities of RT and regional emergency service providers.

The scenario involves a mock threat of terrorism, according to an RT news release.

The exercise will take place at Regional Transit's south bus parking lot, across from the agency's administrative offices at 1400 29th St. Part of the exercise also will be conducted in the train storage area at the Watt/Interstate 80 rail station.

August 27, 2013
Fresno man injured in Highway 70 crash in Sutter County

A Fresno man suffered major injuries after he lost control of his pickup truck this afternoon on Highway 70 near the Highway 99 connector in Sutter County.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Allan D. Beck II, 26, was driving a 1990 Chevy 1500 southbound on Highway 70 about 1:43 p.m. when he failed to negotiate a curve just before the connector to southbound Highway 99. The truck continued in a straight path down an embankment and through some trees in the grassy area separating the two highways, according to a CHP news release.

The vehicle flipped and landed on its wheels facing northwest.

August 27, 2013
Update: Teen seriously injured in Meadowview shooting

By Kim Minugh

Sacramento police are investigating a shooting in Meadowview that seriously injured one victim, according to authorities.

The shooting occurred at Pollock Ranch Park, on Robinridge Way, about 3:45 p.m. The victim, a man in his late teens, was in the park when he was hit by the gunfire and is now in critical condition at a local hospital, said police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante.

Homicide and gang detectives are involved in the investigation.

Gigante said detectives are still trying to sort out the details of the mid-day shooting, which was witnessed by a number of people.

Check back later for more information.

August 27, 2013
Motorcyclist dies after colliding with pickup truck in Rio Linda

A 55-year-old Sacramento man is dead after his motorcycle collided with a pickup truck in Rio Linda this afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Gregory Gutierrez was riding his black 2004 Harley Davidson motorcycle eastbound on Elkhorn Boulevard, west of Marysville Boulevard, when he approached vehicles that were slowing behind a stopped pickup waiting to make a left turn into a private driveway, according to a CHP news release.

Gutierrez passed the slowed traffic by continuing eastbound in the westbound lanes, and then struck the pickup truck as it made the left turn into the driveway. He was ejected from his motorcycle and suffered major injuries, the CHP said.

He was pronounced dead later at Mercy San Juan Medical Center.

Gutierrez was not wearing a motorcycle helmet approved by the Department of Transportation, according to the CHP.

The driver of the pickup also was taken to a local hospital for complaint of pain.

- Kim Minugh

August 27, 2013
Citrus Heights man in custody after pursuit, standoff with CHP

A 27-year-old Citrus Heights man is in custody after he led the California Highway Patrol on a brief pursuit and then locked himself in a bathroom while threatening to hurt himself.

The man, who apparently has mental health issues, was hit with a Taser but otherwise not injured, according to the CHP.

The incident began about 3:30 p.m. when the CHP received a call of somebody doing donuts in the area of Auburn Boulebard and Watt Avenue.

Soon thereafter, an officer in the area saw a man driving a Ford Mustang pull out of a gas station on Hemlock Street, between Auburn and Palm Avenue, and drive on the wrong side of the road, said CHP spokeswoman Officer Lizz Dutton.

The officer tried to stop the driver, but he failed to yield, and a pursuit ensued, Dutton said.

As the man was driving, the hood of his car flew up and blocked his windshield, but he continued to drive northbound on Auburn Boulevard, Dutton said.

The man then parked outside of an antique store on Auburn Boulevard that is owned by his grandmother, Dutton said. He ran to the back of the store and barricaded himself in the bathroom. When officers tried to go in and get him, he threatened to hurt himself with broken glass.

Citrus Heights police also arrived on scene to help.

Firefighters assisted by cutting a hole in the wall, which distracted the man long enough for officers to move in and use a Taser, Dutton said. They then were able to safely detain him after about an hour-long standoff.

His grandmother told officers he suffers from bipolar disorder and other mental issues, Dutton said.

- Kim Minugh

August 27, 2013
Update: Teen in critical condition after Meadowview shooting

Sacramento police are investigating a shooting in Meadowview that seriously injured one victim, according to authorities.

The shooting occurred at Pollock Ranch Park, on Robinridge Way, about 3:45 p.m. The victim, a man in his late teens, was in the park when he was hit by the gunfire and is now in critical condition at a local hospital, said police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante.

Homicide and gang detectives are involved in the investigation.

Gigante said detectives are still trying to sort out the details of the mid-day shooting, which was witnessed by a number of people.

Check back later for more information.

August 27, 2013
Novato man drowns in El Dorado County's Jenkinson Reservoir

A Novato man drowned at Jenkinson Reservoir on Saturday afternoon, authorities announced today.

The man, identified as 34-year-old Ramiro Nunez Magana, was swimming with family members near the Pinecone campground about 1:45 p.m. Saturday when he began to struggle. Before anyone could reach him, the man disappeared from sight in the waters of the reservoir, also known as Sly Park Lake, according to a news release from the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office.

Responders could not immediately locate the victim. About 3:15 p.m., the man's body was located about 30 feet from the shoreline. He was pulled from the lake and pronounced dead.

Among the units that responded were sheriff's department, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, El Dorado County fire, U.S. Forest Service, the El Dorado Irrigation District Lake Patrol and park rangers.

Sheriff's authorities remind residents and visitors that swimming in the county's lakes and rivers is "inherently dangerous," and recommend that life jackets are used when swimming in deep or swift water.

August 27, 2013
El Dorado sheriff's deputy involved in minor collision

An El Dorado County sheriff's deputy was involved in a minor collision this afternoon in El Dorado Hills, according to authorities.

Nobody was injured when the patrol car collided with another car, said El Dorado sheriff's Sgt. Jim Byers. He said the collision was "very minor."

The collision occurred near the El Dorado Hills Town Center, off Latrobe Road. It is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol, Byers said.

August 27, 2013
Man who stabbed his mother to death sentenced to 16 years to life

Angelo Dunya Wright was sentenced today to 16 years to life in prison for the Nov. 12, 2011, stabbing death of his mother, LIsa Marie Barber, in her Foothill Farms apartment.

Wright, 22, pleaded guilty to the killing last month after a Sacramento Superior Court jury failed to reach a verdict at his trial in June.

Authorities said Wright inflicted some 70 "sharp force" injuries on his mother, who had told a friend she suspected her son of stealing jewelry from her and that she intended to question him about it.

Judge John P. Winn imposed the term on Wright.

August 27, 2013
Gang member gets life for fatal 2010 shooting near Encina High

A Sacramento street gang member was sentenced today to life in prison without parole for the drive-by shooting death of a teenager three years ago near Encina High School.

Luis Prudente, 20, received the term from Superior Court Judge Marjorie Koller for the 2 a.m. Nov. 27, 2010, shotgun killing of Jesse Dean Jones, 15, at the corner of Clinton Road and Wittkop Way.

Prudente was denied a chance for a parole hearing based on the special-circumstance allegations of carrying out a gang-related drive-by shooting.

Koller gave Prudente an additonal 42 years and eight months to life for his conviction on a second count of shooting and injuring Jones' girlfriend, with added time for use of the firearm and for inflicting great bodily injury.

The shooting took place during an ongoing gang war in the Howe Park area, authorities said.

Prudente also had been charged with murder in the Oct. 23, 2009, hit-and-run death of Julian Juan Dearcos, 35, but prosecutors announced in court today they decided to not retry the case, court officials said.

August 26, 2013
Containment of American fire expected Thursday

Full containment of the American fire is expected Thursday, two days earlier than previously projected.

The U.S. Forest Service reported this evening in an online update that the fire, burning since Aug.10 northeast of Foresthill in Placer County, is 83 percent contained with 24,684 acres burned. A total of 1,283 people remain involved in the firefighting effort.

Officials reported that crews have completed burning operations next to Mosquito Ridge Road, along the fire's eastern perimeter. The burning was conducted to reduce ground fuels between the fire perimeter and the main fire to help prevent the main fire from escaping containment lines.

August 26, 2013
Suspect arrested in stabbing at Lincoln residence

A Lincoln man was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon following a stabbing Sunday afternoon.

Lincoln police officers responded to a residence in the 100 block of F Street shortly before 6 p.m. regarding a stabbing that had just occurred. They were told that the suspect was still at the scene with a knife.

When officers arrived, they found a 25-year-old Lincoln man on the front porch of the home with a puncture wound to his abdomen, according to a Police Department news release. The suspect opened the front door of the residence, then tried to flee out the back of the home, police said.

August 26, 2013
Update: Victim of skydiving accident identified

The skydiver who fell to his death on Saturday in Davis has been identified as Andrew Todd Cofer, a 23-year-old from Lodi.

Cofer was a first-time patron of SkyDance SkyDiving, near the Yolo County Airport, but he was not a first-time skydiver. Friends describe Cofer as a highly experienced skydiver with more than 600 jumps.

On his second Davis jump at roughly 6 p.m., he fell out of his harness mid-air and suffered multiple blood injuries and fractures. He was pronounced dead on the scene, said Mark Persons, spokesman for the Yolo County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies located Cofer's body in a field approximately one mile away from the drop zone. His canopy and harness were located about one mile away in a different direction.

Ray Ferrell, president of SkyDance SkyDiving, said the accident was not caused by an equipment error.

"We have a videotape showing that it was on and fastened properly," he said. "I don't know why, but he physically undid his chest strap."

Cofer frequented the Parachute Center just north of Lodi and started around March of last year, said Lee Ellis, a Lodi skydiver and friend.

"He's a really outgoing, charismatic guy," Ellis said. "He will definitely be missed."

August 26, 2013
Suspect faces extra charge after allegedly chewing on Sacramento police car

A 45-year-old woman who was detained in the back of a police patrol car Sunday afternoon started chewing on it - biting off another charge for herself, according to police.

