Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch
LA Police Protective League


Los Angeles
Police Protective League
the union that represents the
rank and file LAPD officers

  Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch

Daily News Digest
from LA Police Protective League

May 7, 2019
Law Enforcement News

‘Your Son Died An American Hero.' Memorial Honors 8 California Police Officers Killed Last Year
As uniformed officers and law enforcement family members held back tears, Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson got choked up himself while recounting the last time he saw Cpl. Ronil Singh. It was Christmas morning last year. And in the small Stanislaus County city, Richardson relieved Singh of his graveyard shift, one-on-one, at 6 a.m. Singh worked again on Christmas night. And it was at the end of a long overtime shift, about 1 a.m. Dec. 26, that he was shot and killed during a traffic stop. “Literally 300 yards from my driveway, Cpl. Ronil Singh was killed,” Richardson told a crowd of officers. “And I slept through it. And I slept so soundly because I knew he would protect us.” Richardson addressed hundreds of law enforcement officers and their family members from across the state Monday to pay respects to peace officers killed in the line of duty. Singh was one of 10 fallen officers enrolled Monday to the California Peace Officers' Memorial, their names inscribed on a brass plaque and added to a monument across from the Capitol, where 1,628 names are already listed.
Sacramento Bee

North Carolina Officer Slain During Traffic Stop, Suspect Dead
A North Carolina police officer and his suspected killer are dead in a Charlotte suburb. Mooresville police said Sunday that Officer Jordan Harris Sheldon was shot and killed during a traffic stop around 10 p.m. Saturday. Police say the killer fled the scene and was tracked to his nearby apartment, where officers found the suspect dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The department's Facebook page says the 32-year-old officer was a six-year veteran. Police Chief Damon Williams identified the gunman as 28-year-old Michael Aldana of Mooresville. Williams didn't respond to messages Sunday asking for details, including why Sheldon initially stopped the vehicle. Mooresville is a town of 38,000 about 30 miles (48.3 kilometers) north of Charlotte. 
Associated Press

3 West Valley LAPD Officers Contract MRSA
Three Los Angeles Police Department officers have been infected with MRSA at the West Valley station in Reseda. According to a watch commander, the outbreak started a few days ago. Police officials don't have a definitive source of the infection but it is believed to be the result of interacting with the homeless population. The station is reportedly undergoing cleaning and the department is working to stop the MRSA from spreading. The three officers who were infected are reported to be on medical leave pending treatment and testing. MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that can be found on the skin of healthy people, but can cause serious bone and flood infections. A MRSA infection can initially look like a spider bite or pimple, but continues to get infected and can cause a fever. The bacteria is antibiotic resistant and is most commonly spread in crowded places like jails, schools and gyms, and in close communities like homeless encampments.

$50K Reward Offered After Brothers Killed In Highland Park Hit-Run Crash
The coroner Monday confirmed the names of two brothers killed in a hit-and-run crash in Highland Park, as police searched for the driver and his passenger who fled the scene after allegedly causing the crash. The brothers were identified as Benigno Felix-Zuniga, 25, and Jesse Zuniga, 19, coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz said. The crash occurred at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday when a white Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck slammed into a white Ford Fusion sedan in the 700 block of North San Pascual Avenue, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The driver and his passenger in the truck were sought for alleged hit-and-run after fleeing from the scene, according to the LAPD. Detectives tracked down the registered owners of the truck, but those registered owners did not display any signs of injures and were cleared, according to the LAPD.

Survivor Testifies As 1st Prosecution Witness Against Accused L.A. Killer Michael Gargiulo

The prosecutor projected the gruesome crime scene photos onto a screen for jurors in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. One showed a bloody hand print on the carpet where the woman fell to the floor, afraid she was going to pass out, after she had been stabbed about a half-dozen times. Another showed her bathroom, where she left behind splatters of red as she examined her wounds. A third captured the bloodied cellphone she used to call police. “Is that all from your attack?” the prosecutor asked the woman on the stand. “Yes,” she replied. Michelle Murphy was the first witness prosecutors called in the capital murder trial of alleged serial killer Michael Gargiulo, who is accused in four brutal knife attacks, to which he has pleaded not guilty. Murphy, his last alleged victim, is the only one who lived.

Bank-Robbing Pimp Gets Five Years For Planning New L.A. Heists
A Los Angeles career criminal who served time for orchestrating bank robberies committed by prostitutes he recruited while on GPS monitoring for pimping was sentenced Monday to five years behind bars for involvement in new heists. Robert Michael St. John, 49, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge S. James Otero to pay about $86,000 in restitution and serve three years under supervised release after he is released from federal prison. St. John attended a highly regarded Catholic high school and studied at American University in Washington, D.C. But “rather than use his education and talents to contribute to society, defendant has taken advantage of vulnerable women for the past 22 years,” according to a sentencing memorandum filed in Los Angeles federal court.

