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2020 Human Trafficking Awareness Billboard Campaign Jan 8, 2020

Alameda County District Attorney Launches New Campaign Designed to Engage All Community Members in the Fight to End Human Exploitation and Trafficking

2020 Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Campaign

“TAKE THE PLEDGE”

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley, Robert Schmitt, Regional President, and Bruce Qualls, Vice President, Clear Channel Outdoor Real Estate and Public Affairs Clear Channel Outdoor, have unveiled a new campaign to combat human trafficking in all forms. The campaign is called “TAKE THE PLEDGE”. It invites and challenges members of the community to declare their support of the efforts to combat human trafficking and exploitation. “TAKE THE PLEDGE” will be presented on Clear Channel billboards and bus shelters which are visible throughout Alameda County. The Campaign aims to mobilize the public, to heighten community awareness and education and to let people know how they can support the fight against human trafficking. Members of the community can click on the “TAKE THE PLEDGE” icon on HEATWatch.org and register their support. They can also learn how they too, can support the efforts of the many activists and abolitionists working to end human trafficking.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and Clear Channel Outdoor have collaborated for many years to deliver education and awareness to communities throughout Alameda County and the greater Bay Area. January 2020 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. “TAKE THE PLEDGE” is a way to start the new decade with determination and action aimed at stopping both commercial sexual exploitation and commercial labor exploitation.

The 2020 campaign consists of billboards and bus shelters visible in neighborhoods and from roadways throughout the Alameda County. The billboard’s message “TAKE THE PLEDGE” challenges every member of the community to play a role in putting an end to modern-day slavery. The billboards drive internet traffic to the DA’s Human Trafficking website, where one can take the pledge anonymously and, in addition, sign up for text and/or e-mail alerts with messages detailing ways to become involved in the fight. From heightening understanding and education, to starting campus clubs and participating in events and actions, there will be something for everyone. To “TAKE THE PLEDGE” simply click on the icon at HEATWatch.org. By doing so, individuals are showing the community’s support to ending human trafficking.

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People v. Jermaine Bradford Dec 19, 2019

On December 19, 2019, an Alameda County jury convicted defendant Jermaine Bradford of three felony counts of committing sexual acts on a child under the age of 10. Jane Doe was 6 years old when the crimes occurred sometime during the late winter and spring of 2016. The defendant committed these acts while driving Jane Doe to school in his van. The defendant is facing a sentence of up to 45 years to life in prison. The case was prosecuted by DDA Chris Infante with investigative work by Insp. Kendell Won and Insp. Jason Hawks. Victim advocacy was provided by Stephanie Lynch.

ALAMEDA COUNTY DA O’MALLEY ANNOUNCES CONSUMER PROTECTION SETTLEMENT WITH FASHION NOVA INC. Dec 19, 2019

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced today that her office, along with the District Attorneys of Los Angeles, Napa and Sonoma Counties, settled a civil consumer protection action against a California company known as Fashion Nova, Inc. The judgment was filed in Alameda County Superior Court and signed by Judge Tara Desautels.

Fashion Nova is a retailer that operates in the “fast fashion” industry. “Fast fashion” refers to clothing that moves rapidly from fashion shows or popular culture to mass production and retail sale. The majority of Fashion Nova’s sales take place on-line, over its Internet website wwww.fashionnova.com. The civil action alleges that Fashion Nova violated consumers’ rights by repeatedly failing to fulfill and ship orders within the legally mandated timeframe.

California law requires that orders placed over the Internet generally must be shipped within thirty days, failing which the business must either provide a refund, or take some other action, such as sending the buyer a written notice regarding the delay. The content of these “delay notices” are regulated by statute and must include, among other things, the expected duration of the delay and an offer of a refund, upon request.

The complaint alleges that Fashion Nova repeatedly violated these laws by failing to ship items to California consumers within 30 days of their orders and, at least until April 2018, by failing to provide adequate delay notices. The complaint alleges that Fashion Nova committed other violations of the law, such as failing to adequately disclose its return policy on the website.

“These types of consumer protection laws in California are on the books to make sure retailers treat their customers in an equitable and professional manner,” District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said. “When consumers place an order over the Internet, they are entitled to receive the items promptly or get a legally adequate explanation why they haven’t.”

The judgment includes an injunction to prevent further violations of law and requires Fashion Nova to pay approximately $250,000 in direct restitution to consumers. Without admitting liability, Fashion Nova was further ordered to pay $1.5 million in costs, penalties and other remedial payments. The company cooperated fully in the investigation and agreed to make changes to its business practices.

People v. David Vigil Dec 5, 2019

On December 5, 2019, a jury convicted defendant David Vigil of voluntary manslaughter (heat of passion) with use of a firearm, 2nd degree murder with personal use of a firearm, and shooting at an occupied vehicle.