Tammy Vasquez initially found herself in trouble for alleged petty theft and parole violations, according to a Sacramento police report. But when officers put her in the back of a patrol car shortly before 3:30 p.m. Sunday, she began eating the foam padding on the divider, police said.

That alleged act was not just unsanitary, but illegal, according to police, and it earned the 45-year-old woman a vandalism charge.

Vasquez also was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a narcotic, police said.

According to Sacramento Superior Court records available online, Vasquez has a lengthy criminal history, dating back to 1990. She most recently went to prison for a felony arson conviction in 2010.

August 26, 2013
CHP on lookout for drunk drivers over holiday enforcement period

Labor Day marks the last hurrah for many summer enthusiasts, but the California Highway Patrol wants to make sure it's a celebration that ends safely.

The CHP is targeting drunk driving during a "maximum enforcement period" that ends at the close of Labor Day. During that time, "all available CHP officers" will be tasked with keeping an eye out for impaired drivers, a news release states.

During the same period last year, 35 people died in collisions in California. Many victims were not wearing seat belts. Also during that time, the CHP made more than 1,300 arrests for driving under the influence, the release states.

Anyone who suspects a drunk driver on the roadway is asked to call 911.

August 26, 2013
Fire near Yosemite is 13th largest recorded state fire

The Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park has grown to be the 13th largest fire ever recorded in the state.

The still hard-charging blaze that continues to threaten 4,500 homes, has expanded to 149,780 acres. The blaze northeast of Groveland, Tuolumne County, is just 15 percent contained and evacuations remain in effect.

Firefighters will continue to fight the fire from the air today. Smoke will be an issue with visibility less than a mile at some locations, fire officials said.

Cal Fire officials warn that winds again today will hamper firefighting efforts with gusts from the south predicted up to 26 mph. The winds are expected to push the fire to the northeast.

Closer to Sacramento, the American Fire, northeast of Foresthill in Placer County, has burned 24,408 acres. The fire is reported at 81 percent contained this morning.

About 9,000 local, state and federal firefighters are working to contain 11 major wildfires across the state. Fire officials made progress on the wildland blazes Sunday despite windy conditions.

August 26, 2013
Woman dies in Rancho Cordova crash

A woman riding in a car hit by a sport utility vehicle Sunday afternoon in Rancho Cordova has died, according to police.

The Rancho Cordova Police Department said that the woman was killed in the crash that occurred about 3:45 p.m. Sunday at Sunrise Boulevard and Douglas Road. Traffic was backed up for several hours.

The woman, who has not been identified by coroner's officials, was in a sedan traveling eastbound on Douglas Road. The car was struck on the passenger side by an SUV traveling northbound on Sunrise Boulevard at the intersection.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver of the car in which she was riding was injured. Two people in the SUV, which overturned, were also injured.

All three of the injured were transported to hospitals. They were expected to survive.

August 26, 2013
Coroner identifies young man killed in Orangevale

By Kim Minugh and Bill Lindelof

The Sacramento County Coroner's office on Monday identified the young man killed over the weekend at an Orangevale apartment complex as 20-year-old Christian Fafnis-Horton of Sultan, Wash.

Fafnis-Horton died in an early Saturday morning shooting that also left a 20-year-old man injured. No suspects have been identified.

The two victims were sitting on an upstairs landing in an apartment complex at 6244 Hazel Avenue when two gunmen came up and shot them, said Sacramento County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos.

August 25, 2013
Missing woman's body found in San Joaquin River

By Janelle Bitker

Susan Green, the woman missing from Isleton since Aug. 11, was found dead today.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department conducted a search for Green, also known as Susan Hernandez, today and pulled her car out of the San Joaquin River near the 600 block of West Brannan Island Road. Green was inside the car.

No foul play is expected, according to an announcement from Sgt. Jason Ramos.

August 25, 2013
23-year-old man died after a skydiving accident in Davis

By Janelle Bitker

A 23-year-old man died after a skydiving accident in Davis on Saturday.

The skydiver fell out of his harness at about 6 p.m, said Sgt. Hector
Bautista of the Yolo County Sheriff's Department. He died later at the

The man, whose name has not been released, was skydiving with friends
at Skydance Skydiving, near the Yolo County Airport. Bautista called
him an experienced skydiver.

The accident is under investigation and an autopsy will be conducted
on Monday, Bautista said.

August 25, 2013
Update: Firefighters contain El Dorado County blaze

By Janelle Bitker

A fire near Georgetown in El Dorado County is fully contained, according to Cal Fire officials.

The fire began on Saturday at approximately 3 p.m., just off Highway 193 and Empire Creek Circle. By noon today firefighters reported full containment of the 38-acre blaze.

August 25, 2013
More than 8,300 firefighters battling over a dozen blazes in California

By Tillie Fong

Fourteen wildfires are burning in California, with more than 8,300 firefighters battling the blazes, the California Department of Fire and Forestry officials reported this weekend.

Winds from the south, with speeds of up to 25 mph and gusts as much as 35 mph, will provide the greatest challenge in the northeast portion of the state Sunday afternoon, as they will likely fan the flames of several wildfires, increase the fire potential in other areas, and hamper current firefighting efforts, CalFire said.

As of Sunday morning, CalFire listed the status of the wildfires in the state:

August 24, 2013
Motorcyclists seriously injured in Sacramento hit-and-run

By Andy Furillo

A 70-year-old motorcyclist and his wife were seriously injured today when a hit-and-run driver rear-ended them on Interstate 80, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Joe Mikles and his wife, Mary, were headed eastbound near Norwood Avenue in Sacramento around 3:45 p.m. when they were struck by what the CHP described as a silver or gray Nissan.

The couple, from Meadow Vista in Placer County, was taken to Mercy San Juan Medical Center with major but not life-threatening injuries, according to the CHP.

The CHP said the car is likely to have front-end damage, with its Nissan emblem missing. The car was being driven recklessly in the moments before the wreck, the CHP said.

Anyone with information about the collision is asked to call CHP dispatch at (916) 861-1300.

August 24, 2013
UPDATE: Blaze reaches Georgetown, burns two structures

By Andy Furillo

A fire started this afternoon near southern Georgetown in El Dorado County spread to 45 acres and burned two rural structures, forcing the evacuation of more than 80 homes, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said one of the structures was destroyed as the blaze spread into a rural subdivision near the perimeter of the community.

About 6 p.m. the blaze was about 35 percent contained, he said. Three helicopters were deployed to drop water over the area. Earlier, air tankers were also used in the fight.

August 24, 2013
Missing Davis teen found unharmed, police say

A 19-year-old Davis man who had been reported missing by his family has been found unharmed, Davis police said this afternoon.

Balbino Mercadal had told friends on Thursday night that he was going to the Bay Area, but was reported missing when he did not arrive in a timely manner.

August 24, 2013
Missing Sacramento man found, police say

Reggie Hodge attachment.jpgA missing at-risk Sacramento man has been found, Sacramento police said.

Police said in a post on the department's website, "Reggie Hodge has been located unharmed and is reportedly in the care of an area hospital."

See the original post here.

August 24, 2013
One man slain, one injured in Orangevale shooting

Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies are investigating an early morning shooting that left one man dead and another injured.

The incident occurred 12:45 a.m. at 6244 Hazel Avenue in Orangevale. Two men, ages 19 and 20, were sitting on an upstairs landing in an apartment complex when two gunmen came up and shot them, said Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos.

August 24, 2013
Coroner identifies man killed by light-rail train in Rancho Cordova

The pedestrian struck and killed Friday by a light-rail train in Rancho Cordova has been identified by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office as Michael Karr, 47.

The incident occurred about 1:25 p.m. at Mather Field Road and Folsom Boulevard.

Regional Transit spokeswoman Alane Masui said surveillance video and witness' statements indicated that the individual deliberately walked into the path of the train, which was headed toward downtown Sacramento.

No one aboard the light-rail train was injured.

August 24, 2013
Rim fire enters Yosemite, engulfs over 125,000 acres

Western Wildfires (3).jpg

Firefighters in Tuolumne County are facing an uphill battle as the Rim fire rages on.

The week old fire has devoured 125,620 acres near Groveland, an increase of 20,000 acres since Friday morning. The flames also entered Yosemite National Park for the first time Friday, though NPS officials say the fire is not affecting park operations.

More than 2,600 firefighters are taming the fire that is threatening 4,500 structures. The fire is 5 percent contained.

August 23, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was anyone arrested for 2004 slaying of Citrus Heights teen?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: In the early '90s, a teen was killed in a condo on Cavan Drive in Greenback Estates in Citrus Heights. I believe his dad came home and found him in the a.m. The boy was beaten to death and maybe stabbed as well. Did they ever find the boy's killers?
Submitted by: Marcifiddler, Citrus Heights

ANSWER: Two men in prison for another murder admitted to the 2004 slaying of 17-year-old Eddie Heydaragha in Citrus Heights.

August 23, 2013
UPDATE: Two men taken to hospital after plane goes down at Bing Maloney Golf Course

plane.jpegTwo men have been taken to an area hospital after their plane went down at Bing Maloney Golf Course, near Sacramento Executive Airport.

Assistant Chief Kim Iannucci of the Sacramento Fire Department said emergency crews about 6:40 p.m. responded to the golf course at 6801 Freeport Blvd.

She said the small plane, a Piper PA-28, had taken off from Sacramento Executive Airport. Witnesses said they heard it sputter, then saw it turn and go into a wooded area of the golf course.

August 23, 2013
Sacramento man pleads guilty to fraud schemes

A 34-year-old Sacramento man pleaded guilty today in a federal case involving debit card and student loan fraud.

