Delta Stars Basketball team to play rival OakTown Warriors in Antioch Sunday, Nov. 24

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The Antioch-based Contra Costa County Delta Stars basketball team defeated the OakTown Warriors 96-95 on Nov. 2, 2019, with :08 left in regulation on a dramatic tip in. Since then OTW pulled off a shocking victory over the then #1 team in the ABA, the San Francisco City Cats.  There are now 153 teams in the ABA nationwide.
The Delta Stars also defeated the Solano Stallions 106-96 last Sunday, during their most recent home game in Antioch, and now have a record of 3-1.
The OakTown Warriors will seek to even the score in this Sunday’s game at the Antioch Community Center in Prewett Park, 4703 Lone Tree Way, starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and available at www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/3689712.
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Publisher @ November 21, 2019

Supervisors ban vaping product sales, plan to approve cannabis retail, cultivation permits

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The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors recognized CCTV on its 25th anniversary at the supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday. Accepting the resolution on behalf of CCTV was Susan Shiu, Contra Costa County director of communications and media. CCTV currently broadcasts six channels – CCTV, City Channel, Ed TV, Community Access, Hercules Community TV, and Delta TV. The Contra Costa Television network provides public, education and government access services for users in Contra Costa County, in the cities of Antioch, Clayton, Danville, Hercules, Martinez, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, and San Ramon. CCTV has adopted the slogan “Making Television Part of the Solution.” Photo by Daniel Borsuk.

Recognize 25th anniversary of CCTV.

By Daniel Borsuk

A few hours after supervisors had unanimously passed an ordinance banning the sale of vaping products and prohibiting the delivery of cannabis vaping products in unincorporated Contra Costa County, the elected officials instructed Planning Department officials on Tuesday to prepare for supervisors’ potential approval of land use permits for commercial cannabis storefront retailers and cultivators at the supervisors’ upcoming December 10th meeting.

Supervisors adopted the county’s anti-vaping ordinance, after supervisors listening to 10 speakers advocate for the prohibition of the sale or delivery of tobacco vaping products, cannabis vaping products, and flavored tobacco products in 54 retail stores in unincorporated areas of the county. A week ago, more than 50 speakers called on supervisors to pass the proposed anti-vaping ordinance.

Prior to adoption of the new law banning the countywide sale of vaping products, the county prohibited the retail sale of vaping products to persons under 21 years old within 1,000 feet of a public or private school, playground, park or library. That law had affected about 45 retailers in unincorporated parts of the county.

More than 2,000 Americans, many of them teenagers and young adults, have become sick from using vaping products since March, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Some persons have died from using vaping products.

Supervisors set the stage to select candidates who will be invited to apply for either cannabis storefront retail and commercial cannabis cultivator land use permits from the Conservation & Development Department.

Supervisors learned a 10-member Cannabis Review Panel consisting of representatives from the county Administrator’s Office, Department of Agriculture, Contra Costa Fire Protection District, Health Services Department and Conservation & Development Department(CDD), had met 15 times to score and rank candidates seeking land use permits to start the regulatory process of legally operating in accordance with the County’s Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance that was approved by county voters on Nov. 6, 2018.

The county cannabis ordinance permits for the creation of four storefront cannabis retailers, 10 commercial cannabis cultivators and two commercial cannabis manufactures in agricultural zones.

CDD official Ruben Hernandez, said proposals for storefront retailers were received from Bay Point, 2; from Clyde, 1; Pacheco Boulevard, 10; El Sobrante, 7, and North Richmond, 1.

Eleven of the 19 commercial cannabis cultivator proposals were found to be ineligible because the subject properties are not within service area of a retail water supplier, a requirement set in the Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance.

A majority of the commercial cannabis cultivation proposals were located in the Eastern Contra Costa areas of Bethel Island, Kingston and Brentwood area. Three proposals were located in North Richmond.

“Since fewer proposals were received than the maximum number of commercial cultivation businesses to be permitted, the panel is recommending that all seven eligible proposals be invited to apply for land use permits,” a document from CDD Director John Kopchik stated.

During the public speaking portion, several persons protested that the cultivation operations nearby housing subdivisions will stimulate crime and/or health problems.

Knightsen resident Ann Richie said permitting cannabis cultivation operations nearby her residence will only increase crime. “We’ve had two incidents recently,” she said. “They were violent crimes. Please don’t let this happen.”

Patrice Kintral of Knightsen told supervisors that allowing a cannabis cultivation operation nearby her home will mean more health problems for her nine-year-old special needs daughter. “This proposal could mean she may expect to have more migraines,” Kintral said.

