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News of the Week
Each week we produce a page of news that can be used for reference to the weekly shows here at murrayTALK. Please notice that the following group of articles is but a small percentage of the info available to the concerned PURPLE community. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view. We simply present this page each week as a convenience to our followers.
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September 2019 - Week 2
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FEATURES

Public Safety 101


LAPD & LA County Sheriff -- How are they doing?


We'll explore how listeners feel about their local law enforcement agencies. How safe do they feel? How good is the local quality of life in their home town and what can be done to make things better?

We'll continue this discussion tonight ..


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OPINION

On each murrayTALK episode, Bill will express his Opinion of some of the top issues of the week. There'll be no shortage of topics ..

We promise stimulating and thought-provoking presentations, and we'll see a way for the audience to contribute .. perhaps via Facebook and Twitter if we can figure out how to do it.

For now we'll use the OPEN MIKE discussion forum and the panelists who call the show.

Stay tuned for more on this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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ARTICLES

Missing children - video on site

Amber Alert Issued For Missing 5-Year-Old Dulce Maria Alavez, Last Seen At Bridgeton City Park Monday

BRIDGETON, N.J. (CBS) — Officials have issued an amber alert for missing 5-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez, who was last seen at the Bridgeton City Park Monday afternoon. Dulce was last seen wearing a yellow shirt with a koala bear on the front, black and white pants and white sandals.

Police say they are searching for a light-skinned, possibly Hispanic, man who is approximately 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8 in height with a thin build. Police say the man has no facial hair and has acne on his face.

The suspect was wearing orange sneakers, red pants and a black shirt.

Police say it was around 4:20 p.m. Monday when the suspect took Dulce while she was playing at the park.

Police say about 45 minutes before calling police, Dulce's mother, Noema Perez, took Dulce and her 3-year-old brother to a local custard stand for ice cream and then to the park to play. The two little ones ran off to the playground while Perez remained at her car with an 8-year-old relative.

She says a short time later, she went to check on the kids and Dulce had disappeared.

“When we got down, we found my son crying. His ice cream was on the floor. We told him ‘where's your sister at?' and he just pointed behind those buildings over there,” Perez said.

Police say the suspect led Dulce from the playground to a red van with a sliding door and tinted windows. Dulce was seated in the back seat by the man, who drove.

For two days and into two nights, officials and the community searched the woods and brush within the park, concerned that she was out there alone, scared or possibly hurt.

If you have any information, please call police at 856-451-0033 or text anonymously to TIP411.

CBS3's Alexandria Hoff contributed to this report.

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2019/09/17/amber-alert-missing-5-year-old-dulce-maria-alavez-last-seen-at-bridgeton-city-park-monday

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from Dept of Justice

PRESS RELEASE

North Hollywood Man to Plead Guilty to Charges that He Smuggled Greased-Up Kilograms of Cocaine to Australia in Household Products

by Nicola T. Hanna, United States Attorney
Central District of California

LOS ANGELES
– A San Fernando Valley man has agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges that he conspired to smuggle approximately 40 kilograms of cocaine – concealed and suspended in grease – in household products and mailed it to Australia, then laundered up to $3.5 million of the illicit drug proceeds.

Vardges Markosyan, 47, of North Hollywood, whose aliases include “David Petrosov,” “Giani Oncho,” and “Laram Narman,” agreed to plead guilty to a two-count criminal information charging him with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.

Markosyan admitted in his plea agreement that, from December 2014 until October 2016, he was involved in a drug conspiracy that procured approximately 40 kilograms (88.2 pounds) of cocaine and shipped it to Australia. The cocaine would be suspended in grease and placed in empty household products such as log splitters, air compressors, tankless water heaters, lampstands, and air conditioners, according to the plea agreement.

The shipped packages were sent via commercial carrier to Australia, where they were distributed, court documents state. Markosyan admitted to conducting “test runs” of drug shipment methods by sending packages of household products by commercial carrier to Australia to evaluate whether the drugs could be shipped without detection inside similar packages.

For example, Markosyan admitted that in March 2015, a co-conspirator sent 9.87 kilograms (21.76 pounds) of cocaine hidden in a log splitter to Australia, sent by FedEx. In advance of this package, Markosyan sent a “test run” for a similar log splitter that was sent to Australia, according to court documents.

Markosyan also admitted in his plea agreement that he conspired with his sister, Iren Markosyan, to launder the proceeds of drug trafficking, between May 2014 and January 2019.  Markosyan admitted that he used his sister's name – with her knowledge – to purchase properties in North Hollywood and Studio City. Markosyan and his sister obtained hard-money loans secured against these properties, and enjoyed and spent the net proceeds of these loans after transferring them to various accounts, according to court papers. In December 2018, Markosyan received $234,442 from the sale of the North Hollywood property. 

Markosyan has agreed to forfeit to the U.S. government his interest in the Studio City property, held in his sister's name, as well as a 1996 Carver 38 boat and a 2005 Caribe boat also held in her name.