Mordechay Altit -- also known as Michael Altit, Anthony Altit and Tony Altit -- pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering in connection with fraudulent use of debit cards and student loan fraud, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Altit applied for debit cards issued by banks or other debit card providers in his own name, or using names and Social Security numbers of other people. He then used merchant and terminal identification numbers issued to merchants and businesses nationwide to cause fraudulent refunds and credits to be placed on the debit cards he controlled.

August 23, 2013
Man sentenced to prison for drug offenses, child endangerment

A man who pleaded no contest to drug, weapons and child endangerment charges was sentenced today to 19 years in state prison.

Corey Anderson, 32, pleaded to charges of transporting cocaine, cocaine sales, being a felon in possession of a firearm and child endangerment, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's office news release. He also admitted to a prior drug sales conviction, a prior strike and an out-on-bail enhancement. He was sentenced by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Kevin McCormick.

On Aug. 24, 2012, Corey Anderson and his brother, Cushi Anderson, were pulled over in a vehicle stop. A search of the car revealed more than 27 grams of cocaine, 2 pounds of marijuana, $2,000 in cash and narcotics sales paraphernalia, officials said.

August 23, 2013
Police say missing Sacramento man at risk due to mental disabilities

Reggie Hodge attachment.jpgSacramento police are asking the public's help in finding a 27-year-old man who has severe mental disabilities.

Police said Reggie Hodge (pictured) was last seen Thursday night when he walked away from his residence in the 4000 block of 11th Avenue.

He is considered at-risk because his family reports that he is severely disabled with the mental abilities of a 5- to 7-year-old, according to a Police Department news release. Without his medication, Hodge may become easily confused.

Hodge was last seen wearing a black South Pole sweatshirt and gray jeans with gray shoes.

Police ask anyone with information regarding Hodge's whereabouts to call the Police Department's dispatch center at (916) 264-5471.

August 23, 2013
Jury finds Moore guilty in murder of Colusa ranch foreman

By Andy Furillo

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Paul Moore of first-degree murder in the July 16, 2011, bombing death of Roberto Ayala, the ranch foreman on the Moore Brothers rice farm in Colusa County.

The jury went out about 10:30 this morning and deliberated for less than five hours before returning the verdict against the 49-year-old defendant. The jury also found true the special-circumstance finding that Moore used an explosive device to kill Ayala, 43, while the victim was turning on an irrigation pump on the Colusa County ranch outside Grimes.

August 23, 2013
Davis police seek missing man reported heading for Bay Area

Mercadal safe_image.jpgDavis police are seeking help finding a missing 19-year-old man.

Balbino Mercadal (pictured) was last seen at 9 p.m. Thursday in the 2100 block of Glacier Drive in Davis. He told friends that he was leaving for the Bay Area, but he never arrived. Police said this behavior is out of character for Mercadal.

He is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 135 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. Mercadal was last seen wearing a light-blue beanie, blue jeans and a black backpack with a green and white pattern. Police said he may be riding a black bicycle.

Anyone who has seen Mercadal or knows his whereabouts is asked to call the Davis Police Department at (530) 747-5400.

August 23, 2013
Detectives seek information in Kings Beach bank robbery

Kings Beach 211 aug 23 2013.jpgPlacer County sheriff's detectives seek to identify a man who robbed a bank in Kings Beach this morning.

The man walked into the Bank of the West at 200 Bear St. about 10:30 a.m. and handed the teller a note, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The teller told deputies that he displayed a black handgun.

The suspect (pictured) is described as a white man with a thin build and wearing a baseball cap, a gray sweater and black jeans.

August 23, 2013
Foresthill man who fired at deputies arrested in woods

By Barbara Barte Osborn
Bee Correspondent

Placer County Sheriff's deputies disarmed and arrested an allegedly intoxicated and suicidal Foresthill man today after he fled into the woods and fired at them following a domestic dispute.

During the incident, the Sheriff's Office issued a computerized phone warning to nearby residents to lock their doors and remain inside and to nearby schools, which went into lockdown.

Dena Erwin, the department's public information officer, said residents of the Cedar Grove Mobile Home Park in Foresthill called 911 at 7:37 a.m. to report a fight between Earnest C. Larimer and a woman at his home.

August 23, 2013
Jury begins deliberations in Colusa bomb murder case

A Sacramento Superior Court jury began deliberations today in the July 16, 2011, bombing murder of the foreman of a massive Colusa County rice-farming operation.

Defendant Paul Moore, 48, has been accused in the murder of Roberto Ayala, 43. Moore is the son of one of two men who own the Moore Brothers farm near the town of Grimes.

Ayala was killed when an electrical panel on the ranch exploded while he was turning on an irrigation pump.

Colusa County District Attorney John Poyner and special prosecutor David Druliner of the state Attorney General's Office say Moore planted a bomb in the electrical panel to get Ayala out of the way in the defendant's bid to to take control of the farm.

Defense attorney Linda Parisi has sought to shift blame to Peter Moore, the defendant's cousin. She argued that Peter Moore believed he had been disinherited and replaced by Ayala and had more of a motive to kill the foreman than did Paul Moore.

The case was moved out of Colusa on a change of venue motion due to the influence of the Moore Brothers operation in the county 65 miles north of Sacramento.

August 23, 2013
UPDATE: Rim Fire near Yosemite spreads to over 100,000 acres

The Rim Fire in Tuolumne County has devoured 105,620 acres west of Yosemite National Park.

As of Friday morning, the 6-day-old wildfire is 2 percent contained. More than 2,000 firefighters, including 60 from Sacramento Metropolitan Fire, are taming the flames. Multiple communities have been evacuated and a stretch of Highway 120, the main artery into the park, has been closed.

Two homes and seven outbuildings were destroyed along Packard Canyon Road, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Another 2,500 homes, hotels and camp buildings remain threatened along Ferretti Road, north of Highway 120.

August 22, 2013
Redding woman accused of falsifying drivers' drug test results

A federal grand jury in Sacramento has returned a 25-count indictment, accusing a Redding woman of falsifying commercial drivers' drug test results.

Demetri Dearth, 56, is charged with mail fraud and false statements to a government agency, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to the indictment, Dearth was the owner and operator of Advanced Substance Abuse Programs based in Redding. Dearth purported to assist employers of commercial drivers in complying with federal Department of Transportation regulations requiring pre-employment and random drug test of commercial drivers.

August 22, 2013
Sacramento man accused of July shooting in Roseville

vaenuku_poyer.jpgA Sacramento County man was arrested today in a Placer County courtroom in connection with a July 25 attempted robbery and shooting in Roseville.

Poyer Bill Pila Vaenuku (pictured), 28, was ordered into custody this morning while appearing in court on another case, according to a Roseville Police Department news release.

At 1:20 a.m. July 25, a man confronted a woman outside and apartment building in the 1100 block of Conroy Lane in Roseville and demanded her property. When she indicated to the man that she didn't have anything to give him, the man fired a handgun at least three times, police said. Although no one was injured, the rounds went through the window of a nearby apartment, narrowly missing a resident inside.

August 22, 2013
New murder charge filed in Old Sac bar shooting

Prosecutors today added a special-circumstance murder count to the charges faced by a second defendant in the fatal New Year's Eve bar shooting in Old Sacramento.

The District Attorney's Office filed the new murder count against Charles Wesley Fowler-Scholz, 34, in the shooting at the Sports Corner Cafe in which Gabriel Cordova, 35, and Daniel Ferrier, 36, were slain. .

Fowler-Scholz had previously been accused of assault with a deadly weapon. His attorney, Daniel A. Nicholson, said the prosecutors filed the murder charge on an aiding and abetting theory. Deputy District Attorney Anthony Ortiz declined to comment.

August 22, 2013
Rancho Cordova standoff between man, sheriff's deputies ends with arrest

An hour-long standoff between Sacramento County sheriff's deputies and a man inside a Rancho Cordova home has ended with the man incustody, according to authorities.

The incident began about 11:15 a.m. when a caller reported a man walking in the area of the 10900 block of Cristobal Way naked and holding an umbrella. Deputies found him outside, washing his car and still naked, said Sgt. Jason Ramos.

The man "brandished" the umbrella at officers, then dropped it when ordered to do so. The man then "attempted to 'zap'" deputies with bug spray, Ramos said. A deputy used a Taser but it was not successful, and the man ran inside the house.

SWAT members were called to the home. The man was arrested shortly before 12:30 p.m.

Ramos said there had been a possibility that there was a gun in the home, though he had not been observed to be armed. There was nobody in the Cristobal Way home with the man, Ramos said.

August 21, 2013
UPDATE: Man reported barricaded in Rocklin home found dead

A man has been found dead inside a Rocklin home where he was believed to have barricaded himself following a report of domestic violence.

Police received a 911 call at 4:17 p.m. regarding a domestic violence incident involving a man with a gun at the residence in the 1700 block of Piute Street, according to a Police Department news release.

Police said a woman who fled the residence went to a neighbor's house and was safe. The man was believed to be in the house alone.

August 21, 2013
Rancho Cordova man indicted for bank fraud

A Rancho Cordova man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for his alleged role in a scheme to obtain $141,000 worth of gold coins.

Garik Voskanyan, 30, of Rancho Cordova and Karapet Damaryan, 63, of Glendale, are charged with bank fraud and identity theft, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

A federal grand jury returned the two-count indictment Aug. 15. The indictment alleges that Damaryan and Voskanyan were part of a scheme to take control of another person's bank account and wire money to a gold bullion dealer in Placerville in exchange for 96 gold coins worth approximately $141,000. According to court documents, the defendants were caught by Placer County sheriff's deputies when they arrived to take possession of the gold coins.

