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Search Warrants Served, Arrests Made at Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Los Angeles:   Detectives from the Topanga Area Narcotics Enforcement Detail (NED) served a search warrant at a medical marijuana dispensary and a residence in the west San Fernando Valley, resulting in two arrests and a cache of narcotics, money, guns, and other evidence of illegal drug sales.

On Tuesday, October 30, 2012, around 2:00 p.m., Topanga Area Narcotics Enforcement Detail detectives converged on a commercial marijuana dispensary in the 19900 block of Ventura Boulevard.  At approximately 3:00 p.m., they served a search warrant at the dispensary owner’s house in the 14700 block of Valleyheart Drive.

The search warrants were obtained after an investigation into the illegal sales of marijuana from the dispensary on Ventura Boulevard.  Sherman Oaks resident, 54-year-old Gennady Tikhonov, and North Hollywood resident, 39-year-old Vyacheslav Bugakov, were arrested for Possession for Sales of Marijuana and booked at Valley Jail Section.  They are being held on $20,000 bail.

Investigators recovered cash from the dispensary, approximately one pound of hashish with an estimated street value of $4,500 and around 17 pounds of dried marijuana with an estimated street value of $51,000.  One hand gun was recovered from the dispensary and two more handguns from the owner’s residence.  Additionally, sophisticated indoor hydroponic marijuana grows, consisting of approximately 200 mature marijuana plants, were discovered at both locations.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Topanga Area Narcotics Enforcement Detail Detectives, Detective Carlos Figueira at 818-756-4850.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

     
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Notes from the October 30, 2012 Weekly Police Commission Meeting

• Police Chief Charlie Beck thanked Commissioner Robert Saltzman for attending the Compstat meeting. He said his presence displays the influence of the Police Commission since Compstat is the primary tool of changing, adjusting or modifying behavior in the Los Angeles Police Department. Chief Beck also stated overall violent crime was down 7.6% for the year in the City.

• The Inspector General’s report, dated October 24, 2012, relative to the Operation-Valley Bureau Narcotics Enforcement Detail Command Accountability Performance Audit (IAID No. 12-001) was approved. The purpose of the audit was to determine whether the Department’s internal controls were sufficient to ensure Narcotics Enforcement Units were operating within Department, State and Federal guidelines. The audit tested arrest and search warrant packages, standard based assessment reports and financial disclosure documents. The Office of the Inspector General determined the audit was complete and of good quality.

• The Executive Director’s report, dated October 25, 2012, relative to the Official Police Garage Towing & Storage Rates for 2013 was approved.

• The Department’s report, dated October 25, 2012, relative to the Rampart Area Detective Command accountability Performance Audit (IAID No.12-0470) was approved. Some of the objectives reviewed were detective work product, search and Ramey warrants, case clearances, case categorization and supervisory roles as it relates to felony cases which were bypassed and referred to the City Attorney’s office for filing. The audit revealed the bypass of felony cases and the evaluation of the detective Divisional felony warrant files were out of compliance. Protocol standards were not followed by detectives in 9 out of the 22 felony cases referred to the City Attorney’s office.  Twenty-two search warrant packages were missing, but copies have been obtained and the warrants have been served with due diligence.


Officer-Involved Shooting in Newton

Los Angeles: On October 12, 2012, around 8:30 p.m., Newton Patrol Officers were in the area of 41st Place and Woodlawn Avenue when they saw an individual, later identified as Kennedy Garcia, 23 years of age, spray painting gang graffiti on a wall.  As suspect Garcia was about to enter a waiting vehicle, officers detained him, as well as the other occupants in the vehicle. The officers instructed Garcia and the other occupants to face the wall and place their hands behind their backs.  As the officers were conducting pat down searches for weapons, Garcia, who had not been searched, suddenly ran away while holding his waistband.  One officer chased Garcia on foot.  Believing that Garcia was possibly armed with a gun the officer requested back-up for a 415 man with a gun.  As the officer was chasing Garcia his partner got into their police vehicle and drove parallel to his partner.  During this time the other detainees ran away northbound on Woodlawn Avenue from 41st Place.

A short time later responding officers saw one of the detainees, prone on the ground and attempting to hide under a sport utility vehicle, in front of the residence located in the 4000 block of Woodlawn Avenue.  One of the officers grabbed the detainee by his ankles, and as the officer pulled him from under the vehicle, the officers observed what they believed was a chrome/stainless steel handgun in the detainees hand at which time a officer-involved shooting occurred.

The detainee received a single gunshot wound above the right buttock and was transported to a local hospital by Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulance where he was admitted in critical condition.

The other detainees were held for further investigation and later released. Garcia was arrested for violation of 594 (B) (1) (Felony Vandalism) and booked at Jail Division Metropolitan Detention Center.