In the meantime, some Supervisors plan to study the proposed sites before the December 10, meeting.

Board Chair John Gioia plans to look at each site before the Board’s next meeting. “Some of these locations are better than others,” he said.

“We want to start slow on this,” said Vice Chair Candace Andersen. “We want to dot the i’s and cross the t’s because we have seen how other counties have made mistakes when they enacted cannabis laws.”

District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, who has five cannabis proposals in his district, and District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, who has 10 cannabis proposals in her district (Pacheco Boulevard), both liked the community benefit proposals that bidders submitted. “You did a fabulous job,” Mitchoff said.

In other action, supervisors approved on consent the following:

  • Renewed a $322,927 a year contract with Baker & Taylor for book rental services for the Contra Costa County Library from Jan. 1, through Dec. 31, 2020. Baker & Taylor builds and maintains an economical method for maintaining an inventory of the most current, high demand hardcover titles.
  • Approved the $13 million Marsh Drive Bridge Replacement Project over the Walnut Creek Channel. Constructed in 1938, the existing bridge is structurally, seismically and hydraulically deficient and will be replaced with a new five-span bridge, pre-stressed concrete slab structure on concrete piles that is longer and wider than the existing bridge, at about 340 feet long and 55 feet wide. The bridge is currently 325 feet long and 34 feet wide.
  • Increased solid waste collection rates in the unincorporated West County areas covered by the Richmond Sanitary Service. The residential rate increase of 4.63 percent effective Jan. 1, 2020
  • The rate increase corresponds with a monthly raise of $1.17 in the most common (35-gallon cart) collection rate.
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Publisher @ November 21, 2019

Antioch teen, three others arrested for theft of $9,000 in fragrances at Streets of Brentwood store

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By Brentwood Police

What might have seemed like a good idea at the time, landed four people behind bars yesterday, after they attempted to steal thousands of dollars in fragrances from Ulta. Imoni Cobbs (19-year-old Antioch resident), Jasmine Williams (24-year-old Stockton resident) and a female juvenile (16-year-old San Leandro resident), entered Ulta, opened up large bags and began placing fragrances in the bags. Ulta staff contacted the females as one fled the store. The two remaining females, Cobbs and the female juvenile, skirted Ulta staff, exiting the store and ditched the bags of fragrances.

While attempting to flee the shopping center on foot, they were apprehended by officers. Williams, who had initially fled the store, was located with the get-away driver, Quenneil Burns (25-year-old Oakland resident) in a nearby neighborhood, when alert residents noticed the duo acting suspicious and contacted dispatch. Officers established a perimeter and conducted a search of the neighborhood, locating Burns and Williams hiding in a backyard. All were arrested without incident.

Over $9,000 in fragrances was recovered. Burns, Cobbs and Williams were transported to county jail and the juvenile was transported to Juvenile Hall, all booked on numerous charges including grand theft, organized retail theft and conspiracy to commit a crime.

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Publisher @ November 20, 2019

Antioch Police add three to the force bringing total sworn officers to 109

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New Antioch Police Officers Ryan Carpenter (left), Geoffrey Morris and Saul Aguilar (right) with Chief Tammany Brooks. Photos by APD

Two more to be sworn in Dec. 9 bringing force to 111 fulfilling city council’s commitment in 2013’s Measure C

By Antioch Police

On Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 we welcomed Officer Ryan Carpenter! Ryan was born in Oakland and was raised in Oakley. When Ryan was growing up, he was very active, played many sports, and always enjoyed the outdoors. He also enjoyed camping and dirt biking. While growing up, Ryan would travel to Pennsylvania in the summertime to visit family.

Ryan has wanted to work in public service and help people since he was a kid.

Ryan graduated from Freedom High school in 2015. After graduating, Ryan attended Los Medanos College and obtained his Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certificate. Ryan was hired by American Medical Response (AMR) and began working as an EMT since. Ryan interacted with many different Police agencies while working as an EMT and became interested in a career in law enforcement. Ryan felt he could better serve his community as a Police Officer. Ryan knew that Antioch PD was the agency for him.

In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending time with family, friends, and his girlfriend. He also enjoys riding dirt bikes and doing anything outdoors.

Fun Fact: Ryan’s nickname in the academy was Caterpillar because he had a mustache during his Academy orientation. The nickname stuck with him throughout the entire Academy.