August 21, 2013
Suspect sought in South Lake Tahoe bank robbery

SLT Bank Robber NO. 1 a.JPGSLT Bank Robber NO. 2 b.JPGSouth Lake Tahoe police seek to identify a suspect in the robbery of the El Dorado Savings ad Loan this morning.

The robbery occurred about 9:30 a.m. at 3443 Lake Tahoe Blvd. Based on surveillance footage, the suspect (pictured) appears to to be a white man in his 50s, approximately 6 feet, 2 inches tall, wearing a beige baseball cap, a short-sleeved plaid button-down shirt, khaki cargo shorts and flip-flop sandals, according to a Police Department news release.

The man walked into the bank and presented the teller with a demand note. He claimed to be armed but did not display a weapon, police said.

August 21, 2013
Seven arrested in Butte County drug trafficking investigation

Seven people have been arrested and methamphetamine and firearms seized after federal and local law enforcement officials served search warrants in Butte County.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Sacramento District Office in cooperation with the Butte County Interagency Narcotics Task Force executed eight federal search warrants. Today's activities followed a 10-month-long investigation of a methamphetamine trafficking organization, according to an announcement by Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce C. Balzano and U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

Arrested today were Federico Sandoval Aguilar and Alejandro Lopez-Corona of Biggs; Rafael Morfin-Medina, Rickey Lee Xiong, Sou Xiong and Cindy Lee Hunter, all of Oroville; and Manual Garcia Navarro, whose place of residence was not given. Five other people, Guillermo Ventura-Lopez, David Milton Eleazar, Neng Chue Xiong, Pao Thao and Jaime Dominguez were not found and are considered fugitives, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration news release.

August 21, 2013
Severely burned kitten rescued in south Sacramento

Burn cat No. 2  080913.jpgThe Humane Society of the United States is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for setting fire to a kitten in south Sacramento.

On Aug. 9, a resident of Manorside Drive reported seeing a young kitten walking down the street in the area of Manorside and Meadowglen Avenue. The witness noticed the kitten because it appeared to be following a person who was walking down the street, according to a Sacramento Animal Care Services news release.

The following day, the same resident found the kitten in his driveway. Officials said it appeared to have been burned and the resident reported a strong smell of gasoline on the animal.

August 21, 2013
Sacramento police arrest two after kids found unsupervised in 'filthy conditions'

MCGHEE, DAMEIAN-42.jpgA Sacramento couple were taken into custody this week after Sacramento police allegedly found nearly a dozen children unsupervised and living in what was described as "filthy" conditions.

The discovery was made after officers responded to a call Monday night about children throwing rocks at a house in the 4700 block of Valley Hi Drive, according to police.

Officers brought the two children back to their home, where they found another seven children, all of whom were not being supervised by an adult, said police Officer Doug Morse.

August 21, 2013
UPDATE: Man struck and killed by train in midtown

RP TRAIN DEATH 21ST AND Rb.jpgA man died this morning when he was struck by a freight train in midtown Sacramento.

Sacramento police spokesman Officer Doug Morse said the man, a pedestrian, was struck about 9:15 a.m. as the train was northbound just south of Q Street near 19th Street. Morse said he did not know whether the man was on or next to the tracks when he was hit.

The man's name and age have not been released pending notification of family. Morse said investigation of the death has been turned over to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

The man was struck in an area with a gravel pathway, but no pavement, along the railroad tracks.

The train remained stopped during the police investigation, backing up traffic south to Broadway, until about 11 a.m.

Photo caption: Firefighters, police and emergency personnel manage the scene where a man was struck and killed by a train near 19th Street in Sacramento on Wednesday morning. Photo by Randy Pench /

August 21, 2013
Off-duty CHP officer arrested for DUI in Olivehurst

After a civilian saw a man acting a little funny, CHP had to arrest one of their own for DUI, Fox40 reported.

August 21, 2013
Sacramento motorcyclist who died in head-on crash is identified

Authorities have identified a Sacramento man who died after his motorcycle collided head-on with a car near San Andreas on Monday.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Calvin Scott, 49, was riding a 1983 Harley-Davidson Sportster east on Lime Creek Road when the accident occurred just before 8 p.m. Scott allowed the motorcycle to go across the center lines of the road and into the path of a 2001 Honda Civic driven by Michael Rice, 22, of Valley Springs.

Rice suffered minor injuries.

August 21, 2013
Update: Rim Fire grows, Swedes Fire 90% contained

The Rim Fire, burning west of Yosemite National Park, continues to grow.

As of Monday morning, the fire has charred 10,170 acres, up from 4,400 acres on Tuesday morning. The out-of-control wildfire burning in remote, steep terrain near Yosemite is still threatening more than 2,000 houses, hotels and camp buildings.

The fire has destroyed two residences and five outbuildings, and about 2,500 structures were under threat in the nearby community of Groveland, the U.S. Forest Service told the Associated Press.

Communities along Ferretti Road are being evacuated, according to the U.S. Forest Service. An eight-mile stretch of Highway 120, Yosemite's main artery, remains closed. The fire is 0 percent contained.

In Butte County, firefighters are closing in on the Swedes Fire, which reached 90 percent containment overnight. Burning southeast of Oroville, the fire has charred 2,462 acres. About 1,300 firefighters remain on the scene, down from 1,500 on Tuesday.

The American Fire near Foresthill has reached 62 percent containment. The fire has burned 15,738 acres so far. Officials caution that growth potential for the fire is still high.

August 20, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to fire captain accused of child pornography?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What was the outcome from Sac Metro Fire Capt. Steve Campbell's arrest for child pornography in December 2008?
Submitted by: SilverFox47, Sacramento

ANSWER: Steven Craig Campbell, a captain with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, was arrested by Citrus Heights police in December 2008, accused of possessing and exchanging images of children in sexual situations.

August 20, 2013
Suspects sought in armed robbery of Lincoln gas station

chevron.jpglottery.jpgThe Lincoln Police Department seeks the public's help in identifying individuals who may be linked to an armed robbery at a Chevron gas station early Friday morning.

About 3 a.m., a light-skinned man, shown in a surveillance photo, robbed the station on Twin Bridges Drive, armed with what appeared to be a small-caliber handgun, according to a Police Department news release. He was wearing blue jeans, a hoodie-type sweatshirt and a full-face ski mask.

The man took cash and lottery tickets.

August 20, 2013
Placerville couple accused of filing false liens against IRS employees

A Placerville couple has been indicted in a tax fraud case that resulted in charges earlier this year against the owner and employees of a Placerville tax preparation business.

Charles and Victoria Tingler were arrested today on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing multimillion-dollar liens against government officials.

The superseding indictment, unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, adds the Tinglers and also adds charges for Teresa Marie Marty. Marty, who owned and operated a tax preparation business called Advanced Financial Services, is also charged with filing liens against the property of three IRS employees and filing liens of at least $84 million against the property of two U.S. Justice Department attorneys.

August 20, 2013
Alleged raccoon skinning leads to arrest of sex offender

Kevin Burroughs pic.JPGA man identified by police as a registered sex offender and parolee at large is in jail after he allegedly was found skinning a raccoon in South Lake Tahoe.

Two officers responded about 2 p.m. Monday to Modesto and Harrison avenues regarding a report of a man using a large knife to skin an animal in an open lot between the Snow Flake Drive-in and the Tahoe Daily Tribune building. When officers arrived, they found a man with bloody hands and an almost completely skinned raccoon, according to a South Lake Tahoe Police Department news release.

As officers began talking to the man, he ran from them, heading west on Harrison Avenue, and the two officers gave chase.

August 20, 2013
Merced man arrested after allegedly arriving at SMF with 14-year-old runaway

A 28-year-old Merced man is in custody in Sacramento County after he allegedly flew a 14-year-old runaway out to California from her home in Connecticut, according to authorities.

Nathan Salas mugshot.jpgThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department alleges that Nathan Salas met the teen online and cultivated a relationship over the course of several months.

Salas allegedly flew out to Connecticut and picked up the girl, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos. Deputies contacted the pair as they arrived at Sacramento International Airport late Monday night, Ramos said.

August 20, 2013
Help sought finding woman last seen at Isleton business

green, susan (1).jpgThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is asking the public's help in finding a woman who went missing after patronizing a business in Isleton more than a week ago.

Susan Green (pictured), also known as Susan Hernandez, was last seen about 10 p.m. Aug. 11. She is considered to be at risk because she is missing under circumstances that are inconsistent with her normal behavior, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Green is described as 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 120 pounds. She has shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing a black shirt, black pants, and a multicolored scarf around her waist.

August 20, 2013
Fire rips through West Sacramento trailer

Fox40 reports a fire ripped through a West Sacramento trailer but four people inside got out safety.

August 20, 2013
Sacramento motorcyclist, 49, dies in head-on collision near San Andreas

A 49-year-old man from Sacramento died after his motorcycle collided head-on with a car near San Andreas.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the man was riding a 1983 Harley Davidson Sporster east on Lime Creek Road when the accident occurred just before 8 p.m. The rider, whose name was not released, allowed the motorcycle to go across the center lines of the road and into the path of a 2001 Honda Civic driven by Michael Rice, 22, of Valley Springs.

The motorcyclist was ejected and landed in the middle of the road. He was wearing a helmet, but it did not meet the requirements for motorcycle helmets, which may have contributed to his fatal injuries, the CHP said.

Rice was wearing a seatbelt and suffered minor injuries. He appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and may face DUI charges after results from a chemical test are returned, the CHP said.

August 20, 2013
Update: Butte County fire 75% contained; American Fire rages on

Firefighters in Butte County are making headway in the Swedes Fire, which is now 75 percent contained.

The Swedes Fire, burning southeast of Oroville, has charred 2,139 acres. About 1,500 firefighter personnel from local, state and federal agencies are taming the flames. All evacuation orders have been lifted, according to Cal Fire.