The charges to which Markosyan has agreed to plead guilty carry a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison. The charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

For her role in the scheme, Iren Markosyan pleaded guilty on May 13 to one felony count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. She has agreed to forfeit the Studio City property, to a judgment in the amount of $234,442, and her interest in the 1996 Carver 38 boat and a 2005 Caribe boat. She will face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison at her sentencing hearing.

This matter was investigated by the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigations, the Glendale Police Department, and State of California Department of Health Care Services Investigations Branch, and is being conducted with the support of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The United States wishes to thank its foreign partners, the New South Wales Police Force, the New South Wales Crime Commission, and the Australian Federal Police, for their assistance in the investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Puneet V. Kakkar of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section, and Assistant United States Attorney Katharine Schonbachler of the Asset Forfeiture Section.

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from: Ciaran McEvoy, Public Information Officer
ciaran.mcevoy@usdoj.gov

www.usdoj.gov

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from Dept of Justice

PRESS RELEASE

Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Running ‘Birth Tourism' Scheme that Helped Aliens Give Birth in U.S. to Secure Birthright Citizenship

by Nicola T. Hanna, United States Attorney
Central District of California

SANTA ANA, California
– A Chinese national pleaded guilty today to federal criminal charges for running an Orange County-based “birth tourism” business that catered to wealthy pregnant clients and Chinese government officials, charging them tens of thousands of dollars to help them give birth in the United States so their children would get U.S. citizenship.

\Dongyuan Li ( ??? ), 41, of Irvine, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and one count of visa fraud.  Li was one of 19 defendants named in a series of indictments unsealed earlier this year. She is the first of the charged operators of birth tourism businesses to plead guilty. The remaining defendants either are pending trial or are fugitives.

Li admitted in her plea agreement that, from 2013 until March 2015, she operated a birth tourism company in Irvine and in China called You Win USA Vacation Services Corp. You Win would assist pregnant foreign nationals – typically from China – to travel to and remain in the United States to give birth so their children would receive birthright U.S. citizenship, according to the plea agreement.

According to a January 2019 federal grand jury indictment against Li, You Win advertised that it had served more than 500 Chinese birth tourism customers seeking U.S. birthright citizenship for their children. The indictment details that Li used 20 apartments in Irvine, charged each customer between $40,000 and $80,000, and she received $3 million in international wire transfers from China in two years.

Some You Win customers coached by the company made false statements on their visa applications and to U.S. immigration officials, Li's plea agreement states. Li also admitted that the customers were advised on how to pass the U.S. Consulate interview in China, including by falsely stating that they were going to stay in the United States for only two weeks, when in reality, they planned to stay for up to three months to give birth.

Li further admitted that her customers bypassed U.S. immigration controls by booking two flights – the first from China to Hawaii and the second from Hawaii to Los Angeles International Airport – because they thought it would be easier to clear U.S. Customs through Hawaii. Li's customers also were coached how to trick U.S. Customs at ports of entry by concealing their pregnancies, according to the plea agreement. 

In October 2013, Li made a $30,965 rent payment for Irvine apartments used in her birth tourism operation, and in November 2013, she made a $30,321 rent payment for those apartments, the plea agreement states.

As part of her plea agreement, Li agreed to forfeit more than $850,000, a Murrieta residence worth more than $500,000, as well as several Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

United States District Judge James V. Selna scheduled a December 16 sentencing hearing, at which time Li will face a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and IRS Criminal Investigation. The Irvine Police Department provided substantial assistance.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles E. Pell of the Santa Ana Branch Office.

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from: Ciaran McEvoy, Public Information Officer
ciaran.mcevoy@usdoj.gov

www.usdoj.gov

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from LACP.org web site - MAIN ARTICLES

Emergency Management and Response -- Information Sharing and Analysis Center Sept
EMR-ISAC
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Homeland Security
INFOGRAM

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Prepare. Plan.
Stay Informed.
This INFOGRAM is distributed weekly to provide members of the Emergency Services Sector with information concerning the protection of their critical infrastructures.

The joke's on you: local agencies preparing for "Storm Area 51"

Recent lung illnesses linked to vaping

Fall 2019 IPSA Webinar Week line-up announced

Cyber Threats

and more ..
DHS and FEMA - Preparedness Newsletter Sept


DHS and FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter
This Digest is provided by FEMA to highlight community preparedness and resilience resources, an important part of FEMA's mission to help people before, during, and after disasters. We're building a culture of preparedness tog ether..

Ready Tips

CERT & Communities

Children & Disasters

Financial Preparedness

Important Dates


and more ..