Leader Of Van Nuys Pizza-Style Heroin Delivery Ring Gets 8 Years In Federal Prison
The supervisor of a pizza-style drug distribution ring that operated out of Van Nuys and used a fleet of cars and a staff of drivers to make rapid deliveries of heroin and cocaine was sentenced Monday to eight years in federal prison. Adrian “Toro” Munoz-Garcia, 25, of Buena Park was also ordered to pay a $35,000 fine and serve five years under supervised release following his 97-month term behind bars. U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson said that Munoz-Garcia's “substantial assistance” in the case “encouraged others to plead guilty.” More than a dozen co-defendants entered into plea deals with prosecutors in the six months following the December 2017 takedown of the operation, defense attorney James Blatt told the court. Munoz-Garcia pleaded guilty last year to a single felony count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. He originally faced a prison term of no less than 10 years, but because of his cooperation, the U.S. Attorney's Office recommended a lesser penalty.
Los Angeles Daily News

North Hollywood Man Pleads Guilty In $17 Million Real Estate Fraud Scheme
A North Hollywood man pleaded guilty Monday to participating in a $17 million real estate fraud scheme that preyed on distressed homeowners, many of whom were elderly. Camerino “Mino” Islas, 41, is expected to be sentenced Aug. 26 on one federal count of conspiracy, a felony that carries a prison sentence of up to five years, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said Islas and various co-defendants tricked homeowners into signing fraudulent deeds on their properties, then used the bogus deeds to extort money, charge illegal fees to delay foreclosure and eviction actions, and steal some homes outright. When the scheme's alleged ringleader — Michael “Mickey” Henschel, 70, of Van Nuys — was arrested in March 2018, he was already under indictment in a previous foreclosure-avoidance and bankruptcy fraud scam, federal prosecutors said.
Los Angeles Daily News

Heightened Security In Place At SoCal Mosques As Ramadan Begins
As the Muslim holy month Ramadan begins, many mosques around the Southland are taking extra security precautions. The mass shootings at mosques in New Zealand and other high-profile attacks on religious institutions in recent months have SoCal Muslim leaders on heightened alert. At the Islamic Center of Northridge, for example, officials have stepped up security and may bring in armed guards to keep watch. "We always have throughout the month of Ramadan, every single day we have security guards that help with parking, but also make sure that everything's civil and everything's right," said Mohammad Ibrahim Qureshi with the Northridge center. "This year we have been talking about extra measures - more security cameras. There's also possible talk of having armed security guards." 

Public Safety News

Measles Patient Visited The Grove, Original Farmers Market, La Brea Tar Pits: L.A. County Health Officials
Los Angeles County health authorities say one of the most recent local cases of measles involved a person who visited popular tourism locations including The Grove shopping center, The Original Farmers Market and La Brea Tar Pits. People who were at those locations and nearby areas on April 27 may be at risk of developing the highly contagious disease for up to 21 days. Authorities say there is no current risk of exposure at those locations. Health officials have been dealing with a small outbreak of measles as well as cases among travelers passing through. So far, a large-scale outbreak has been avoided. The Department of Public Health is urging people to be vaccinated against measles, especially if they are traveling internationally.

Local Government News

Homelessness Isn't Huge In Northwest San Fernando Valley – But It's A Major Issue In City Council Race
In Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley neighborhoods of Chatsworth, Porter Ranch and Granada Hills are about as far as you can get from skid row. Fewer people live without shelter in this suburban stretch of the city than in any other L.A. City Council district, according to the last available data from the homeless count. Yet homelessness has been a simmering topic here as more than a dozen candidates vie for a seat on the City Council, exposing stark divisions over how to address the needs of the destitute and the concerns of other residents. The June election, which will probably be followed by an August runoff, could decide how homelessness is confronted in the northwest Valley.

LA City Council Committee To Examine Higher Estimated 2028 Olympics Budget
A Los Angeles City Council committee is set to examine a new report Tuesday showing the estimated cost of staging the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics has risen to $6.9 billion. An original budget estimate of $5.3 billion was made before Los Angeles redirected its bid in 2017 from the 2024 Games to the 2028 Games. According to the private organizing committee, known as LA 2028, the higher figure is the result of adjusting for inflation, but the overall budget for the Games is still balanced. The City Council's Ad Hoc Committee on the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games is scheduled to discuss the report during a morning meeting. "Our budget is privately funded, realistic and fiscally conservative," LA 2028 Chairman Casey Wasserman said last month when the report was released. "We are redefining what it means to host a successful Games and look forward to planning and hosting an amazing experience that will make our community proud."

About the LAPPL Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents the more than 9,900 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education. The LAPPL can be found on the Web at: