richie litigation

Popular Musician Claims Police Brutality Following House Party, Arrest in San Bernardino

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (FOX 11) – Up-and-coming singer Jesus Ortiz Paz, a popular musician within the Latino community, is accusing the San Bernardino Police Department of police brutality after he was arrested over the weekend following a house party.

Ortiz Paz says police officers left him bruised and bloodied after his face was slammed by officers. Police say he was resisting arrest.

The incident began at about 10 p.m. May 11 after police received several calls about a loud party at a home in the 700 block of West 27th Street that included fireworks, according to the San Bernardino Police Department. They say when officers showed up, the partygoers became unruly and refused to turn down their music or cooperate with officers’ orders.

Video and Article Courtesy of: FoxLA.com

  darrensuperadmin   May 15, 2019   Popular Musician Claims Police Brutality Following House Party   Comments Off on Popular Musician Claims Police Brutality Following House Party, Arrest in San Bernardino Read More

Whistleblower Lawsuits Blow Lid Off UCSB Police

Former Police chief Dustin Olson

Former Police Chief Dustin Olson

Four UCSB police officers have filed suit against the UC Regents and UCSB, alleging offensive and demoralizing workplace activities that persisted despite repeated alerts to the then Police Chief Dustin Olson, his deputy chief, and his lieutenants, and that their complaints resulted in retaliatory actions against them. The allegations include charges of racist talk and sexually offensive videos — one even from a sexual assault video held in evidence — all for the entertainment of officers.

Lieutenant Mark Signa was the first to file suit, asserting he’d gone on stress leave in June 2018 after 28 years of service in UCSB’s Police Department. In his complaint, Signa states he conveyed to department brass his and other officers’ concerns about Sergeant Ryan Smith, who made “dick jokes” while female officers were present. Signa claims Olson, then-deputy chief Cathy Farley, Lieutenant David Millard, and Sergeant Robert Romero acted to protect Smith.

Corporal Tiffany Little and her husband, Corporal Michael Little, filed their complaint in Santa Barbara Superior Court on March 19, 2019. Both the Littles and Signa are represented by Richie Litigation, a Los Angeles law firm. The Littles’ lawsuit makes allegations similar to Signa’s, adding that their prospects for advancement were deliberately curtailed and their choice of work hours limited though they had seniority. Michael Little claims he lost his firearm instructor status and was denied a computer forensics position despite 25 years of experience. Tiffany Little alleges that after she made a complaint on UCSB’s whistleblower system in September 2018, her belongings were thrown in the trash, her house was egged, and she was given the silent treatment from her superiors.

Tiffany Little’s whistleblower complaint had to do with 2016 event on campus that resulted in conflicting stories. Little states she reported to Sergeant Smith that an officer repeatedly entered the students’ residence hall for unexplained lengths of time during which his radio was turned off and he did not respond to calls for police assistance. Smith did nothing, she alleges. Signa also states these alleged transgressions took place and that more than one officer was involved. Signa claimed that Smith didn’t want to act against these officers who were his close friends and that Chief Olson said he wanted the whole situation to go away quietly.

On March 27, 2019, another suit was filed, this time by an anonymous man, John Doe, contesting some parts of Lt. Signa and the Littles’ allegations. John Doe turned out to be, according to his lawyer, none other than Sergeant Ryan Smith. He contends that, in fact, he and two other sergeants met with Signa about the officers entering the dormitory, and that there were civil and criminal investigations, which resulted in a significant financial loss to the university. In his suit, Smith also claims that two officers resigned and two other officers were put on administrative leave.

 

Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith

 

In his suit, Smith also describes an incident, which if proven true, conveys a culture that mocks sexual assault. According to Smith, on January 27, 2018, he was working the Montecito debris flow for Cal-OES when other law enforcement officers on the scene showed him a phone message in which he believes he recognized the voice of a UCSB-PD officer. The audio dubbed salacious comments onto an evidence video of an alleged sexual assault, a video that had been made by the man, Patrick Galoustian, now formally charged with rape by the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office. Smith claims he’d asked his bosses to investigate the officer he suspected of dubbing the tape and who he alleged had made other videos in which he did voiceovers mimicking the accents of UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang, a black UCSB-PD dispatcher, and the victim in the Daniel Chen rape case. Smith, who left the department in late 2017 and is now an assistant chief with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, also charges that both Signa and Michael Little harassed him while he was on duty.