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LAPPL Law Enforcement News - Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch:

Law Enforcement News - Fri, 9/13

Man Guilty Of Killing 2 Police Officers Faces Death Penalty
A Florida man has been convicted of fatally shooting two police officers and could be sentenced to death. The Orlando Sentinel reports that 47-year-old Everett Glenn Miller guilty was convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday. The 12-member jury will return in November to decide whether the Marine veteran should receive life in prison or a death sentence. Prosecutors say Kissimmee police Officer Matthew Baxter was conducting a routine check into three suspicious people in August 2017 when Miller drove up and started asking why the officer was bothering people. Sgt. Richard Howard responded to the scene, and Miller argued with the two officers. Prosecutors say Miller shot Howard and Baxter in their heads and then repositioned both bodies before firing again at their faces. Miller was later arrested at a bar.
Associated Press

Newsom signs police use-of-force training bill into law
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Thursday intended to deter shootings by police by requiring officers to be trained in ways to avoid using lethal force. Senate Bill 230 requires policies on use of force be standardized across the state. It also requires officers to be trained to deescalate confrontations and find alternatives to shooting suspects. That includes training officers in how to work with suspects who are homeless, of different cultures, are mentally ill, on drugs or have communication issues that can lead to deadly confrontations.
KCRA

South L.A. Shootings: Boy Shot Dead On Street, Man Wounded At Burger Restaurant

Authorities are investigating two shootings in South Los Angeles that killed a teenage boy and left another man injured. Deputies first responded to the 1000 block of West 105th Street near Vermont Avenue at 8:16 p.m. Tuesday and found a 16-year-old boy who had been shot several times, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The teenager, identified by coroner's officials as John Givan Jr., had been walking when a vehicle pulled alongside him and a man got out to fire multiple rounds at the boy. The teen died at a nearby hospital, authorities said. Less than 30 minutes later, another shooting was reported down the street from where the boy had been shot, sheriff's officials said. Three men were in the parking lot of the Monster Burger restaurant at Vermont Avenue and 89th Street when they heard several gunshots. One man hid behind a vehicle before realizing he had been shot in the hand, LAPD Sgt. Jesus Rojas said. The injured man was taken to a hospital and is expected to recover, sheriff's officials said. Rojas said police think the shooting suspects are two men but did not have descriptions. It's unclear whether the two shootings are related, authorities said.
Los Angeles Times

Burned Body Of Slain Homeless Man Found In Shopping Cart At Lake Balboa Park
Detectives from the LAPD's Robbery Homicide Division are investigating the apparent murder of a homeless man, whose burned body was found Tuesday morning smoldering in a shopping cart along the bike path at Lake Balboa Park in Van Nuys. Law enforcement sources told NBCLA it appeared the person had been killed and burned elsewhere, then placed in the shopping cart and pushed on to the path that crosses underneath Balboa Boulevard. The victim is likely the 28th homeless person murdered in the city so far this year, according to LAPD crime data. The cause of the man's death has not been determined, according to the LA County Coroner's Office. An autopsy was pending and coroner's investigators have not yet identified the man. The LA City Fire Department said it dispatched firefighters Tuesday to a rubbish fire near Balboa and Burbank Boulevard about an hour before the body was discovered. The firefighters saw burning trash but it's not clear if the fire was related to the remains, an official said.
NBC 4

Man Pleads Not Guilty To Killing 70-Year-Old DWP Worker
A young man accused of attacking a longtime Department of Water and Power employee in downtown Los Angeles after the 70-year-old victim had just finished his work day pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a murder charge. Gerson Carrillo Torres, 23, is accused of punching Julius Rondez on July 2 as he walked down the street in the 400 block of East Temple Street. The victim was knocked to the ground and hit his head on the pavement, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He died at a local hospital the next day. Torres — who police said was recognized from surveillance video — was in the area of Third and Wall streets in downtown Los Angeles when LAPD officers detained him several days later. He was subsequently charged July 15 with murder and could face a potential life prison term if convicted, according to the District Attorney's Office.
MyNewsLA.com

Homeless Woman Charged After Allegedly Trying To Kill Man By Lighting Him On Fire At South L.A. Encampment
A homeless woman has been charged after allegedly trying to kill a man by lighting him on fire at a South Los Angeles encampment last week, officials said Wednesday. Shalonda Christine Shaw, 23, faces one count each of attempted murder and assault with caustic chemicals, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. She is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday. Shaw allegedly poured gasoline from a container onto a 36-year-old man and set him on fire along the 1600 block of West Slauson Boulevard in the Harvard Park neighborhood on Sept. 6. The victim suffered burns on 30% of his body, including his hands, feet and legs, authorities said after the attack. He was taken to a hospital in critical but stable condition. A 27-year-old woman was also injured after some of the gasoline landed on her, according to the DA's office.
KTLA 5

Sentencing Due For Former LAX Baggage Handler In Drug Conspiracy
A former baggage handler faces a possible prison sentence Friday for using his security credentials to help smuggle cocaine through LAX as part of a drug ring. Alberto Gutierrez, 29, pleaded guilty last year to participating in the scheme to help drug couriers smuggle cocaine through Los Angeles International Airport aboard commercial flights for delivery to customers on the East Coast. At the time of his arrest three years ago, Gutierrez was a supervisory baggage handler employed by Swissport International at LAX. Authorities seized more than two pounds of cocaine from Gutierrez on Dec. 16, 2015, in a Terminal 3 restroom at LAX, where he was trying to pass the drugs to a man planning to fly to New York on a JetBlue flight, according to papers filed in Los Angeles federal court. Co-defendant Adrian Ponce, 31, who was waiting for Gutierrez in a vehicle outside the terminal, was interviewed the next day and admitted that the pair took part in similar transactions on multiple occasions, according to prosecutors. Ponce pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge last year and was sentenced to 18 months behind bars.
MyNewsLA.com