The officers involved in the officer-involved shooting have been identified as Police Officer II Jonathan Rocha and Police Officer II Louis Garcia.

The LAPD Force Investigation Division responded to the incident and will conduct a thorough investigation of the officer-involved shooting and all related crimes.  The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Office of the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy, which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.

     
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Suspects Shoot at Officers While in Pursuit

Los Angeles:  On October 17, 2012, at around 9:40 p.m., Mission Area uniformed police officers were about to initiate a traffic stop on a Silver Nissan containing occupants Steve Rambeau and Vanessa Acosta, when they were fired upon by the suspects.  The officers broadcast a “Help” request and went in pursuit of the Sentra.  Officers from various Valley Divisions responded to the “Help” call to assist the Mission Officers in pursuit.  During the course of the vehicle pursuit, the officers were fired upon by the suspects on at least five separate occasions.

At Vanowen Street and Firmament Avenue, officers from the Violent Criminal Task Force intentionally rammed their police vehicle which resulted in suspect Rambeau losing control of his vehicle.  At one point, suspect Rambeau pointed a gun at suspect Acosta’s head and an officer-involved shooting occurred.  Rambeau was struck by the gunfire and collapsed in the car.  Suspect Acosta was struck in the elbow, exited the vehicle and was taken into custody.

Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics responded and pronounced Rambeau dead at the scene.  A motor officer received a minor injury during the incident.  A .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol with an extended magazine was recovered at the scene.

The below officers were involved in the officer-involved shooting:
Police Officer II Miguel Alarcon working Mission Area   
Police Officer II Michael Loizzi, working Valley Traffic Division
Police Officer II Sinh Sechang working Valley Traffic Division    
Police Officer II Eric Obrecht working Valley Traffic Division
Police Officer II+II Albert Martinez working Violent Criminal Task Force
Sergeant I Gordon Olson working West Valley Area
Police Officer Nicole Minarik working Mission Area
Sergeant I Habib Munoz working Violent Criminal Task Force
Police Officer II+II Frank Bancalari working Violent Criminal Task Force

Los Angeles Police Department Force Investigation Division (FID) responded and will be handling the investigation of the officer-involved shooting.

The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and The Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.  Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts of the officer-involved shooting.

     
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Officer-Involved Shooting in Van Nuys

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles Police Department Van Nuys patrol officers are involved in an officer-involved shooting conducting a vandalism investigation in the 13800 block of Oxnard Street in response to a previously generated call of a “415 Man Armed with a Knife or Ax.”

The officers were in the apartment building courtyard when the vandalism suspect, 49-year-old Alexander Nestoiter walked by them.  The suspect was ordered to stop and initially refused to comply with the officers’ order.  When the suspect did stop, he turned toward Officer Lata in an aggressive stance.  In response, Officer Lata drew his baton and ordered the suspect to turn around and raise his hands.

The suspect failed to comply and reached to his rear waistband area.  Fearing the suspect was attempting to arm himself, Officer Lata dropped his baton and drew his service pistol.  Officer Lata again commanded the suspect to show his hands.  The suspect produced a Glock semiautomatic pistol, pointed it at Officer Lata, at which time an officer-involved shooting occurred.

Los Angeles Fire Paramedics responded and pronounced and suspect dead.  No officers were injured.

Los Angeles Police Department Force Investigation Division (FID) responded and will be handling the investigation of the officer-involved shooting.

The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and The Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.  Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts of the officer-involved shooting.

     
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Non Hit Officer-Involved Shooting in 77th Division

Update:
The officer involved in the below officer-involved shooting has been identified as Police Officer III Eduardo Mendez.

Los Angeles: On October 4, 2012, around 7:00 p.m., Los Angeles Police Department, Metropolitan Division Officers were working crime suppression in the area west of 63rd Place in the 77th Street Area.   The Officers saw four people outdoors drinking alcohol at the rear of 708 West Gage Avenue.  The officers stopped their police car.  The passenger officer began to do a “pat down” search of an unidentified suspect, when the suspect, later identified as Harold Martinez, ran away northbound on Gage Ave.  The officer pursued Martinez on foot.  As the partner officer entered the rear yard, he saw that the passenger officer was in foot pursuit of the suspect and ran to the east side of the location in an effort to assist his partner.

Suspect Martinez while running, pointed a gun at the pursuing officer at which time an officer involved-shooting occurred.  Martinez was not struck and continued to run away from the officers.  Officers were able to overtake Martinez and take him into custody.  Both officers saw Martinez toss a gun into the side yard of 704 West Gage Avenue. The gun was found and booked as evidence.