Last Tuesday, we welcomed two lateral officers to the Antioch Police Department. Saul Aguilar came to us from Walnut Creek Police Department and Geoffrey Morris from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

Saul Aguilar was born in Mexico and raised in Oakland, California. After graduating high school, Saul was hired by the El Cerrito Police Department as a Police Cadet. Saul attended Diablo Valley College while employed as a cadet. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from California State University East Bay. Saul then attended the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Academy and was hired by El Cerrito PD as a Reserve Officer. Saul was a Reserve Officer for six months, before being hired as a full time Police Officer with El Cerrito PD. Saul spent a total of three years with El Cerrito PD before transferring to the Walnut Creek Police Department. He worked for Walnut Creek for four years before coming to work for the City of Antioch.

In his free time, Saul enjoys running and spending time with his daughter.

Fun Fact: While in the academy, Saul forgot his classroom uniform. He thought it would be a great idea to wear his 5’4″ academy classmate’s classroom uniform to avoid not getting in trouble. Instead, Saul was forced to keep the uniform on for the remainder of the day.

Geoffrey Morris was born and raised in Havertown, Pennsylvania. After graduating high school, Geoff attended Northeastern University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. After graduating from Northeastern, Geoff moved to California and was an assistant coach with the Menlo-Atherton High School Football Team.

Geoff was hired by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office as a Correctional Officer, and then promoted to Deputy Sheriff. Geoff attended the Police Academy located at the College of San Mateo. Geoff worked for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office for six years before accepting a job with the City of Antioch, where he aspires to challenge himself and grow professionally.

In his free time, Geoff enjoys spending time with family and friends, lifting weights and barbequing.
Fun Fact: Geoff and his wife both forgot about their second anniversary, even though the date is on a wall they walk past daily.

According to Police Chief Tammany Brooks, that brings the total sworn officers on the force to 109 “and we’ll be swearing in two more on December 9 to bring us to 111.” That will fulfill the commitment by the Antioch Mayor and Council in 2013 of adding 22 more officers if the voters passed Measure C, the city’s half-cent sales tax measure, which they did later that year during the November election.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Publisher @ November 19, 2019

Contra Costa DA won’t charge five suspects in Orinda Halloween shooting deaths, wants more investigation

Posted in: News, Police & Crime, District Attorney, Sheriff-Coroner | Comments (0)

Five suspects arrested, not charged and set to be released are Jason Iles, Shamron Mitchell, Devin Williamson, Lebraun Wallace and Jaquez Deshawn Sweeney. Photos by CoCoSheriff.

Suspects are or will be released; Sheriff stands by his department’s investigation.

By Allen Payton

In a news release, this evening, Scott Alonso, the Public Information Officer for Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton, wrote, “Today the District Attorney’s Office met with members of the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff to review the Orinda Halloween shooting incident. No criminal charges are being filed at this time against any individual. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the case should call the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit at 925-313-2600.” (See related article)

When reached for comment, Alonso said, “We made the decision about 5:00 p.m. tonight.”

Asked if all five suspects who were arrested would be released, he responded, “That’s my understanding, yes. If they have no holds are on their records, then they will be released, tonight. If there are no charges filed against them. Four are in custody of the Contra Costa Sheriff. One is in custody of the Marin County Sheriff.”

Asked why D.A. Becton chose not to charge any of the suspects, Alonso said, “We have a really high filing standard and we need more information. We are collaboratively working with the Sheriff’s Office to see what else is out there.”

“It’s very complex. We want more witnesses to come forward. There were a lot of people at that party,” he added.

When reached for comment and asked about the suspects, Jimmy Lee, the Director of Public Affairs for the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff responded, “They have either been released or are in the process.”

“We stand by our investigation and the arrests were made pursuant to a judge’s order,” he continued. “Although the district attorney may want more investigation done, the persons arrested and responsible for these crimes will ultimately be held to account. The entire investigation is ongoing, as is common in these types of complex cases.”

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Publisher @ November 18, 2019

Sheriff expects more arrests in Orinda Halloween party killings

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Five suspects arrested are Jason Iles, Shamron Mitchell, Devin Williamson, Lebraun Wallace and Jaquez Deshawn Sweeney. Photos by CoCoSheriff.

Shootings were result of rival gangs

By Daniel Borsuk

More arrests are expected to be made in connection with the Orinda Airbnb case where five people were shot and killed on Halloween night, Contra Costa County Sheriff David O. Livingston said at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Unable to provide further details, the sheriff said that five suspects had been arrested on Friday in connection with the Orinda shootings on Friday that had ties with two Bay Area gangs – the Page Street Gang of San Francisco and the Marin City Jungle Gang of Marin City.