What is clear is that all three lawsuits paint a grim picture of misconduct within the UCSB police department. Though the filed court documents contain numerous “he said, she said” instances of the same event, they share the same conclusions that the command team at UCSB-PD and the UC Regent investigation of whistleblower complaints “did nothing.”

The university would not comment on pending litigation, but when asked about student safety, UCSB spokesperson Andrea Estrada expressed confidence in its officers’ “training in law, ethics, procedures, protocol and community policing. … When complaints are made internally or externally, they are promptly investigated and appropriate action is taken. Because personnel action is confidential, particularly for peace officers, often co-workers and others are unaware that matters have been investigated and/or that disciplinary action has been taken.”

Olson resigned in March 2019 and currently heads the police department at the Colorado School of Mines. Farley has been police chief at Allan Hancock College since November 2018. Signa retired. The Littles are still with UCSB-PD. A new chief, James Brock, a 40-year veteran in law enforcement, started last week.

 

Original Article: Santa Barbara Independent

  darrensuperadmin   May 10, 2019   Whistleblower Lawsuits Blow Lid off UCSB Police   Comments Off on Whistleblower Lawsuits Blow Lid Off UCSB Police Read More

Richie Litigation, P.C. Has Filed a Lawsuit Against Catholic Charities

Richie Litigation P.C. files lawsuit against Catholic Charities for continued abuse of a woman and her five children.

Los Angeles, CA

Richie Litigation, P.C. has filed a lawsuit against Catholic Charities, the nation’s fifth largest charity, for its employee’s repeated sexual assault and psychological exploitation of a mother of five.

Darren Richie, the lead attorney prosecuting this case, states, “I’ve prosecuted numerous cases involving sexual assault and sexual harassment, but I’ve never seen such negligence on the part of an organization as large and prominent as Catholic Charities. My client sought out Catholic Charities for emergency shelter when she was homeless and providing for five children, and as a result, was subjected to almost a year of sexual assault and abuse.

The trauma inflicted by sexual assault goes without saying, but to allow it to occur in a charitable organization that holds itself out to be a sanctuary for the impoverished is utterly despicable and inhumane. As the details of this matter are coming to light, it is becoming evident and clear that Catholic Charities knowingly hired a felon and then turned a blind eye when that felon willfully exploited, stalked, and preyed on my client when she had nowhere else to go.

The entirety of Catholic Charities’ mission is ‘to provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire church and other people of good will to do the same.’

Where was the service here? Where was justice? We at Richie Litigation are making it our mission to hold Catholic Charities accountable for its blatant breach of public trust, even though nothing will ever make my client completely whole again.”
Richie Litigation is zealously committed to fighting for its clients.

For more information, contact Richie Litigation at (213) 265-7888 or [email protected].

Richie Litigation, P.C.
www.richielitigation.com
633 W. 5th St., Suite 6780
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Tel: (213) 265-7888
Fax: (844) 314-1380

  darrensuperadmin   May 08, 2019   Richie Litigation Files a Lawsuit Against Catholic Charities   Comments Off on Richie Litigation, P.C. Has Filed a Lawsuit Against Catholic Charities Read More

Alleged Gang Members Indicted in Burglaries of L.A. Celebs, Elderly and Asian Victims.

Alleged Gang Members Indicted in Burglaries of L.A. Celebs, Elderly and Asian Victims. 1Richie Litigation substitutes in as counsel of record for named defendant in Grand Jury Indictment.

As Reported on My News LA:

Grand jury indictments against 31 alleged gang members facing 93 total felony counts — including home invasion robbery, elder abuse, and torture — were unsealed Monday as two-thirds of the defendants pleaded not guilty to participating in a burglary ring targeting elderly and Asian victims.