Near Foresthill, the American Fire continues to rage on, reaching 53 percent containment overnight. The fire now straddles 14,822 acres on extreme slopes and other rugged terrain. More than 1,800 firefighters are battling the flames. Officials expect full containment by Sept. 1.

Meanwhile, the smaller Rim Fire has closed an eight-mile stretch of Highway 120, the major gateway into Yosemite National Park. So far, the fire has burned 4,400 acres.

August 19, 2013
Taylorsville faces voluntary evacuation orders as fire nears

By Jane Braxton Little
Bee Correspondent

Residents of Taylorsville were under voluntary evacuation orders late Monday as a fire sparked by lightning Sunday afternoon moved toward the Plumas County town of around 200 people.

The Mt. Hough fire was over 150 acres burning on the south side of Indian Valley and moving east, said Lee Anne Schramel, a spokeswoman for the Plumas National Forest.

It was one of around 25 fires in the Plumas National Forest, including one burning in a remote area near Homer Lake on Keddie Ridge. Smoke jumpers and Air National Guard C-130 tankers were working to control that and other small fires, Schramel said.

In addition to Taylorsville, Plumas County Sheriff Gregory Hagwood issued voluntary evacuation notices to dozens of homes along Arlington and North Valley roads.

More lightning is expected during the week with an increase in moisture that could aid firefighters, she said.

August 19, 2013
Calif. wins federal court approval to feed hunger-strike inmates

By Sam Stanton

Six weeks after thousands of California state prison inmates began a hunger strike, the state has gone to court for permission to feed any who may be at risk of dying.

The move comes as the number of hunger strikers has dwindled dramatically, with 69 who have refused meals since the protest began and a total of 129 currently refusing meals.

A federal judge agreed to the request this afternoon, which gives the state permission to "refeed" an inmate by providing IV fluids or nourishment or take other life-saving measures if an inmate is at risk of death.

August 19, 2013
Boy, 17, dies in Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay

Associated Press

Deputies say a 17-year-old boy is dead after apparently drowning in Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay.

El Dorado County sheriff's officials say Javon Lamar Green was pulled from the water Saturday morning. His exact cause of death is still under investigation.

Deputies say they responded to reports of a possible drowning in the bay a little after 3 p.m. Friday. Family members in a rented boat told deputies the teen had been swimming toward Fannette Island went he vanished underwater.

Relatives say the boat had been about 25 yards away from the small island.

A California Highway Patrol helicopter and the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office Dive Team searched for the boy, who was eventually found in about 72 feet of water.

View Larger Map

August 19, 2013
Update: Butte County fire consumes nearly 2,000 acres, American Fire 15,000

Firefighters battling flames in Butte County reached 45 percent containment overnight.

The Swedes Fire has burned 1,995 acres and threatens 400 structures southeast of Oroville. On Monday morning, Cal Fire reported one residential structure, one garage, three outbuildings and multiple vehicles destroyed. More than 20 streets in the neighborhoods around Swede Flat Road and Oro Bangor Highway have been evacuated.

Erratic winds and steep terrain make containment a challenge, Cal Fire officials said.. The fire's dynamic nature means evacuation orders can change rapidly, according to a Cal Fire report.

August 18, 2013
Firefighters rescue deer from canal

By Kurt Chirbas
A deer struggling to escape the waters of the Folsom South Canal was pulled to safety late Sunday by Sacramento Metro Fire personnel.

At about 7:18 p.m., Sacramento Metro Fire received a call about a deer in peril. The animal was trapped in a canal and was unable to climb its steep concrete sides to safety, according to reports.

In a rescue mission that lasted roughly 20 minutes, Metro Fire personnel secured ropes around the deer, and then brought her to a ladder area of the canal. Here, additional members helped to remove the deer from the water.

The deer stood on its own and will make a full recovery, officials said. She will be returned to the wild.

August 18, 2013
Two local teenagers die in Sutter County crash

By Kurt Chirbas
Two teenagers died in a car crash on Riego Road in Sutter County at around 10 a.m. Sunday morning. The accident also sent a 23-year-old passenger to the hospital with major injuries.

The three males were traveling eastbound on Riego Road, east of Highway 99, in a 2008 Mazda, according to the California Highway Patrol. The vehicle drifted into the westbound lane of Riego Road, directly into the path of a recreational vehicle, according to reports. The RV carried Roseville residents Paul Kent, 74, and Dolores Kent, 87.

The Mazda ended up in a ditch along Riego Road, said officers.

August 18, 2013
Coroner IDs man fatally shot at north Sacramento home after argument

Sacramento police are investigating a fatal shooting at a north Sacramento home Saturday night that occurred as a result of an argument.

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office today identified the victim as 49-year-old Elijio Garza.

At 6:40 p.m. Saturday, police were called to a shooting in the 3300 block of Nareb Street. Officers found Garza who had been shot once in the upper torso.

He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

August 18, 2013
American Fire grows to nearly 13,000 acres; Swedes Fire threatens 700 structures near Oroville

Bee staff

Firefighters continue to battle the growing American Fire - on Deadwood Ridge eight miles from Foresthill - that has consumed nearly 13,000 acres, federal and state fire agencies reported this morning.

Besides the American Fire, the state's attention is focusing on a fire in Butte County in which 700 structures are threatened and evacuations are planned.

The American Fire is 45 percent contained, but its located in steep and hazardous terrain has made establishing perimeters difficult, officials said.

No populated areas are threatened, officials reported, but the heavy brush and other fuels have created large amounts of smoke, creating a significant issue for the Sierra foothills, Tahoe, and Sacramento Valley.

August 17, 2013
Amber Alert called off, children recovered in Sacramento

Lillyanna_Ramires.jpgBy Richard Chang

The Amber Alert for two missing girls out of Elko, Nev. has been canceled after the girls' mother turned them over to police, authorities announced this morning.

The California Highway Patrol issued an Amber Alert for the children, Lillyanna Ramirez, 9, and Martin Angel Rosales II, 3, after they were reported missing by the Elko, Nev. Police Department. The children were believed to be with Martin Cisneras Rosales, 33, and Amber Schenck, 29.

Schenck, the mother of the two youngsters, surrendered to a Sacramento police officer at the 400 block of Richards Boulevard early today, according to department spokesman Doug Morse. The children were with her and were taken into protective custody. Rosales, who is the father of the 3-year-old boy, was not with the others and his whereabouts remain unknown.

August 16, 2013
Police say gas station patron might aid South Lake Tahoe homicide investigation

patron e.JPGPatron Truck.jpgSouth Lake Tahoe police seek help in identifying a USA gas station patron, who is believed to have been among the last people to interact with a clerk at the business before the clerk was fatally shot the night of Aug. 8 by an unidentified suspect.

Detectives have been poring over several items of evidence, including the video produced by the station's security cameras. They previously released a short video clip of a man inspecting the rear of the business on the day before the killing in hopes of identifying him. Police also have discovered another individual on the security video who they hope to identify with the public's help.

Because the man pictured in the video was among the last patrons to interact with the clerk, 27-year-old Manpreet Singh, before Singh was shot, detectives believe he might have seen or witnessed something that could prove valuable to their investigation, according to a Police Department news release.

August 16, 2013
Body spotted by boater recovered from Sacramento River

Sacramento police say there are no signs of foul play in the death of man whose body was recovered from the Sacramento River this afternoon.

Sacramento Fire Department crews were called to an area along the river near Riverside Boulevard and Sutterville Road shortly before 4 p.m. after a body was reported in the water. Sacramento Police Department spokesman Officer Doug Morse said the body was spotted by a boater in the area, who called police.

Fire crews recovered the body, which Morse said was that of a adult male.

Morse said the coroner responded and reported that the death did not appear to be suspicious. He said investigation into the cause of death has been turned over to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

August 16, 2013
Two arrested, drugs seized in Folsom police investigatIon

Soellner.jpgDiaz-Perez.jpgA two-month investigation by Folsom police detectives has culminated in the arrest of two men and seizure of a large quantity of methamphetamine, heroin and cash.

Arrested Wednesday were Edward W. Soellner (left photo), 45, of Orangevale, and Francisco DeJesus Diaz-Perez (right photo), 23, of San Ysidro.

The investigation had focused on Soellner, who is suspected of supplying methamphetamine to residents of Folsom and Orangevale, according to a Police Department news release. Diaz-Perez was allegedly the source of Soellner's supply.

August 16, 2013
7 acres burn on parkway near site of earlier fires

A fast-moving grass fire on the American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova has been contained after burning about 7 acres.

Capt. Christopher Quinn of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District said the fire was reported about 3 p.m. near the El Manto access off Ambassador Drive. No homes were threatened.

He said the fire was in the same general area as three other grass fires believed to have been deliberately set along the parkway in recent weeks. Investigators are trying to determine whether there are any links between today's fire and the earlier incidents, Quinn said.

August 16, 2013
Help sought to locate teen missing from North Natomas home

Chase Felgenhauer.jpgThe Sacramento Police Department is asking the public's help in locating a 16-year-old boy who has been missing since Wednesday.

Chase Felgenhauer (pictured) was last seen as he left his home in the 400 block of Hawkcrest Circle in the North Natomas area, headed to school, according to a Police Department news release.

He left home riding his red and silver mountain bike. He never arrived at school, and no one has reported seeing him since that morning. Police said the teenager's family is concerned about his welfare.

August 16, 2013
UPDATE: Fire near Diamond Springs reported contained at 100 acres, home burned

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reports that a wildfire in the Diamond Springs area has been contained after burning 100 acres, including one residence and multiple outbuildings.