California Supreme Court Declines To Take Up L.A. Death Penalty Cases
The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to consider whether Gov. Gavin Newsom's moratorium on executions prejudices capital defendants. Meeting in closed session, the state high court declined to review two Los Angeles County cases in which defendants face the death penalty. The court issued a short order that did not explain the justices' thinking, but the action means that the court is unlikely to weigh in on other cases in which defense attorneys claim that jurors considering a death sentence might be swayed by the moratorium. Prosecutors can now move forward with the two Los Angeles County cases, one of which had been put on hold. Attorneys representing Jade Douglas Harris, who is accused in a shooting rampage that left three people dead and two wounded, and Cleamon Johnson, a gang leader known as “Big Evil” who is charged with five counts of murder, had argued that a fair decision would be impossible given that Newsom granted a reprieve to the more than 700 prisoners on death row and had the state's execution chamber dismantled — with much fanfare in front of cameras. Jurors, they argue, might be more likely to favor the death penalty if they don't believe it would actually be carried out.
Los Angeles Times

California Lawmakers May Trim Repeat Offenders' Sentences
California lawmakers are on the verge of approving legislation to trim prison sentences for repeat nonviolent felonies. Current law adds an additional year to offenders' sentences for each previous prison or jail term. The bill approved by the state Assembly on Thursday would remove the mandatory one-year enhancement. The bill returns to the Senate on Friday for a final vote on Assembly amendments that excluded certain sex crimes from the measure, as lawmakers wrap up their work for the year. Supporters said the longer sentences clog prisons and jails, are costly to taxpayers, and do little to deter criminals. Corrections officials say about 10,000 inmates currently have the one-year bumps in their sentences, while legislative analysts estimate that the change could save tens of millions of dollars a year in lower prison and jail costs.
Associated Press

Public Safety News

Firefighters Knock Down Flames At A Mid-City Office Building
Firefighters knocked down flames at a Mid-City area office building early Thursday, battling heavy smoke and preventing damage to nearby businesses. Crews responded at 2:39 a.m. to the building at 8563 Venice Boulevard, just west of La Cienega Boulevard. They faced heavy smoke inside the building from a fire at the rear of the structure, according to Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department. A total of 42 firefighters battled the blaze and a knockdown was declared at 3:10 a.m., Prange said. The building was not occupied at the time. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire was under investigation.
NBC 4

Heat Advisory In Effect For Southern California Valleys And Mountains As Temps Hit Triple Digits
A heat advisory signaling “a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible” will be in effect Friday in several parts of L.A. County, including the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains, where temperatures will hit triple-digit levels. Heat advisories were not declared for the San Gabriel Valley and Orange County, where the mercury is expected to climb into the 90s. For those communities experiencing the heat advisory, it will be in effect from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Friday, the National Weather Service said. “Very high temperatures will create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible,” the weather service said in a statement, adding that temperatures inside vehicles parked in hot weather “can quickly rise to life-threatening levels” even with windows left open, meaning people and pets must not be left in such vehicles.
Los Angeles Daily News

Local Government News

LA City Council Declares Sept. 21 'Earth, Wind & Fire Day'
The Los Angeles City Council is honoring hometown band Earth, Wind & Fire by dedicating a day to the group. "They made Los Angeles their home, and so we decided in the city of L.A., Sept. 21 will be 'Earth, Wind & Fire Day,'" said Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson. The band has been credited with helping to bridge the gap between black and white music fans, pumping out huge hits in the 70s and 80s like "Shining Star," "September" and "Let's Groove." Three members of the band took part in the ceremonies: Ralph Johnson, Philip Bailey and Verdine White. The council presented the three with certificates and staged a meet and greet with them for fans. "I'm from Los Angeles, born and raised," said Johnson. "I'm a product of the L.A. United School District. This is a very special moment for me." "We're very blessed and thankful that the music has withstood the test of time," Bailey told Eyewitness News.
ABC 7

Metro To Begin Soliciting Private Companies For Help With Public Transit Project Between Valley And Westside
Officials at LA Metro say the agency will begin a process next month to partner with a private sector company for its multi-billion dollar public transit project aiming to connect the San Fernando Valley and Westside via the Sepulveda Pass as a public transit alternative to the notoriously congested 405 freeway. The undertaking marks the first time LA Metro will employ this public-private partnership model, known as a Pre-Development Agreement (PDA), in the early design process of a large-scale project. Colin Peppard, senior director of the office of innovation at LA Metro, said that officials recognized the technical value private sector companies could offer in 2016 after the agency Metro received a slew of unsolicited project proposals.
Los Angeles Daily News

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Law Enforcement News - Thur, 9/12

Arraignment Delayed For Two Men Charged In Off-Duty LAPD Officer's Killing
Two reputed gang members were ordered Wednesday to remain jailed without bail while awaiting arraignment on a capital murder charge stemming from the shooting of an off-duty Los Angeles police officer amid what investigators called a 90-minute crime spree that included a separate attempted murder. Cristian Facundo, 20, of Murrieta, and Francisco Talamantes III, 24, of Temecula, are due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom for arraignment Nov. 4 in connection with the July 27 death of Officer Juan Jose Diaz, 24, who had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for about two years. Diaz was shot around 1 a.m. outside a taco stand near Avenue 26 and Artesian Street in Lincoln Heights, where he had gone with his girlfriend and her two brothers. The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegation of murder by an active member of a street gang. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against the two, who are also charged with two counts of attempted murder.
MyNewsLA.com