Eight other cases against some of the defendants — including for allegedly burglarizing the homes of Los Angeles-area celebrities and athletes, including singer Rihanna, then-Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods — are superseded by the indictments.

A pretrial hearing is set for April 5 downtown.

Six separate indictments were issued with counts including criminal street gang conspiracy; home invasion robbery; first-degree residential burglary; first-degree residential robbery; first-degree burglary, person present; elder abuse; torture; and mayhem, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Defendants are also facing gang and gun allegations.
Tyress Williams, 19, was initially arrested Sept. 28 by Los Angeles police and charged in connection with those celebrity break-ins, while three other people were released from jail after prosecutors asked Los Angeles police to conduct further investigation.

Police said Williams was picked up after a traffic stop in South Los Angeles revealed a firearm and items believed to have been taken from burglarized homes.

Detectives originally thought the burglaries targeting actors, producers’ musicians and professional athletes were set up at random but later discovered the homes were selected based on social media posting and tour and travel schedules.

The burglaries followed a pattern called “flocking,” whereby suspects flock to celebrities’ neighborhoods, dressing in nice clothes and driving luxury vehicles to avoid suspicion as they search for targets. They would then change into casual clothing, including hoodies, and use a larger vehicle to haul away stolen items.

One suspect would typically knock or ring a doorbell to check if anyone was home before breaking into a residence, according to police.

While those alleged crimes were designed to take place when no one was at home, prosecutors said the ring sometimes attacked other victims.

Prosecutors allege the burglary ring worked from October 2017 through December 2018 and hit 69 victims at residential properties from Santa Monica and Beverly Hills to communities in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.

The majority of cases targeted elderly and Asian residents, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The defendants arraigned Monday include:

— Hassan Murphy, 19, of Hawthorne;
— Jshawne Lamon Daniels, 20, of Los Angeles;
— Damaji Corey Hall, 19, of Los Angeles;
— Lance Williams, 19, of Los Angeles;
— Dekell Wright, 22, of Compton;
— Elan Lamberto Gabourel, 25, of Hawthorne;
— Tyress Williams, 19, of Van Nuys;
— Joseph Holley, 23, of Bellflower;
— Demonte Jordan Sears, 23, of Los Angeles;
— Anthonyo Sanders, 20, of Los Angeles;
— Kimya Wilson, 21, of Los Angeles;
— Deanthony Lamart Chatman, 27, of Inglewood;
— Deondra Devon Johnson, 24, of Los Angeles;
— Akeem F. Lauriano, 28, of Lomita;
— Scotty Richardson, 30, of Los Angeles;
— Verlton Glaspie, 19, of Los Angeles;
— Brandon Laititi, 25, of Carson;
— Ron Simmons, 20, of Los Angeles;
— Eric Harris, 20, of Gardena;
— Donnie Faizon, 22, of Los Angeles;
— Devin Garner, 25, of Los Angeles; and
— Tyshon McKinney, 20, of Los Angeles.

The nine other defendants charged in the indictments were not yet in custody.

If convicted as charged, all of the defendants face a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison.

Alleged Gang Members Indicted in Burglaries of L.A. Celebs, Elderly and Asian Victims. 2 As reported on TMZ:

The L.A. celebrity burglary ring is WAY bigger than we thought — officials say a total of 10 gang members were a part of the group targeting stars like Rihanna, Yasiel Puig, and LeBron James.
Officials had previously arrested 4 people in connection to the crime wave — after video captured a couple of guys breaking into Puig’s home and raiding his bedroom.
1 of the initial 4 suspects is apparently off the hook (the mother of one of the other suspects) but now 7 new men all between the ages of 18 and 25 have been arrested and charged with various crimes.

The charges include everything from criminal street gang conspiracy to 1st-degree residential burglary and home invasion robbery.
In total, cops say the burglary crew hit more than 24 homes — and had at least 12 more rich and famous targets in their sights, including Viola Davis.