As of 4:30 p.m., fire crews were mopping up hot spots, and area residents who had been advised to evacuate earlier in the afternoon were being allowed to return to their homes, said Teri Mizuhara, a spokeswoman for Calfire's Amador-El Droado Unit.

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office reported evaucation of the Lake Oaks Mobile Home Park and along Patterson Road in Diamond Springs due to the fire, which started shortly before 2 p.m.

Calfire reported that the fire began in the area of Koki Lane and Pleasant Valley Road, near Union Mine High School.

Sheriff's Department spokesman Lt. Tim Becker said people in the evacuation area were advised to go to the Firemen's Hall at 501 Main St. in Diamond Springs.

Placerville police sent out an email alert stating that students from Charles Brown Elementary School were being transported to Herbert Green Middle School, 3781 Forni Road, and parents were advised to pick them up there.

Mizuhara said fire crews will be going through the burned area to investigate the cause of the fire and assess the damage.

August 16, 2013
Sheriff's Department: Two arrested in connection with Caymus Park homicide

Two men are in custody in connection with the shooting death of a 42-year-old man at Caymus Park earlier this week, authorities say.

Anthony Roberson-Anders, 28, and Kevin Henry, 25, have been booked into the Kern County Jail on suspicion of murder, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department says. They stand accused in the death of Colen Lugo.

Sgt. Jason Ramos confirmed today that detectives suspect Lugo was shot during a marijuana deal between him and the suspects. He said the suspects and the victim did not know each other before the transaction, which took place about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

August 16, 2013
UPDATE: Motorcylist dies in collision with van in Elk Grove

Elk Grove police are investigating a collision between a motorcycle and a van this morning in which a 52-year-old motorcyclist died.

Officers were called to the 8200 block of Laguna Boulevard at 7:55 a.m. and found that a minivan making a left turn from a designated turn lane on Laguna Boulevard had collided with a motorcycle that was westbound on Laguna, according to a Police Department news release. The motorcyclist was thrown from the vehicle and suffered fatal injuries. He has not been identified pending notification of family.

The driver of the minivan was not injured.

Anyone with information regarding the collision is asked to call the Elk Grove Police Department Traffic Bureau at (916) 478-8148.

August 16, 2013
American Fire spreads to more than 7,000 acres

Overnight the American Fire raged on, burning 7,367 acres and bringing containment down to 31 percent.

As of today, an emergency closure order is in place for National Forest System lands within and adjacent to the fire. A map of the closed area is available at Tahoe National Forest offices and online at

The fire is located about 10 miles northeast of Foresthill, and last night the fire moved up Secret Canyon to Ford Point. Officials said the fire is likely to continue growing due to heavy fuels and steep slopes.

August 15, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was anyone arrested in teen's 1989 shooting death?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What happened after the death of Keith Porter? He was 18 years old, killed by gun violence.
Submitted by: Stacy, Sacramento

ANSWER: The shooting death of 18-year-old Donald Keith Porter on March 10, 1989, remains unsolved.

August 15, 2013
UPDATE: Mining structure destroyed as American fire burns 5,420 acres

The American fire continued to grow today, and one mining structure in a historic area has been destroyed.

The fire, which began Saturday afternoon in the Deadwood Ridge area northeast of Foresthill in Placer County, was reported 35 percent contained this evening and has burned 5,420 acres.

Jane LaBoa, a public information officer with the U.S. Forest Service, said the mining structure that burned was in one of the area's historic mining districts, but officials have not disclosed the specific location.

August 15, 2013
Placer, Elk Grove programs offer behind-scene look at law enforcement

Placer County and Elk Grove residents interested in gaining insight to law enforcement in their respective communities can sign up for citizens academies.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office will offer its eight-session Community Awareness Academy beginning Sept. 4 and concluding Sept. 30. Participants will have an opportunity to hear from members of the department's special units and take field trips to the Placer County Jail and morgue, 911 dispatch center and air operations hangar.

Classes, scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, will be held in the Community Room at the Placer County sheriff's headquarters, 2929 Richardson Drive, in the Dewitt Center in north Auburn.

August 15, 2013
update: Children's Receiving Home counselor suspected of sex acts with minor, police say

Sacramento police have arrested a counselor at the Children's Receiving Home of Sacramento on suspicion of sex acts with a 16-year-old girl living at the home, according to authorities.

Theresa Gooch, 24, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of multiple sexual offenses with a person under the age of 18, according to a Sacramento Police Department news release. Charges are expected to include oral sex counts and molestation of a minor, the release states.

The charges stem from a relationship that the suspect developed with the victim from September 2012 through February, said police Officer Doug Morse. That relationship allegedly involved inappropriate touching as well as sex acts.

August 15, 2013
Dixon man arrested in sex assault at apartment complex

Dixon police have arrested a man in connection with a sexual assault that occurred Wednesday evening outside an apartment complex.

Officers were called to 252 West H St. about 7 p.m. and found that a 20-year-old woman had been sexually assaulted in what police spokesman Lt. Nathan Steele said appeared to be a random attack.

During their investigation, officers identified the suspect as Jimmy Lavalle Jr., 38, of Dixon. He was arrested and booked into Solano County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, sodomy, terrorist threats and providing false identification to a police officer.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the Dixon Police Department Investigations Division at (707) 678-7070.

August 15, 2013
Elk Grove woman headed to prison for mortgage fraud scheme

Hoda Samuel, an Elk Grove real estate broker, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for her role in a mortgage fraud scheme that caused more than $5.5 million in loss.

Samuel, 62, owned and operated the real estate agency Liberty Real Estate & Investment Co. and Liberty Mortgage Co., according to evidence presented during her trial in U.S. District Court in Sacramento. The government presented evidence of 30 fraudulent sales transactions between April 5, 2006, and Feb. 26, 2007. She was the real estate agent for the buyer in 29 of the home sales, and in at least 15, she also represented the seller.

Each transaction involved false statements on loan applications in order for unqualified buyers to qualify for the loans, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. These included false statements about income, employment and rental history.

August 15, 2013
Man with Alzheimer's reported missing from North Highlands home

Garcia Missing person[1].jpgThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is asking the public's help in locating a North Highlands man who suffers from dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Pedro Garcia (pictured), 72, was last seen in the 5700 block of San Ardo Way about 6 a.m. today, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

He is described as Hispanic, 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds. He has a shaved head and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing a light-blue shirt, green pants, black shoes and a plaid, short-brimmed hat. He reportedly leans slightly to the side when standing or walking, due to a physical ailment.

August 15, 2013
Update: Police say body found in American River not suspicious

A boater discovered a floating male body in the American River Thursday morning.

Fire crews went to the scene shortly before 9 a.m. to retrieve the body, which was found near the end of North Fifth Street.

Circumstances surrounding the death do not appear to be suspicious, according to police. The body will be turned over to the coroner for further investigation.

August 15, 2013
Update: American Fire burns nearly 5,000 acres, reaches 35 percent containment

smoke.jpgThe American Fire has burned 4,958 acres since Saturday, but firefighters are making a dent in containment - 35 percent as of Thursday morning.

Utah fire destroys 14 homes near resort town.

The fire is still moving in a northeasterly direction, but Jerry Westfall, spokesman with the Tahoe National Forest, said there is good news for further containment. Firefighters have formed a line west of Dead Ridge Road and another by Last Chance, he said. There have been no historical structures damaged, no evacuations and no injuries, and the personnel figure has remained at 873 since Wednesday.

Heavy smoke continues to impact visibility and air quality in the Sierra foothill, the Lake Tahoe area and the Sacramento Valley. An air quality warning was issued for Placer County on Wednesday, but Westfall noted that the smoke tends to clear up by the afternoon with wind. Large amounts of smoke in these areas is still expected for several days.

The fire began on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. roughly 10 miles northeast of Foresthill in the Tahoe National Forest. Westfall said that the forest service re-measured the location of the fire yesterday, concluding that 10 miles from Foresthill by air is a more accurate figure than the previously reported 17 miles by car.

PHOTO CAPTION: Smoke continues to drift into the Sacramento Valley from the American Fire. Fox40 video image

August 15, 2013
Landscaper in East Sacramento robbed of lawnmower

A landscaper in East Sacramento was robbed at gunpoint and the thief took his lawnmower.

Fox40 reports lawnmower thefts aren't all that uncommon.

August 14, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to teen who killed father's girlfriend?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Back in the '80s, a woman I worked with was strangled by her boyfriend's son. He then stole her black Pontiac Trans Am with the license plate "JERI" and fled the state. I believe the killing occurred somewhere in Sacramento County at her boyfriend's home. What happened with that case? Did they ever catch him?
Submitted by: GT, Roseville

ANSWER: Paul Garcia was convicted of the May 1993 beating and strangulation death of his father's girlfriend, 38-year-old Geraldine Marie Fisher, and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

August 14, 2013
UPDATE: American fire grows to 3,950 acres, smoke prompts air quality warning

The American fire, which has burned 3,950 acres in the past five days, is reported 10 percent contained.

In an update this evening, fire officials reported that the fire continues to burn in heavy fuels, on very steep slopes, and access to the area is limited. The fire today was active on both the north and south ends, burning south to the Grouse Creek Trail and north up the drainage of the river drainage

No communities are threatened and there have been no evacuations. Firefighter continue to protect historic mining structures on the southeast side of the fire.

August 14, 2013
South Lake Tahoe police recover items stolen in vacation rental burglaries

A stolen motorcycle and neighbors who reported a man acting suspiciously led to recovery of items stolen in recent burglaries of several vacation rentals in South Lake Tahoe.

About 9 a.m. Tuesday, South Lake Tahoe police officers were conducting an investigation in the area of Elwood Avenue when they noticed a man standing next to motorcycle. The officers observed that after the man saw them, he left the motorcycle and began walking away from it.