Deaths Of 9/11 First Responders From Ground Zero-Related Illnesses Are On The Rise
Like most first responders, former New York City detective Tom Frey is a master of understatement — even when it comes to talking about the World Trade Center terror attacks on 9/11, the most devastating assignment of his life. “We were going down there, just trying to find anyone who was alive,” he says of the hours and days that followed the collapse of the towering skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan. “We were digging in, moving concrete with our hands, basically just trying to find anyone, anybody who was alive. I was never lucky enough to find a survivor, but we did all we could.” Instead, Frey found himself tending to the dead, sifting through debris brought to a Staten Island landfill looking for any trace of evidence that could shed light on the horrific attack. He searched for plane parts and human remains, all parts of a landscape rendered unrecognizable by pulverizing destruction and a pervasive layer of gray dust. “On the job, I've seen plane crashes, people jumping out of windows, hanging themselves, subways derailed — all sorts of things. But you're never prepared for something like this,” Frey says. America would never be the same. Neither would Tom Frey.
Chicago Tribune

Deputy City Attorney Kills Wife, Son, Self At Northridge Home: LAPD
A Los Angeles deputy city attorney fatally shot his wife and 19-year-old son before turning the gun on himself at the family's Northridge home on Wednesday morning, authorities said. Eric Lertzman, his wife Sandra Lertzman, and their 19-year-old son Michael Lertzman son were found dead inside the home Feuer said, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Officers were dispatched to the 9600 block of Vanalden Avenue around 9 a.m. after receiving a call of a shooting in progress, according to Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Mike Kozak said. When they arrived at the house, officers located three victims, all apparently deceased, according to Kozak. The victims all had gunshot wounds; police recovered at least two handguns at the scene, according to LAPD. A fourth person inside the home – a woman in her 20s – managed to escape and was uninjured, the lieutenant said.
KTLA 5

Police Investigate Shooting At South L.A. Apartment Complex
Police were looking for the man who fired shots at an apartment complex in South Los Angeles on Wednesday morning. The shooting occurred at 4000 Santa Rosalia Drive in South L.A.'s Baldwin Village neighborhood located near the intersection of Buckingham Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Police say the suspect broke into the apartment complex around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday night. The man had been banned from the building and had a restraining order against him. He returned to the apartment complex on Wednesday morning around 5:40 p.m. with a gun. The gunman fired five shots at a wall within the complex before he left the scene, police said. No injuries were reported. The suspect remains on the loose. 
FOX 11

Suspected Cosmetics And Watch Counterfeiter Arrested By LAPD
A 26-year-old La Habra man is scheduled to appear in court Thursday to face charges of selling hundreds of thousands of dollars in counterfeit merchandise on eBay and other online platforms. Police arrested Connor Blount Tuesday after investigators conducted several undercover buys and surveillance, then served search warrants at locations in La Habra and Fullerton, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. An investigation determined Blount was a major distributor in Los Angeles County and had over 30 accounts on eBay “deceiving unknowingly consumers of counterfeit name brand facial cosmetics,” the LAPD statement said. None of the counterfeit items had been tested to meet U.S. safety guidelines and “posed a risk to anyone using the products,” the department said. Officers recovered approximately $100,000 in cash and over $250,000 in counterfeit merchandise, including Yeti mugs, name-brand cosmetics and G-Shock watches, police said.
MyNewsLA.com

Surgical Assistant Suspected Of Identity Theft Scheme At Southern California Hospitals
A man who worked as a surgical assistant has been arrested on suspicion of stealing identities, financial data, and money from employees and patients while working at several Los Angeles area hospitals, law enforcement sources told NBCLA. James Shannon, also known as James Sannon and other aliases, was being held in lieu of $1.1-million bail. He was booked Tuesday afternoon by LAPD financial crimes detectives, according to police records. Shannon, 36, is suspected of stealing from, "his neighbors, co-workers, and others," according to a social media post by the LAPD. At the time of the alleged offenses in LA Shannon was wanted on a felony identity theft case in San Bernardino County, where he was accused of using a stolen ID to try to lease an apartment, according to the Chino Police Department. 
NBC 4

$560,000 Worth Of Fake NBA Championship Rings Seized At LAX
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Los Angeles International Airport recently seized 28 counterfeit NBA championship rings that were reportedly being shipped to the U.S. with the apparent intent to be sold as a collection. If genuine, the seized rings would have had an estimated retail price of $560,000. CBP officers discovered the rings while conducting an enforcement exam on a shipment arriving from China with a final destination in Arizona. The rings were found inside of a wooden box, CBP officials said. Import specialists confirmed that the designs and wordmarks were in violation of the Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Air Jordan and NBA trophy design protected trademarks. Legitimate NBA championship ring prices range between $10,000 and $40,000 and in some cases over $200,000.
FOX 11