The key to solving the case … cops say a neighbor of NFL star Robert Woods had called the police to report a robbery at his house. Cops located the suspect and, during the arrest, they found items connected to the other high profile cases.
In total, cops say the group stole more than $1 MILLION in the property — including $50,000 cash, watches, purses, and a vehicle. Cops say one of the suspects also had a firearm.

https://mynewsla.com/hollywood/2019/03/04/alleged-gang-members-indicted-in-burglaries-of-elderly-and-asian-victims/

https://www.tmz.com/2018/11/28/10-alleged-gang-members-charged-in-connection-with-rihanna-yasiel-puig-burglaries/

  darrensuperadmin   Apr 08, 2019   Alleged Gang Members Indicted in Burglaries   Comments Off on Alleged Gang Members Indicted in Burglaries of L.A. Celebs, Elderly and Asian Victims. Read More

Los Angeles Sheriffs sponsored Emerging Leader graduate indicted by Department of Justice in FBI Sting Operation involving former instructor and Sheriff.

Los Angeles Sheriffs sponsored Emerging Leader graduate indicted by Department of Justice in FBI Sting Operation involving former instructor  and Sheriff. 3

LA Times reported:

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with operating a large-scale drug trafficking scheme in which he boasted that he hired other law enforcement officers to provide security to dealers and could assault people for his clients, according to court records.
Deputy Kenneth Collins and three other men were arrested by FBI agents Tuesday morning in a
sting operation when they arrived to what they thought was a drug deal, according to records
unsealed after the arrest.

Court documents outlining the case show that Collins, 50, has been under investigation for months. He was recorded by agents discussing “his extensive drug trafficking network, past criminal conduct, and willingness to accept bribes to use his law enforcement status for criminal purposes,” according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

“I fix problems,” Collins was recorded saying to an undercover agent, court records show. “I
make a lot of things go away.”

U.S. Atty. Nicola T. Hanna said in a statement that “Deputy Collins sold his badge to assist an
individual he thought was a drug trafficker. The deputy allegedly used his status as a law
enforcement officer as a guarantee when he promised safe travels for large quantities of illegal
narcotics.”

Thom Mrozek, a U.S. attorney’s office spokesman, said that the investigation is continuing but
that no other law enforcement officers had been implicated so far.
Last year, an undercover agent met with Collins while posing as the relative of a wealthy
investor looking to finance an illegal marijuana grow house. The deputy offered to provide
security and said he had three teams already working in the region, including one that was
protecting an illegal marijuana grow house disguised as an auto repair shop, according to the
complaint.

At another meeting to discuss the security plan for the grow house, Collins showed off his
sheriff’s badge and lifted his shirt to show a gun in his waistband, the complaint said.
He later said that he could provide teams of security made up of cops who “travel … with guns”
and boasted that he and two comrades were hired by a client to set ablaze an $85,000 Cadillac
truck in order to intimidate someone, federal authorities alleged.

Collins sold about 2 pounds of marijuana to the agent for $6,000 as a “test run” to demonstrate
his ability to arrange and carry out deals, federal authorities allege. The deputy said he had
connections to marijuana operations in Northern California and could sell the agent $4 million of
marijuana each month, according to the court records.

His contacts were “the best growers you can find in the north,” Collins is alleged to have boasted to the agent.

Undercover agents then hired Collins to provide security while they drove several pounds of
methamphetamine and other contraband from Pasadena to Las Vegas, the court records said.
When one of the agents initially balked at the price, Collins explained that his services were
worth it:
“We’re cops,” Collins said, according to the complaint. “We deal with a lot of, you know, kind
of high-end clients, and $25,000, they’re like, you know, it’s like as long as you can make sure
my shipment gets from here to there, that’s fine. … They make profits in upwards of $5 million
on certain, certain transports.” On the drive to Las Vegas, one of the other men charged in the
case, David Easter, drove a lookout car while another, Grant Valencia, rode with the undercover
agent in the vehicle with the drugs, according to court records. Collins rode in a third car keeping watch from behind.