When officers concluded their business in the area, the were told by neighbors that the man seemed to be acting suspiciously and had taken off on foot after police were out of his line of sight.

August 14, 2013
Erratic driving reported before Folsom collision

Folsom police are investigating a collision that sent two people to the hospital this afternoon.

Officers and fire crews responded to the crash on Folsom Boulevard at Iron Point Road at 2:52 p.m. Witnesses told police that the driver of one of the vehicles, a sport-utility vehicle, had been seen driving erratically on Highway 50 before exiting at Folsom Boulevard.

The SUV driver, a woman, continued to travel at unsafe speeds, passing vehicles as she approached slow-moving traffic on Iron Point Road, according to a Police Department news release. After passing several vehicles on the right side of the roadway, she tried to change lanes, moving to the left at an unsafe speed and sideswiping a red BMW, witnesses told police. Both vehicles ended up in the median, where the SUV struck a tree.

August 14, 2013
Two accused of sweepstakes scams targeting seniors

Two Washington state residents were indicted today by a federal grand jury in Sacramento for running a sweepstakes scam targeting senior citizens in Woodland, Stockton, Bakersfield and other communities.

Joseph Nkunzi, 30, and Safia Ahmed, 37, were arrested in Washington on July 30. A magistrate judge detained them as flight risks and ordered them transported to Sacramento, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. They were charged today with eight counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.The indictment also alleges that the scheme involved telemarketing conduct that victimized individuals older than 55, which carries enhanced penalties, officials said.

According to court documents, on April 26, the Sacramento FBI received a referral from the Woodland Police Department regarding a 78-year-old victim of a telemarketing lottery scam. She had been called by a company, "North American Prize Pool," and told that she had won $8.8 million, but to receive the prize, she had to send $182,000 to various accounts. An investigation into those accounts led to Nkunzi,Ahmed and others involved in the scheme.

August 14, 2013
Yolo bus driver convicted of sex crimes against mentally disabled client

A bus driver for Yolo Employment Services has been convicted of sex crimes against a mentally disabled woman.

A Yolo County jury on Aug. 8 convicted 74-year-old Thomas Vukodinovich of numerous sex crimes, including one count of rape and one count of attempted rape. The adult victim was legally unable to give consent to the sexual acts due to her mental disability, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release.

Vukodinovich had been employed by Yolo Employment Services as a bus driver since 2005. His primary responsibility was to provide transportation to mentally disabled clients, including the victim, who is moderately mentally disabled, officials said.

August 14, 2013
Two Sacramento-area men identified as homicide victims in Monterey County

Two Sacramento-area men were found shot to death near Highway 101 in Monterey County late Sunday night, according to authorities.

The men were identified today as Navneal Singh, 22, and Demetrius Isaiah Safford, 23, both of the Sacramento area, a news release from the Monterey County Sheriff's Office states.

Shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday, a passing motorist found the bodies on the ground near the back of a car parked on Dunbarton Road in the Aromas area, an earlier press release stated. The motorist called deputies, who discovered that the two men had been shot to death.

August 14, 2013
South Lake Tahoe man arrested in woman's stabbing death

Sean Paul MacIntire.jpgA 32-year-old man was arrested early this morning in connection with a fatal stabbing at a South Lake Tahoe residence.

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department received a 911 call about 1:45 a.m. from a woman who said that her adult son, 32-year-old Sean-Paul Andrew MacIntire (pictured), had just stabbed a family member who had been sleeping on a couch at the home on Wildwood Avenue, south of Pioneer Trail. The caller said she thought the victim, a 57-year-old woman, was dead and told the 911 operator that her son was still at the residence, a Police Department news release states.

Officers responded and arrested MacIntire inside the home. Police said medical personnel attempted to resuscitate the victim, who was transported to Barton Memorial Hospital, where she was declared dead.

August 14, 2013
Two dead in Butte County plane crash identified as PG&E contractors

Two people were killed in a plane crash Tuesday morning about five miles from Paradise in Butte County.

Sheriff's officials said the two bodies are scorched - the plane was found engulfed in flames - and can't be identified yet. But Paul Moreno, spokesperson for PG&E, identified them as contract workers for the company.

Moreno said one was employed by AA Aerial Services and the other by Frontline Energy Services. The two victims were conducting an air patrol over a natural gas pipeline before the crash.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the employees at AA Aerial Services and Frontline Energy Services and their families," Moreno said.

August 14, 2013
Update: Father of 10 fatally shot at southeast Sacramento County park

By Kristopher Rivera and Kim Minugh

Last week, Caymus Park was the site of a National Night Out party - an annual celebration of community and street crime prevention. Wednesday morning, however, it was the scene of a fatal shooting.

photo (1) (1).JPG

Colen Lugo, Sr., 43, was gunned down as he sat in his white moving truck, stopped next to the Vineyard-area park about 11:30 a.m. Witnesses described a scene of marijuana and blood, and law enforcement confirmed marijuana was found near the truck.

The victim's distraught wife, Antoinette Lugo, arrived at the scene and pleaded with investigators to let her see her husband's body.

"What am I suppose to do without him?" she cried.

August 14, 2013
Man dead after forklift accident identified

The man who died after being pinned under a forklift early Tuesday is Armando Estrada, a 42-year-old resident of Sacramento.

Estrada was operating a forklift that had rolled over, trapping him at about 3 a.m. at Elk Grove Milling on Eschinger Road. Hours later, officials confirmed that the accident resulted in a fatality.

August 14, 2013
Charges dismissed against woman in airline ticket case

Charges against a woman arrested at Sacramento International Airport after allegedly attempting to use an airline ticket purchased online with a stolen credit card were later dismissed.

According to Sacramento Superior Court online records, two counts of obtaining personal identity information and using it for unlawful purposes, filed against Jeanine Dashawnda Fuell in December 2009, were dismissed by the court in May 2010.

Bee staff

August 14, 2013
Big rig crash slows traffic on Highway 99

Two big rigs crashed on Highway 99 this morning, blocking two lanes of traffic near Mack Road.

According to California Highway Patrol, the crash was reported at 7:58 a.m., northbound on the way from Elk Grove to Sacramento. Traffic is moving on the shoulder and no detours have been set up yet.

It is unclear whether there are any serious injuries, but ambulances are responding, CHP officials said.

August 14, 2013
American Fire burning near Foresthill grows to more than 3,000 acres

By Janelle Bitker

The fire north of Foresthill grew from about 1,900 acres to 3,050 acres overnight. Firefighters said Wednesday morning the blaze is now 5 percent contained.

The American Fire in Placer County, which started about 4:30 p.m. Saturday on Deadwood Ridge about 17 miles northeast of Foresthill, continues to move in a northeasterly direction. Firefighters are working to protect the cultural resources at the historic community of Last Chance.

"Last Chance is still on the very edge of the fire," said Kathy Van Zuuk, Tahoe National Forest spokesperson. "We haven't lost any historical structures yet."

August 13, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man convicted of killing teen in early 1990s?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: I know there was a conviction for the murder of 14-year-old Kimberly Hill, who was killed the summer of 1992. Her body was found on White Rock Road, I believe. What happened to the man convicted of killing her?
Submitted by: Jamie, Sacramento

ANSWER: Shane Alan Schmitt was convicted of first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of Kimberly Hill.

August 13, 2013
Searches result in seven arrests involving weapons, drugs

Cristiano Cisneros mugshot.jpgLouis Cisneros mugshot.jpgVictor Cisneros mugshot.jpgDavid Cisneros mugshot.jpgRoland Cisneros mugshot.jpgOscar Cisneros mugshot.jpgAnthony Reece mugshot.jpgSix members of a family were among seven people arrested today in an operation that resulted in the seizure of weapons and drugs throughout Sacramento County.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department's IMPACT Division served search warrants at seven residences in Sacramento County, Roseville and West Sacramento. The operation was conducted in response to increasing violence in north Sacramento County this year, including an incident in which an unknown assailant shot at undercover sheriff's deputies last month, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Arrested and booked into Sacramento County Jail were (pictured from top left) Cristiano Cisneros, 21, Louis Cisneros, 22, Victor Cisneros, 25, David Cisneros, 26, Roland Cisneros, 43, Oscar Cisneros, 44 and Anthony Reece, 25. Sheriff's officials said the men, collectively, face multiple charges, including possession of controlled substances for sale, possession of controlled substances while armed with loaded firearms, possession of an assault weapon, criminal conspiracy, violations of probation and felony child endangerment.

August 13, 2013
Police seek possible witness in South Lake Tahoe killing

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department is asking the public's help in identifying a man who may have information regarding the shooting death of a USA gas station clerk last week.

In the late afternoon or early evening of Aug. 5, the man was observed walking in the vicinity of the gas station, according to a Police Department news release. Detectives seek to identify the man shown in a video clip as a possible witness. He is described as a white man, with light brown or bond hair, wearing a light-colored polo shirt.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Police Department by calling (530) 542-6100, or online at A reward for information leading to solution of the case has been increased to $6,000 as a result of contributions by local business owners.

August 13, 2013
Doctor at Ione prison reported injured in attack by inmate

PERRY, ROBERT D. K99205.jpgA staff physician at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione is reportedly recovering from injuries suffered Monday when she was attacked by an inmate.

Shortly after 8 a.m., inmate Robert Daniel Perry, 61, arrived for a medical appointment at the prison. Without warning, he grabbed the doctor by her hair and started choking her, a Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation news release states.

During the struggle, the doctor activated her personal alarm device. Other medical staff members responded and grabbed the doctor from the inmate's hold, officials said.

August 13, 2013
New FBI chief tapped for Sacramento field office

Miller-Monica-07-13 (PUB).JPGBy Sam Stanton

A veteran agent with experience in violent crimes and public corruption has been named to take over the FBI's Sacramento field office.

