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Recent blog posts

Identity theft does not just happen to ordinary members of the public. A Northern California police officer became the victim of identity theft, after his cell phone was wiretapped with illegal spyware. The defendant, an owner of an unlicensed private detective company, installed illegal surveillance technology on the police officer's cell phone, thereby obtaining confidential and other sensitive information from the officer.

Such identity theft is possible with the use of “interception device” technology made available by StealthGenie and other similar brands. It is also illegal to be in possession of some of the associated devices, which are used for the capture and seizure of personal or confidential communications.

According to the Mercury News, the defendant in this case was sentenced to more than eight years state prison on several felony violations, including identity theft, illegal possession of spyware technology and conspiracy. The defendant's husband was also charged. He was a police officer with the Pacific Grove Police Department at the time the crimes were committed. He was handed a three year prison sentence for his involvement.

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Two men suspected of felony assault & battery at Santa Clara's Levi Stadium were arrested this past Sunday. According the Mercury News two men were assaulted by two other men in a restroom on the 300 level of the San Francisco Forty Niner's new stadium. A cell phone video of the incident has been posted online showing the attack as others look on.

Besides assault & battery charges there are other violations that the suspects may be charged with. This may include assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury (Penal Code section 245(a)(4)). This would be a strike offense pursuant to California's Three Strikes Law. The suspects could also be charged with simply battery; however a misdemeanor charge is unlikely, especially if the attack was unprovoked.

The suspects were immediately taken to Santa Clara County jail and the victims were transported to an unnamed hospital for treatment. Little information regarding the injuries have been provided.

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Two arson suspects have been arrested and remain in custody in Alameda county jail. In a recent interview one of the men maintained his innocence and denied involvement in a string of fires that destroyed nearly twelve buildings in downtown Alameda. The co-defendant has admitted setting only one of the fires, which he says was a meth-related accident, and denied involvement in the others.

Arson is suspected in a string of fires that spanned seven blocks, including the Park Street shopping district in Alameda. According to the Mercury News several homes were damaged or destroyed and several business equally affected. Surveillance video shows a man walking and then running away from a fire seemingly ignited in a trash bin.

In California, arson is a serious felony offense. Arson of property carriers a prison term of up to three years. However, if the arson is of an inhabited building the prison range is three, five or eight years. If a person suffers great injury as a result of the intentional fire the defendant may be subject to an enhancement that carriers an additional three to five years in prison.

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Felonies including assault with a deadly weapon and felony battery are among the charges facing a driver for the ride-sharing company Uber. The driver, who is an independent contractor with the company, is being accused of attacking one of his passengers after an argument erupted over the traffic route the driver was using. According to the Mercury News, the passenger suffered facial fractures, head trauma and other injuries.

Such felonies and assault charges could land the driver in prison, especially because the reported injuries amount to great bodily injury, or GBI. Great bodily injury is vaguely defined as significant or substantial harm that is not otherwise minor or moderate in nature. Facial fractures easily come within the GBI definition.

Uber is a ride-sharing service where people connect to various drivers by way of a smartphone device. People can request pick-ups, track local vehicles and pre-pay for the trips. Founded in San Francisco, the company's transportation service has quickly out-paced the traditional taxi.

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Posted on in Theft

Sheriff Deputies have arrested two burglary suspects in the Santa Cruz area. Authorities were tipped off when a man named Erick Vlach was admitted to Dominican Hospital for a gunshot wound to the foot. The man first told hospital staff that he was shot by an unknown assailant. However, when Sheriff Deputies arrived they pressed the man for information and soon discovered he was accidentally shot by his friend. It turns out that the mystery assailant was actually an accomplice to a burglary in Scotts Valley.

Earlier in the day a burglary was reported at the 1500 block of 30th Ave in Scotts Valley, California. The report indicated that two masked men were involved, carrying semi-automatic handguns. Cash, electronics and marijuana were among the stolen items.

Vlack was arrested for burglary, felony possession, conspiracy and assault with a deadly weapon. His accomplice was charged with the same crimes, but also violation of probation for a previous felony crime.

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The Santa Clara County District Attorney will be filing domestic violence charges against Forty-Niner defensive end Ray McDonald. McDonald was arrested on felony charges on Sunday August 31, 2014 after his fiancé called the police. According to the Sacramento Bee the couple was celebrating McDonald's birthday when the two began to argue. The argument allegedly led to a physical altercation and injuries to the fiancé. She is ten weeks pregnant.

The domestic violence charge most likely to be filed is a violation of Penal Code section 273.5, or causing corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant. This may be filed as a felony or misdemeanor and may result in jail or prison depending on the extent of the injuries and any prior criminal history that a particular defendant may have. This is reportedly McDonald's first accusation of domestic violence, which of course remains an accusation at this point.

The NFL has recently imposed strict sanctions for players who are found guilty of domestic violence. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently announced a sanction of six months suspension for any player guilty of a domestic violence. A second time offender may be banned from football for life. Additional penalties exist if the victim was pregnant at the time of the offense.

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Conspiracy to distribute drugs is the latest challenge facing FedEx. A Federal grand jury came down with an indictment against the international delivery service on charges that it conspired with illegal pharmaceutical companies to distribute controlled substances in the illegal drug black market. According to the Mercury News, FedEx denies the allegation and intends to fight for its name.

This drugs conspiracy could take a toll on the famous shipping company. The specific allegation is that FedEx failed to prohibit the illegal transport of oxycodone and hydrocodone (among others) and that it accommodated illegal distributors of these drugs despite federal warnings. Federal prosecutors indicate that FedEx knew of the illegal distribution of these substances and did not act to prevent itself from participating in the distribution. The company is facing billions of dollars in forfeiture.

Certain top executives are named as part of the conspiracy, although they are not named in the indictment. The Feds believe that the executives knew of at least two of the illegal online drug providers that were using FedEx as a part of their illegal pharmaceutical businesses. There are instances that deliveries were made to parking lots, schools and vacant homes. Not the typical places that couriers deliver packages.

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