California Cold Case Solved Through DNA, Genealogy
DNA and genetic genealogy led police to solve a cold case and identify a now-deceased man who kidnapped and killed an 11-year-old girl in Southern California nearly 47 years ago, authorities said. Terri Lynn Hollis disappeared from her Torrance home on Thanksgiving in 1972. Her body, clad only in a T-shirt, was found the next day by fishermen on a cliff below the Pacific Coast Highway in Oxnard. Authorities exhumed the body of Jake Edward Brown, who died in Arizona in 2003, to confirm that his DNA was a match to the evidence, Irvine said. Brown had been arrested in connection with two rape cases that occurred after Hollis' death. "This crime is what nightmares are made of, and no family should ever have to go through such a tragedy," Torrance Police Chief Eve Irvine said Wednesday at a news conference. Randy Hollis, her brother, was 16 at the time and said he still mourns every Thanksgiving. "When you think about it, 47 years, it's amazing that we've come to this day," he said. "I only wish that my parents were still alive to see this."
Associated Press

California Bill To Clamp Down On Semiautomatic Rifles Heads For Vote This Week
Californians would be barred from buying more than one semiautomatic rifle a month and those weapons would be off-limits to people younger than 21 under a bill set for a final vote in the Legislature this week. The restrictions are being sought by state Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), who noted that such weapons have been used in mass shootings, including an April attack on the Chabad of Poway by a 19-year-old man who killed one person and injured three others. Portantino's bill originally would have limited purchases of all long guns to one every 30 days, but he decided to exclude shotguns and some rifles that are popular with hunters and instead focus the restriction on semiautomatic rifles. “That's the weapon of choice over and over again” for mass shooters, Portantino said to explain why he narrowed the bill to those guns. “We are focusing on what we think is the most heinous gun that is causing most of the activity.”
Los Angeles Times

Public Safety News

Body Found Next To Power Lines In Griffith Park
A man's body was found next to a power line in Griffith Park just before 1 p.m. Wednesday. Initial reports stated that the suspected cause of death was electrocution, but it had not been determined, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. A helicopter was originally brought in to hoist the body out, but it was deemed too dangerous due to the steep grade in the remote location and the high-voltage wires above it. Ground crews were assessing the rugged terrain for the most effective removal of the victim. The circumstances surrounding the incident were unknown.
ABC 7

LA 9/11 Memories Bring Sobering Ceremonies 18 Years After Attacks
Police and fire officials gathered with elected leaders and residents at events across the Southland Wednesday to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. In Los Angeles, a traditional gathering was held at the city fire department's Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center in Elysian Park. The ceremony is held each year in a plaza that includes a 23-ton section of metal recovered from the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the attack. The metal is the largest remnant of the World Trade Center outside New York City. “We all for the rest of our lives — just as past generations can cite where they were when President Kennedy was killed, when Martin Luther King was assassinated — we all know where we were on 9-11,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said during the event. “I was about four blocks away living in my home when my future and now mother-in-law called to say turn on the TV. A bright Tuesday morning full of American possibility turned dark with terror."
Los Angeles Daily News

Local Government News

LA Council Votes To Turn Playground Into Homeless Housing Site
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to place a permanent supportive housing project on land used as a therapeutic playground by an Echo Park nonprofit, which strongly opposed the council's action. El Centro del Pueblo claims a permanent supportive housing complex would adversely affect its mission, which is to give youth a safe space and provide gang intervention and therapy services. But City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell said the housing project is desperately needed. “Homelessness is not an issue; it is the issue facing our city and county,” said O'Farrell, who proposed the land use change. “I take this calamity very seriously.” The city rents the land to El Centro del Pueblo for about $7,000 annually, but the lease agreement expired in November and is now month-to-month. Wednesday's council vote gives the city's Housing and Community Investment Department authority over the land. El Centro del Pueblo serves many Latino and minority children, according to its supporters.
Los Angeles Daily News

L.A. City Councilman Wants To Appoint Homeless People To Advisory Commission
A Los Angeles City Councilman proposed Wednesday a new approach to addressing the city's homeless crisis, suggesting the city create an advisory board composed of the very people affected by the issue — the currently or recently homeless. “We set ourselves up for failure if we do not take into account the experience of people who have been homeless,” Councilman Mike Bonin said. “Programs that sound good on paper or in a City Council meeting may not work given the complexities of being without housing. We need to be listening to the people who can tell us if the programs taxpayers are paying for are working as intended.” The panel would be modeled after other city advisory commissions and would provide expert and real-world experience to help guide city actions on homelessness.
MyNewsLA.com

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Law Enforcement News - Wed, 9/11

Remembering Those Lost 18 Years Ago on 9/11
Once more, families gathered at ground zero, where nearly 3,000 people died on that bright September morning. Once more, there was an outpouring of grief. Once more, there was the sound of a bell tolling in mourning. And there was the rhythm of names being recited. Eighteen years have passed since terrorists commandeered airplanes to take aim at the World Trade Center and bring them down.
New York Times