On September 24, 2015, defendant David Vigil and his unidentified co-participant slowly drove down Crosby Avenue in East Oakland. The two both noticed victims Jorge Salazar and Edward Miranda sitting in Mr. Salazar’s car. The two victims had just gotten off work. After initially driving past the victims, the defendant reversed his car to line up with Mr. Salazar’s car and the men exchanged words. The defendant then drove his car forward and pulled to the side to allow another car to drive past, reversed again, got out of his car and approached the victims as they sat in their car. The defendant’s passenger also got out of the car and began to approach the victims and both the defendant and his passenger shot into the victims’ car. Mr. Salazar, who was also armed, fired back twice, striking the defendant once in the shoulder. The defendant and his co-participant fled the scene, leaving Mr. Salazar and Mr. Miranda dead from multiple gunshot wounds. The defendant initially claimed he was shot approximate three miles away while minding his own business. He claimed self-defense at trial despite stating that he had “shot some Scraps” shortly after the shooting. “Scraps” is a derogatory name for Sureño gang members. It is believed that the defendant is a Norteño gang member. It should be noted that the victims had no ties to any gang and appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time as they were victimized by the defendant.

The defendant will be sentenced on January 31, 2020.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Butch Ford with the assistance of Inspector Ceasar Basa and Victim-Witness Advocate Liliana Bueno.

DA O’Malley Announces Felony Charges Against Livermore Man in 1997 Cold Case Sexual Assaults Nov 18, 2019

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley has announced that her office has filed multiple felony sexual assault charges against Livermore resident Gregory Paul Vien, based on crimes committed against two women in 1997 in the cities of Livermore and Union City, CA.

On May 6, 1997, the defendant attacked a woman as she walked to BART after work. He dragged her to a secluded area where he sexually assaulted her. Union City Police detectives were able to obtain a sample of the suspect’s DNA from the victim’s clothing. On September 7, 1997, the defendant attacked a second victim while she was on a walk near Livermore High School in the city of Livermore. The defendant sexually assaulted the victim, and the Livermore Police Department was able to collect a DNA sample from the crime scene.

The DNA samples from both crime scenes were analyzed in a timely manner, and found to be a match to each other, meaning that law enforcement knew that the same person was responsible for both assaults. The samples were uploaded to CODIS, the national DNA database. However, no “hit” was made to determine the identity of the assailant.

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DA O’Malley Announces Funding Plan to Combat Illegal Dumping in Alameda and Contra Costa County Nov 13, 2019

Today, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) joined Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton, Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley and Contra Costa County Supervisor Burgis to announce funding for a one-year pilot program to combat illegal dumping in the two counties.

$750,000 in State funds, secured by Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan, now support the creation of pilot programs in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties by funding increased law enforcement efforts to combat illegal dumping in both counties.

“Illegal dumping is an environmental justice issue that disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities, and impacts the sense of well-being of all who live and work in neighborhoods where it is rampant,” says DA O’Malley. “Unscrupulous commercial haulers as well as individual violators illegally dispose of construction debris, mattresses, and trash of all sorts, wreaking havoc on the environment, ruining neighborhood streets and forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab to clean up the tremendous amounts of garbage dumped on city streets, highways, parks, and in our waterways. Dumping “hot spots” become breeding grounds for vermin and impact public health.”

“This state funding will provide our counties with the resources they need to combat this difficult problem,” said Bauer-Kahan. “The funding will provide both counties with the ability to have a full time police officer to enforce illegal dumping laws and make a huge impact in tackling this problem” she concluded.

The funds will support increased investigations of illegal dumping by dedicated peace officers, which will provide for much-needed deterrence. In Alameda County, these peace officers will coordinate their efforts with a newly formed Alameda County Regional Illegal Dumping Task Force, which has developed both a strong sense of what works and has significant ties to communities within the County and is able to provide helpful information and evidentiary leads. Evidentiary leads will also be provided by surveillance cameras placed at illegal dumping "hot-spots" and from clues found in waste by workers from the Men of Valor Academy, an Oakland non-profit program founded by Acts Full Gospel Church that provides job training for formerly incarcerated individuals. Suspects identified in these investigations will be held to account. Penalties for illegal dumping vary based on the severity of the crime, and can range from fines, to community service picking up trash, to jail time.

People v. Sean Grant Nov 7, 2019

On November 7, 2019, a jury found defendant Sean Grant guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and a felon in possession of ammunition.

On June 29, 2018, the defendant returned to his former workplace at New Karibbean Night Club in Oakland. There, he confronted a former colleague and started a physical altercation. After the altercation, the defendant told the victim "It's a wrap for you, you better stop working here." After making this threat, the defendant made a FaceTime call and asked an unknown man if he "Got that thang." Understanding "thang" to mean gun, the victim called 911. While police were on scene, the defendant returned to New Karibbean. In the car the defendant had been seen driving, police recovered a loaded pistol with an extended clip full of 33 rounds of live ammunition.

The defendant will be sentenced on January 10, 2020.

The case was prosecuted by DDA Charly Weissenbach with the assistance of Inspector Brian Delahunty.

Alameda County DA O’Malley Announces Multi-Million Dollar Settlement in Environmental Protection Law Oct 25, 2019

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley, along with 10 other California District Attorneys, announced today that a judge in Alameda County has ordered Service King Paint & Body, LLC to pay $2.35 million as part of a settlement of a civil environmental prosecution alleging the auto body repair company mishandled hazardous waste and confidential customer information.

Service King, a Texas limited liability company, currently owns and operates 42 auto body repair facilities throughout California. In Alameda County, there are three Service King auto body shops. In the complaint filed in Alameda County, prosecutors accused Service King of illegally disposing of hazardous waste generated during its auto body repair operations, and of violating laws related to the storage and management of this hazardous waste.

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