The methamphetamine the agents were carrying on the trip was not real.
In the complaint, agents said that Collins, Easter and Valencia had agreed to provide security for
a large drug transaction Tuesday at the Rosemont Pavilion, an events venue in Pasadena.
In exchange for as much as $250,000, Collins and his team were planning to help oversee the
transport of a large cache of drugs and cash, agents alleged in court records. At first, the agent
and Collins agreed to a $75,000 payment to oversee the shipment of 20 kilograms of cocaine, 6
kilograms of methamphetamine and cash, but Collins later suggested that they increase the
amount of drugs to fill “a moving truck” and upped the price tag for the job, according to an
undercover informant cited in the complaint.

Collins said he had a team of six men, including three other law enforcement officers, who could
ensure the cargo made it to its destination “untouched, unscathed,” the document says.
After a meeting Dec. 11 to plan the transport that was set for Tuesday, Collins called another
L.A. County sheriff’s deputy to discuss the deal, according to the complaint. The other deputy is
not named.

Like Collins, Easter, 51, and Valencia, 34, each face a charge of conspiracy to distribute a
controlled substance. Federal authorities did not publicly detail the allegations against the fourth man who was arrested, Maurice Desi Font, 56.

The Sheriff’s Department issued a statement saying the agency notified federal authorities about
the criminal allegations against Collins several months ago and had been cooperating with the
FBI. Collins, a 15-year-department veteran most recently assigned to provide security at county
buildings, was placed on leave and would be suspended without pay during the criminal case, the
statement said.

In court Thursday afternoon, Collins was denied bail despite his attorney’s argument that he
posed no risk to the community and that his wife and mother-in-law would put up $115,000 as
assurance he would not flee. Except for a drunk driving conviction in 1999, the attorney said,
Collins had no criminal past.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Lindsay Greer Dotson rebuffed the idea of bail, repeatedly calling Collins
“the mastermind” of the alleged drug operation and saying the deputy had indicated in
conversations with agents that he had family in Cuba and had recently traveled to the country.
Wearing a plaid shirt, Collins remained expressionless throughout the proceedings and answered
the judge’s questions in a monotone voice.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Steve Kim set Easter’s bail at $110,000. The other defendants did not seek
bail.
Collins has served as an instructor in a life-skills course for former inmates, according to a 2014 article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

The Emerging Leaders Academy, run by a retired sheriff’s sergeant, features deputies who act as
mentors for people with criminal pasts who want to improve their literacy and career skills in
order to stay out of prison.

Valencia also is featured in the Tribune article. He is described as an ex-offender who attended
the program at the time Collins was teaching.

Collins was quoted in the article as saying he grew up poor before joining the military and later
the Sheriff’s Department. He said the cognitive behavior program he went through to be able to
teach forced him to change his perception of himself from that of a hardcore deputy who busted
down doors and chased guns and dope slingers.

“I was so used to putting my foot on their neck,” he was quoted as saying. “This was kind of
foreign to me. It goes against what we do — our profession.”
A call to the academy was not answered Tuesday morning.

Link: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-sheriff-deputy-drug-conspiracy-20180116-
story.html

Violation:

On January 16 th , 2018 Grant Valencia was arrested by the FBI. The Department of Justice charged & Indicted him with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances. Valencia was facing a 20-years to life sentence because of his prior Federal conviction. Getting nowhere with his court appointed panel attorney, he dropped him and retained Darren M. Richie.

Results:

Valencia’s charges were reduced; he later plead guilty to his conduct of Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana. Having been sentenced to time served and 3 years of supervised terms, Valencia was released and ready for his now bright future. As of August 29, 2018, he has been home and reunited with his 2-year-old Son and family.

  darrensuperadmin   Feb 14, 2019     Comments Off on Los Angeles Sheriffs sponsored Emerging Leader graduate indicted by Department of Justice in FBI Sting Operation involving former instructor and Sheriff. Read More