Sheriff Livingston said he expects any additional persons arrested in the Orinda Airbnb case will likely have gang affiliations. He would not elaborate.

The five suspects under arrest are identified as:

  • Shamron Mitchell, 30, of Antioch. Mitchell was arrested on the charges of murder and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.
  • Lebraun Wallace, 28, of San Mateo. Wallace was arrested on the charges of murder and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.
  • Jaquez Deshawn Sweeney, 20, of Marin City. Sweeney was arrested on the charges of murder and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.
  • Jason Iles, 20, of Marin City. Iles was arrested on the charges of murder and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.
  • Devin Williamson, 21, of Vallejo. Williamson was arrested on the the charges of being an accessory. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

“Extraordinary cooperation among multiple law enforcement agencies led to these arrests and a small measure of justice for the true victims,” said Sheriff Livingston.

“We have video showing a number of people at the party had carried firearms and secreted their firearms in their pants once the shooting spree in the house had subsided,” the sheriff said.

Four firearms were recovered by law enforcement authorities at the crime scene, Sheriff Livingston said.

“We believe people at the party had intent to do harm at this party,” the sheriff said in reference to potential connections with other gangs in the Bay Area. “Additionally, evidence shows two of the deceased persons inside the house were themselves armed, which may have played a role in this tragedy,”

Those victims, who had possessed weapons, were Ramon Hill Jr., 24, of San Francisco/Oakland and Javin County, 29, of Sausalito/Richmond.

Other murder victims were Tiyon Farley, 22, of Antioch; Omar Taylor, 24, of Pittsburg; and Oshiana Tompkins, 19, of Vallejo/Hercules, according to the sheriff’s office. Five additional victims suffered gunshot wounds. One person jumped 30 feet over a balcony to escape the gunfire, said deputies.

“The blame rests specifically on the people who brought guns into the party, pulled the trigger and murdered someone. That’s who should have the blame in this case,” said the sheriff.

The sheriff said neither the Orinda police, the homeowner, nor Airbnb deserve blame in this case.

In the aftermath of the crime, Orinda Mayor Inga Miller said the city council is expected to consider tougher home rental ordinance proposals that would apply to Airb&b at Tuesday’s council meeting. “I want to thank the Contra Costa County Sheriffs Office and other local law enforcement agencies for the resources they have deployed into resolving this heinous crime,” said Miller

The Antioch Police Department, San Mateo Police Department, Vallejo Police Department, Marin County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshalls Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted in the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff in this case.

Persons with any information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600. For any tips, please email: tips@so.cccounty.us or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

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Publisher @ November 17, 2019

Delta Stars basketball team to play in Antioch Sunday evening

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Publisher @ November 17, 2019

Antioch resident sentenced to over 11 years in prison for possession of child pornography

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Investigation began with tips from concerned citizens

OAKLAND – Sonny Mitchell was sentenced today to 135 months in prison for possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and United States Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Thomas C. Edwards.  The Honorable Jon S. Tigar, U.S. District Judge, handed down the sentence earlier today.

Mitchell, 45, of Antioch, pleaded guilty to the charge on August 16, 2019.  According to his plea agreement, Mitchell admitted to possessing and distributing to others, images of children as young as seven years old engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Mitchell used a social media platform to communicate with others and then distribute the images, which included videos and GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format).  In one video, an adult male voice is heard giving directions to two minors who were engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Mitchell also agreed he was subject to a minimum sentence of ten years imprisonment because of his conviction in 1999 for unlawful sex with a minor.

A federal grand jury indicted Mitchell on May 9, 2019, charging him with two counts of distribution of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2) and (b)(1), and one count of possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B) and (b)(2). Mitchell pleaded guilty to the possession count and the distribution counts were dismissed at sentencing.

This investigation began when a member of the public called local police to report Mitchell’s transmission of child pornography using a social media platform.  In addition, during the course of the investigation, Mitchell was identified as the user of a social media account that had been reported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) as being used to transmit child pornography.  NCMEC had received a cyber-tip indicating that an individual was using a social media platform to send child pornography to other users.  Law enforcement eventually identified Mitchell as the user of the account transmitting the images.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Tigar sentenced Mitchell to seven years of supervised release.  The defendant will begin serving the prison term immediately.  In addition, Judge Tigar scheduled a hearing for January 24, 2020, to determine issues regarding restitution.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan U. Lee is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jessica Rodriguez and Kathleen Turner.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, and the Antioch Police Department.

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Publisher @ November 16, 2019