Drugs found in California dog care facility

Police involved in an undercover narcotics investigation took a woman and three men into custody at a dog boarding facility in Orange County on June 5. Media reports suggest that one of the men owns the facility. The four suspects have been booked on charges including suspicion of possessing drugs and suspicion of possessing drug paraphernalia. According to the Fullerton Police Department, the facility was being used to provide day-care services to pet owners in the community as well as sell drugs including heroin and methamphetamine.

According to a FPD report, detectives who had been keeping the West Walnut Avenue business under observation acted when they saw an individual walk into the premises who they knew had an open warrant. A search was ordered when detectives learned that the man was living in the facility. During the search, police allegedly found about 28 grams of heroin, 1.6 grams of methamphetamine and items suggesting that the drugs were available for sale.

Two arrested in auto shop drug bust

On May 17, California authorities announced that two men were arrested for allegedly operating a drug-trafficking ring in Apple Valley. The defendants are reportedly linked to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico.

Media reports state that officers from multiple law enforcement agencies raided an auto repair shop in Ontario on May 15. During the raid, they discovered 500 pounds of methamphetamine, 40 grams of fentanyl, 11 firearms and around $38,000 in cash. The street value of the seized drugs is estimated to be around $1.25 million. The raid was the culmination of a two-month investigation into suspected drug activity at the property.

Federal prosecutors announce dark web arrests

Federal prosecutors have announced that three men have been charged with laundering money and distributing illegal drugs on a website that hid its activities on what is known as the dark net. Federal authorities worked with law enforcement agencies in Germany and other countries during the investigation according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California. The three men apprehended are all German nationals and face additional charges in their home country.

The website is said to have concealed its activities by using the encrypted Tor network and accepting payment in cryptocurrencies like Monero and Bitcoin. Prosecutors say that visitors to the site were able to purchase drugs including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana. The website also allegedly traded in stolen personal data and malicious software. Media reports suggest that the scheme was a profitable one as the men are alleged to have earned about $11 million from sales made on the website.

When is a DUI a felony?

Receiving any DUI charges can be scary and overwhelming whether or not it has happened before. California takes drunk driving very seriously to deter impaired people from getting behind the wheel and endangering others. This means that penalties for a conviction can be numerous and harsh depending on the circumstances.

In most cases, a DUI falls under a misdemeanor. However, some factors bring the charges up to the felony level.

Proving criminal conspiracy in California

In order to prove criminal conspiracy charges, prosecutors in California must be able to convince juries that defendants entered into an arrangement to commit a crime, intended to commit that crime and took action to move the plan forward. Defendants can be convicted of conspiracy even if the crime they planned is never committed and the overt act taken to complete the scheme was not a criminal act.

For example, purchasing ski masks is completely legal, but purchasing ski masks to wear during an armed robbery would be considered an overt act in a criminal conspiracy prosecution. The overt act requirement exists to prevent individuals from being sent to jail for just talking about committing a crime during a lively conversation. Proving that a plan existed and one of the parties involved took action in pursuit of it is often fairly straightforward for prosecutors, but establishing intent can be very challenging in these cases.

Fentanyl worth $1.5 million found during California traffic stop

A 24-year-old woman and her 36-year-old boyfriend were charged with felony counts of transporting a controlled substance on April 10 after 44 pounds of the deadly opioid fentanyl were allegedly found in their car during a traffic stop. The seized narcotics are said to have a street value in excess of $1.5 million. The woman is being detained at a Las Colinas detention facility, and the man has been transported to the San Diego County Jail. The bail for each defendant has been set at $750,000.

The couple was traveling in a Mitsubishi SUV that was pulled over at approximately 2:30 p.m. for exceeding the posted speed limit by deputies assigned to the Border Crime Suppression Team of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and U.S. Border Patrol agents. The traffic stop took place on the westbound lanes of State Route 905. The Mitsubishi was searched thoroughly after a K9 officer allegedly alerted to the presence of illegal narcotics.

Avenatti's troubles continue to grow

Michael Avenatti, the attorney who became known as the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, is facing charges in California and in New York. In California, his charges include embezzling money from a client's settlement and filing false tax returns to gain approval for a $4 million loan from a bank in Mississippi. In New York, he is facing charges for extortion for allegedly trying to extort $25 million from Nike.

Avenatti, who denied the charges, stated that he is worried about them. In the California case involving the former client, Avenatti is accused of receiving a settlement of $1.6 million for the client; instead of turning over the man's money, the lawyer allegedly deposited it into a personal account and used it to pay for a luxury apartment and payments on a Ferrari.

Former MLB all-star sentenced on felony drug charge

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Esteban Loaiza was sentenced to three years in prison followed by five years of probation by a California federal court judge on March 8 after pleading guilty to a felony drug possession charge. Loaiza entered into a plea agreement with U.S. attorneys in August 2018. The charge he was convicted of carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The former All-Star Game starter will also be deported to his home country of Mexico after completing his sentence.

Loaiza's legal problems began when his minivan was pulled over by San Diego County Sheriff's Department deputies for a traffic violation in February 2018. A search warrant was issued for his Imperial Beach townhouse after deputies discovered what they referred to as a sophisticated hidden compartment in the vehicle. During the ensuing search, Drug Enforcement Agency agents discovered approximately 40 pounds of a white powder that was later determined to be cocaine.

Top types of health care fraud

Fraud can affect any industry, from cybersecurity to home improvement. However, the insurance world experiences the most, and no other sector faces the most scams than does health care, reports the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

While many fraudulent activities are intentional, others may be accidental due to errors. Therefore, it is important to know what the top causes of health care fraud are so you can avoid mistakes that will lead to criminal charges and other consequences.

Pharmacy owner sentenced in health care fraud case

A California pharmacy owner has been sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted on charges of health care fraud. The government alleged that the 39-year-old Pasadena woman had billed Medicare for over $1.3 million in prescription drugs. However, these drugs were never prescribed or distributed to patients; instead, they only existed in the records submitted by the pharmacy owner.

She was found guilty of one count of health care fraud and two counts of wire fraud in December 2018 following a jury trial. In addition to the prison sentence, she was also ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution to Medicare for the amount that had been paid out to her for these claims. The woman ran Akhtamar Pharmacy, where she reportedly submitted false claims to plan sponsors of Medicare Part D programs between October 2015 and October 2017. She created phony invoices for pharmaceuticals, but never actually placed orders with wholesalers or distributed drugs to Medicare patients.

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