The LAPD Force Investigation Division responded to the incident and will conduct a thorough investigation of the officer-involved shooting and all related crimes.  The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Office of the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy, which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call the FID at 213-486-5230. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

     
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Quick Arrest in Fatal Stabbing at Sylmar Birthday Party

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles detectives have arrested 20-year-old David Silva of Sylmar in the fatal stabbing of a 19-year-old man, who was among an estimated 50 guests at a Sylmar birthday party at 13300 block of Sayre Street.

“This latest party incident occurred in spite of deploying three police units around the Northeast Valley to monitor parties on this weekend before Halloween,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division.  “But the police patrols wouldn’t have made a difference regardless for this incident as there had been no complaints about this party.”

On October 28 2012, around 1:30 a.m., the victim attended the birthday party as a friend of an invited guest.  The party was winding down around when an argument and fight broke out in the backyard.  When police arrived, they saw the victim lying on the walkway in front of the house, with several persons trying to render aid.

The victim died a short time later after paramedics took him to Holy Cross Hospital.

Detectives questioned less than a dozen persons who had remained at the house after the stabbing.  Detectives worked through Sunday, narrowing down the investigation to Silva, an invited guest at the party, who left before police arrived.

The birthday party had been given for a 25-year-old man whose family lives at the house.  Lt Paul Vernon explains, “This is another example of how alcohol, impulsive acts and weapons combined turn an otherwise happy occasion into a tragic circumstance changing lives forever.”     Neither Silva nor the victim had any gang ties or any significant criminal history.  

Silva was arrested booked for murder at the Van Nuys Jail.  His bail amount was not known at the time of this release.  The victim’s name will be released once his family has been notified.

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Detective Gretchen Schultz, Mission Homicide Unit, at 818-838-9951.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


     
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Vehicular Manslaughter Suspect Taken into Custody

Los Angeles:   The suspect who struck and killed an unidentified man and woman, sleeping on a sidewalk early Sunday morning has been arrested.

On Sunday October 28, 2012, at 12:05 a.m., 19-year-old Carmen Elena Chavez of Los Angeles, hit two pedestrians sleeping on Crocker Street on the east sidewalk just south of 4th Street.  The unidentified victims were pronounced dead at the scene by the Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics.

Chavez was driving a black 4 door 1989 Mercedes Benz.  She lost control of her car as she was making a right turn at an unsafe speed.  She was found to be under the influence of alcohol and booked for 191.5 P.C., Vehicular Manslaughter.  Her bail is set at $100,000.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Central Traffic Detectives, Detective Josephine Mapson or Detective Felix Padilla at 213-972-1851.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


     
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Vehicular Manslaughter Suspect Taken into Custody

Los Angeles:   The suspect who struck and killed an unidentified man and woman, sleeping on a sidewalk early Sunday morning has been arrested.

On Sunday October 28, 2012, at 12:05 a.m., 19-year-old Carmen Elena Chavez of Los Angeles, hit two pedestrians sleeping on Crocker Street on the east sidewalk just south of 4th Street.  The unidentified victims were pronounced dead at the scene by the Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics.

Chavez was driving a black 4 door 1989 Mercedes Benz.  She lost control of her car as she was making a right turn at an unsafe speed.  She was found to be under the influence of alcohol and booked for 191.5 P.C., Vehicular Manslaughter.  Her bail is set at $100,000.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Central Traffic Detectives, Detective Josephine Mapson or Detective Felix Padilla at (213) 972-1851.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

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Detectives Want Public’s Help to Identify Robbery Suspect; Surveillance Footage Depicts Suspect

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department detectives are asking for the public’s help to identify a robbery suspect caught on surveillance video robbing store employees at gun point at a neighborhood 7-Eleven store.

On Oct. 6, 2012, at 4:30 a.m., a suspect brandishing a handgun entered a 7-Eleven store in the 700 block of West Vernon Avenue and confronted the cashier, ordering him to open the cash registers and then lie face down on the ground.  The suspect then removed money from the  registers and left the location.

At 3:20 a.m. on Oct. 24, 2012, at 3:20 a.m., another robbery occurred at the same location.  This time, there were two cashiers.  The suspect’s mode of operation was exactly the same, except that when he left the store after the robbery, he was seen making his getaway on a mountain bike heading east on Vernon Avenue.  The only description of the bike was that it might have been red or orange.

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous and is described as a 25- to 35-year-old Black male about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 1 inch tall.  He weighs 180 to 220 pounds and was wearing a black beanie, black gloves, black sweater, black pants and black shoes.  He was armed with a blue steel semiautomatic handgun.


Anyone with any information about the incident or suspect is asked to call LAPD 77th Division Robbery Detectives Gerry Chamberlain or Sean Horton at 213-473-4861 during normal business hours.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cellphone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to www.LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.
     
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