Monica M. Miller (pictured) was named to replace Herb M. Brown, who left earlier this year to become head of the Central California Intelligence Center.

Miller comes to the post from her job as the FBI's senior detailee to the Central Intelligence Agency, where she oversaw counterespionage personnel.

Miller, who will over see FBI operations stretching from the Oregon border to south of Bakersfield, joined the FBI in 1989. Prior to that she served in military intelligence in the U.S. Army.

August 13, 2013
Update: American Fire north of Foresthill grows to 1,750 acres

fire.JPGJanelle Bitker

Crews continue to work to get a line around a fire that has burned approximately 1,750 acres in a heavily forested area north of Foresthill in Placer County.

The American Fire, which started about 4:30 p.m. Saturday on Deadwood Ridge about 17 miles northeast of Foresthill, has not threatened any communities and there have been no evacuations, according to an updated incident report today at 8:15 a.m. The fire is still moving north toward the historic community of Last Chance. Firefighters are working to protect cultural resources.

Forty people were added to the firefighting effort since Monday night, bringing the crew total up to 318 people. Multiple Forest Service and Cal Fire engines, air tankers, helicopters and smokejumpers are being utilized, with more resources on order.

August 12, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was anyone convicted in 1980s slaying of Placer cabinetmaker?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: In south Placer County, a cabinetmaker was found dead in his home. His name was Robert DeRungs. Did they ever catch the suspect?
Submitted by: Willie, Roseville

ANSWER: Three men pleaded guilty for their roles in the 1986 execution-style slaying of Robert DeRungs during a robbery at his home on Cook-Riolo Road near Roseville.

August 12, 2013
Folsom police to target drivers endangering pedestrians

The Folsom Police Department is warning motorists of planned decoy operations targeting drivers who disobey pedestrian safety laws.

During August and September, the department will send out teams on two separate dates looking for violations. The teams will use a police officer in plain clothes, who will lawfully cross the street, while uniformed officers in marked patrol vehicles will be nearby to stop any driver who does not yield for the pedestrian.

Although the dates and locations of the decoy operations will not be announced, police said they will focus on certain violations:

August 12, 2013
Davis police say stabbings at party may be gang related

Davis police are investigating two stabbings that reportedly occurred early Sunday morning when a fight erupted during a party at an apartment complex.

Officers responded to a report of a large fight at 2033 F St. shortly after 2 a.m., and additional callers reported hearing gunshots west of the apartment complex, according to a Police Department news release.

When officers arrived, they located a male who had been stabbed. Officers learned that a party in the complex had gotten out of control and a large fight had erupted among the guests. The victim was stabbed during the fight and suffered major injuries, police said.

August 12, 2013
Man convicted of murder in shooting outside Gold River business

A Sacramento County jury today convicted Anthony Michael Vigil of first-degree murder in 2011 shooting of a man outside his Gold River business.

The jury also found the allegation was true that Vigil used a firearm in killing Michael Paul Gonzales Jr., according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

Vigil, 48, was arrested following the shooting, which occurred shortly after 10 p.m. Oct. 6, 2011.

August 12, 2013
Man dies in fatal car crash on Highway 50

A man died in a car accident on Highway 50 at about 8:45 a.m.

California Highway Patrol said the car was traveling westbound near Sunrise Boulevard and collided into a second vehicle. After the side swipe, the car crashed into the center median.

A lane was closed and slowing down traffic for about an hour. The cause of death is under investigation, according to the CHP.

August 12, 2013
Man gets 35-to-life for killing at Sikh sports festival

Gurpreet Singh Gosal.jpgA man convicted of second-degree murder in a shooting death five years ago at a sports festival at a Sikh temple five years ago has been sentenced to 35 years to life in prison.

Gurpreet Singh Gosal, 28, received the term from Sacramento Superior Court Judge Greta Curtis Fall for the Aug. 31, 2008, killing of Parjit Pamma Singh, 26.

Gosal was convicted under an aiding and abetting theory. Authorities believe that a second suspect, Amandeep Singh Dhami, who had a previous dispute with Singh, was the gunman. Dhami escaped from the festival the day of the shooting and was never arrested. He is believed to be living in India.

August 12, 2013
Police prepare for DUI crackdown in Sacramento County

Local police officers will take part in the nationwide drunk driving crackdown, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," from Friday through Labor Day.

Plans include five DUI checkpoints and 12 roving DUI patrols in Sacramento County, according to police officials.

It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

In 2011, 9,878 people died in drunk driving accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In California, 774 were killed - 11 over the Labor Day weekend. Officers also point to younger drivers - among the 18- to 34-year-old drivers killed in road accidents over the holiday weekend last year, 42 percent were driving under the influence.

August 12, 2013
Mobile homes on fire in Roseville

Two mobile homes, several cars and outbuildings are burning in Roseville.

At about 7 a.m., Sacramento Metro Fire and Cal Fire responded to reports of flames on Doolittle Drive. According to Cal Fire officials at 8:30 a.m., the fire was under control but still not contained.

Several gas lines are down, and crews have requested PG&E and SMUD. Officials said Red Cross was also requested

The cause is under investigation.

August 11, 2013
Police: Babysitter may have given pot to 9-month-old

Sacramento police officers are investigating a case in which a 9-month old baby boy may have been given pot by his babysitter.

At 11:11 p.m. Saturday, police responded to Kaiser Permanente Hospital, 6600 block of Bruceville Road, on a report that a baby had been brought into the emergency room and had tested positive for THC, a chemical usually found in marijuana.

The mother had picked up her child from the babysitter and noticed that the baby was acting strangely, so the mother immediately brought him to the hospital.

Child Protective Services has been notified, and officers are continuing to investigate the case.

August 10, 2013
Man arrested after short pursuit ends in car crash

By Kurt Chirbas

A man was arrested by Sacramento police early Friday following a short pursuit that ended in a car crash.

At 1:44 a.m., a police officer pulled over Rafael Alvarado, 22, on suspicion of drunken driving near Folsom Boulevard and Notre Dame Drive. As the officer was about to exit his vehicle, Alvarado sped off in his vehicle, the Sacramento Police Department reported.

Alvarado drove west on Folsom Boulevard before losing control of his vehicle and crashing near 65th Street.

A short foot pursuit followed before officers took Alvarado into custody.

Alvarado was arrested on suspicion of felony evading a police officer-driving in a reckless manner and five misdemeanors, including driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. He is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail at Sacramento County Main Jail.

August 9, 2013
Seven people injured in south Sacramento County crash

The California Highway Patrol is investigating a collision in south Sacramento County that sent seven people hospital with injuries late this afternoon.

The crash occurred about 5:15 p.m. on Calvine Road just east of Cliffcrest Drive and involved three vehicles, including one with six occupants, according to a CHP news release.

A Hyundai Elantra was traveling westbound on Calvine east of Cliffcrest. For reasons that have not been determined, the vehicle crossed over the raised center median and sideswiped an eastbound Honda CRV. The Hyundai continued traveling west in the eastbound lanes and collided with a Honda Pilot, which was traveling behind the CRV. The Hyundai then spun out of control and the right rear passenger door struck a tree.

August 9, 2013
Clerk killed in South Lake Tahoe shooting identified

The South Lake Tahoe gas station clerk fatally shot Tuesday night has been identified as 27-year-old Manpreet Ghuman Singh.

Singh died after suffering a single bullet wound to his upper torso, according to a South Lake Tahoe Police Department news release. Police said robbery does not appear to have been involved.

Although a suspect has not been identified, police said it appears the crime was committed by a lone individual.

August 9, 2013
South Lake Tahoe police warn of vacation rental scam

South Lake Tahoe police are advising vacation home owners, rental companies and visitors to the area to beware of an Internet scam conducted through vacation rental websites.

At least three families have been victims of the scam, and police suspect there may be additional victims who have not reported the crime.

The scam, according to a Police Department news release, involves false postings on legitimate vacation rental websites advertising rental properties available in South Lake Tahoe. The fraudulent postings appear alongside legitimate postings and include photographs of residences in the area, which make the postings appear authentic.

August 9, 2013
Davis police issue warning on door-to-door solicitations

The Davis Police Department is warning of a possible scam involving a door-to-door solicitor.

In June and July, police received complaints from two residents who appear to have been victims of fraud, according to a Police Department news release. Both victims reported that a man who appeared to be between 20 and 25 years old came to their door as a solicitor wearing an ID badge around his neck. The man was described as black, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a slim build and nicely dressed.

In each case, police said, the man stated that he was soliciting for Urban Development Solutions, a charitable organization that assists underprivileged youth.

August 9, 2013
Alpacas killed in dog attack at Yuba College farm

Yuba County Animal Control officers are searching for two dogs that attacked and killed seven alpacas on the Yuba College farm this morning.

College officials reported that the attack occurred about 6 a.m. Veterinary technology faculty members Scott Haskell and Bonnie Loghry saw two large, black dogs running from the scene but were unable to catch them.

The dogs were able to get to the alpacas by digging under the fence. Fencing on the farm is old, and although it is strong enough to keep animals in, it is not strong enough to keep predators out, according to a college news release.

August 9, 2013
Former fugitive sentenced in 12-year-old sex crime case

A man was sentenced today in El Dorado County Superior Court to 138 years to life in prison for acts of sexual misconduct committed more than a decade ago.

An El Dorado County jury in July convicted Patrick Senatore, 45, of 10 felony counts of sexual misconduct.

In October 2001, two children reported incidents of sexual misconduct and forcible rape to the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department. In May 2002, while the investigation was under way, Senatore fled the state, according to a District Attorney's Office news release. In March 2010, the District Attorney's Office initiated a fugitive apprehension investigation.