Drones Are Now A Permanent Part Of The LAPD's Arsenal
Drones became a permanent part of the Los Angeles Police Department's crime-fighting arsenal Tuesday, despite opposition from privacy advocates who fear the remote-controlled aircraft will be used to spy on people. In a yearlong trial, the LAPD's SWAT team deployed drones four times, mostly when suspects were barricaded and the device provided a bird's eye view of the property's nooks and crannies. On Tuesday, the five-member civilian Police Commission unanimously approved new regulations that enshrine the drones' use in specific situations, including active shooters, barricaded suspects and search warrants. The drones will not be equipped with weapons or facial recognition software, according to the regulations, which are similar to those governing the trial program.
Los Angeles Times

Man Dies After Being Struck In Broadway-Manchester Neighborhood Hit-and-Run Crash
A pedestrian who was crossing a South Los Angeles street with a walker when he was struck in a hit-and-run crash has died, authorities announced Tuesday. The incident occurred about 10:25 p.m. Monday as the 65-year-old man was crossing Century Boulevard just west of South Main Street in the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood, the Los Angeles Police Department stated in a news release. Investigators believe the unidentified man was struck by two drivers, neither of whom stopped or rendered aid, Sgt. Tim Jones said. Video from the scene showed the victim's walker still in the roadway as police conducted their investigation. The man was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the news release stated. One of the cars may have been a blue Honda hatchback being driven by a female, Jones said. No description of the other driver or vehicle was available.
KTLA 5

Bicyclist Killed In Hit-And-Run In Sunland Identified; Suspect Sought
Authorities Tuesday released the name of a bicyclist who died at a hospital nearly two weeks after being struck in Sunland by a hit-and-run motorist who remains at large. The collision was reported about 2:15 a.m. Aug. 23 at Foothill Boulevard and Oro Vista Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Charles Mentzer, 55, of Tujunga died on Sept. 3 at a hospital, according to the coroner's office and the LAPD. Mentzer was riding west on Foothill Boulevard when he was struck by a white, possibly older-model Toyota Prius that was headed in the same direction, police said. He was ejected from his bike and thrown into a parked vehicle. The Prius driver did not stop. The car likely sustained damage to the right front passenger side, according to police, who did not release a description of the motorist. A reward of up to $50,000 is available from the city for information leading to a hit-and-run driver's identification, apprehension and conviction. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818-644-8116.
MyNewsLA.com

Venice Beach Chase: Police Take Burglary Suspect Into Custody After Bizarre Foot Pursuit In Shallow Waves
Los Angeles police officers took a burglary suspect into custody Tuesday afternoon after a prolonged foot chase on the sand at Venice Beach. Shortly after 2 p.m., a group of officers were seen pursuing the man as he intermittently ran into the waves that were crashing along the shoreline. According to the LAPD, a warrant had been issued for the suspect's arrest. Nearly 30 minutes later, as he continued heading toward the Santa Monica Pier, the man stumbled in the shallow water and a group of policemen pounced on him. He was handcuffed and escorted to a nearby LAPD vehicle after a brief apparent struggle. The suspect's identity and details of the alleged burglary were not immediately released.
ABC 7

Bomb Squad Removes Suspicious Item Found Near Northridge Elementary School
A suspicious item that appeared to be a pressure cooker was found Tuesday near Winnetka Elementary School in Northridge, prompting a lockdown of the campus until a bomb squad determined there was no danger. The item was discovered at Winnetka Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard about 10:40 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Traffic was routed away from the area while the bomb squad examined the item, with the help of a robot. The bomb squad declared the area safe about 1:30 p.m. The lockdown at the school was lifted, and students were released to their parents a short time later.
Los Angeles Daily News

Suspect Sought After Juvenile Boy Fatally Shot In Westmont
A suspect is sought after a juvenile boy was fatally shot in Westmont Tuesday night, authorities said. Authorities responded to a shooting that occurred at approximately 8:16 p.m. in the 1000 block of West 105th Street outside a burger stand. According to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the victim was walking when a suspect exited a vehicle and fired numerous rounds. The victim was transported with multiple gunshot wounds and later died at a hospital, the news release said. The victim has not yet been identified and his age has not been disclosed. Details regarding the suspect or suspects, or if the shooting was gang-related, was not immediately known. Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff's department's homicide bureau at (323) 890-5500.
ABC 7

L.A. Gang Fugitive Arrested After SWAT Standoff In Nevada

A Los Angeles gang fugitive with an extensive violent criminal record has been arrested in Nevada after a standoff with a SWAT team in Sparks. The U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force had been looking for 42-year-old Terry Williams since May, when he walked away from a halfway house in Las Vegas where he was under federal supervision after his conviction for felony possession of a weapon. A member of the Compton Crips, Williams has a record that includes arrests in connection with attempted murder, drug trafficking, robbery and battery with a deadly weapon. Federal agents and local law officers tracked him to a Sparks address Tuesday on the edge of Reno near Interstate 80. He was taken into custody after a lengthy standoff. He's being held in the Washoe County jail without bail. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.
Los Angeles Times

California Man Suspected Of Smuggling Almost 150 Pounds Of Meth Into San Diego County
A 55-year-old man allegedly caught hauling close to 150 pounds of methamphetamine in his pickup truck near Temecula was being held Tuesday in lieu of $1 million bail. Robert Park Walker was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents after he was stopped along northbound Interstate 15, leaving San Diego County and just entering Riverside County. According to Agent Theron Francisco, agents spotted Walker's 2007 Ford F-150 on the freeway shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday and signaled the driver to pull over at the Border Patrol checkpoint, based on suspicions the pickup might be a smuggling vehicle. A K9 team conducted a search of the Ford, and the service dog quickly alerted to the presence of drugs, Francisco said. Agents initiated a search and allegedly located 33 bundles of meth, weighing 144 pounds, stuffed inside the vehicle's wood paneling, according to Francisco. He said the street value was estimated to be $330,640.
NBC 4

Public Safety News

On The Eve Of 9/11 Anniversary, A Sherman Oaks Memorial Was Not Forgotten At LAFD's Station 88
With flags in her hands and yellow chrysanthemums in her arms, a local business woman on Tuesday readied the 9/11 memorial fountain at Los Angeles Fire Department Fire Station 88 to mark the 18th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. Carrie Konjoyan was one of the founding members of the memorial at the LAFD's Valley Bureau headquarters, and has been its official coordinator for 17 years, she said, adding that it is the only memorial with both pieces of steel from the World Trade Center and limestone from the Pentagon. They're fitting features, considering the 70-member Urban Search and Rescue team known as California Task Force 1 is based out of Station 88 and was the first team at Ground Zero. With a close look at fountain's bottom, an observer would notice tiles forming an American flag designed by Konjoyan. “The American flag on the double pedestal fountain is representative of America coming back up after the attack and America surviving and being reborn. The waters, of course, are rejuvenation and we invite people to come here for healing for reminiscing and to come and visit 24/7,” she said.
Los Angeles Daily News

1,284 Firefighters Battling Walker Fire, California's Biggest Blaze In 2019
Nearly 1,100 firefighters from several states continued to battle the 47,000-acre Walker Fire on Tuesday in Plumas National Forest in Northern California, while evacuation orders in a number of communities remained in place. The blaze, which is California's largest wildfire this year, had burned 47,340 acres and was 20% contained as of Tuesday evening, according to the U.S. Forest Service. At least 1,096 fire officials from an assortment of agencies have been assigned to the firefighting efforts. Mandatory evacuations were ordered for Antelope Lake to the Plumas County line, the Genesee Valley Road corridor, the Ward Creek area and the Flournoy Bridge area, officials said. Evacuation orders previously given to residents living along Highway 395 from Thunder Mountain Road to Laufman Grade were lifted and reduced to evacuation warnings. Fire officials worked through Monday night as the blaze pushed against a containment line in the northeast. They planned to extend the containment line on the west side of the blaze by working from the north and south of the fire.
San Francisco Chronicle

Local Government News

Trump team's homeless tour of L.A. sparks suspicions
It wasn't the typical tourist bus filled with celebrity-hungry gawkers tooling around Los Angeles this week. The Trump administration officials who came to town to study homelessness spent Monday and Tuesday meeting with officials from Mayor Eric Garcetti's office, checking out the Jordan Downs public housing in Watts and touring the long-entrenched epicenter of the crisis, skid row. There was even a trek to Pomona. Also Tuesday, group members met with heads of the unions that represent rank-and-file Los Angeles police officers and county sheriff's deputies. A wide range of issues was discussed, including the use of federal lands to create triage-style areas where homeless people could receive showers, possibly meet with social workers or other crisis outreach personnel and store their belongings, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting who requested anonymity in order to share details about the conversation candidly.
Los Angeles Times

L.A. County Rent Control And Eviction Rules Advance For Unincorporated Areas
In a bid to provide tenants stability and combat rising homelessness, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday moved to make permanent a rent control measure for unincorporated communities. In a 5-0 vote, officials asked staff to draft an ordinance that ties annual increases to inflation and requires landlords have “just cause” — such as not paying rent — before they evict tenants. The new rules would apply to roughly 43,500 multifamily units built on or before Feb. 1, 1995, in unincorporated communities such as East L.A., Willowbrook and Rowland Heights. They would join the city of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood as local municipalities with permanent rent control measures. If the measure had been in place in recent years, annual rent increases would have been capped at 3% or 4% — a rate that backers say protects tenants and allows landlords to make a reasonable return on their investment.
Los Angeles Times

Metro Blue Line, Running From Downtown L.A. To Long Beach, Set To Fully Reopen In Late October
As A Line Metro riders traveling from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles — and vice versa — have, since January, faced freeway traffic aboard shuttle buses while the agency's oldest light-rail line, the Blue Line, has undergone renovation work. But that's set to change next month, when the new and improved line will fully reopen to the public. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Tuesday, Sept. 10, the 22-mile line will open in “late October,” after the nine-month, $350-million project is completed. A specific date will be announced “following train testing,” a Metro statement said. When the route reopens, it will be dubbed the “A Line,” as part of a system-wide move from color designations to letters. “We would like to sincerely thank the public for its patience,” Metro CEO Phillip Washington said in a statement, “during our construction work to improve one of our nation's busiest light rail lines.”
Los Angeles Daily News
 
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