Archive for the ‘Police & Crime’ Category

Antioch Police explain what occurred, identify victims, suspect in Monday morning homicide

Monday, May 2nd, 2016
IN-CUSTODY for Murder and Attempted Murder, Thomas John Williams, Jr.

IN-CUSTODY for Murder and Attempted Murder, Thomas John Williams, Jr.

By Lieutenant Anthony Morefield, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

In a 5:02 p.m. press release, the Antioch Police explained what occurred and released the names of the victims and suspect, in the Monday morning homicide at the QuikStop convenience store at the corner of West Tregallas and Lone Tree Way.

The victim in this case has been identified as Antioch resident, 27-year-old Cynthia Flores-Crose. Flores-Crose was in a previous relationship with suspect Thomas Williams, Jr. Williams had a heated exchange with Flores-Crose outside the Quik Stop before following her into the store and shooting her.

The store clerk, Thomas Payne, was also shot by Williams when he tried to intervene but is expected to survive his injuries. As stated earlier, Williams was arrested in front of the Police Department a short time later. He is currently being held in the Martinez Detention Facility for murder and attempted murder.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Jason Vanderpool with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6988. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Domestic dispute turns deadly at convenience store in Antioch, Monday morning

Monday, May 2nd, 2016
Antioch Police had the QuickStop convenience store and parking lot on W. Tregallas cordoned off, during the investigation of the shooting homicide, Monday morning, May 2, 2016.

Antioch Police had the QuickStop convenience store and parking lot on W. Tregallas cordoned off, during the investigation of the shooting homicide, Monday morning, May 2, 2016.

QuikStop homicide 2By Allen Payton

On Monday morning, at approximately 7:11 AM, Antioch Police Officers responded to a report

of a shooting at the Quik Stop Market at 2760 W. Tregallas Road at the corner of Lone Tree Way. The officers arrived to find an adult female victim deceased from an apparent gunshot wound.

A short time later, the male suspect in this case, a 34-year-old Antioch resident, was taken into custody without incident in front of the Antioch Police Department. According to a VIP who heard the police call, the suspect turned himself in and according to Mike Burkholder of eastcountoday.net, the suspect drove himself to the police facility. According to the team from Channel 2 News the car was a dark blue or grey Dodge Charger, being driven by a Hispanic or white male with a black semi-automatic weapon. Burkholder, who saw the car at the police facility, confirmed the suspect’s vehicle was grey.

As of 8:30 AM, the body of the 27-year-old Antioch victim was believed to still be inside the store.

A close friend of the store owner, who owns another convenience store in Antioch, showed up on scene and was told by the police that the employees are OK. But one clerk was shot in the arm. They also said the owner of the store, who was also on the scene at that time is OK.

According to a neighbor of the clerk, in an on-the scene Channel 2 TV News interview by Anchor/Reporter Brian Flores, it was a domestic dispute and he “stepped in to help the lady.”

“The woman was shot by her partner,” the neighbor also stated.

A second victim, a 27-year-old adult male Antioch resident, believed to be the clerk, was also on-scene, when police arrived, suffering from a gunshot wound. This second victim was transported to a local area hospital where he is currently being treated for his injuries.

This case is currently being investigated by the Antioch Police Department Investigations Bureau. The police are in the preliminary stages of this case, and no further information will be released at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Jason Vanderpool with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6988. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

Lieutenant Anthony Morefield, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau contributed to this report.

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Benefit concert for Antioch Police Activities League at Leer Vineyards, Saturday, May 7

Friday, April 29th, 2016

PAL Benefit Concert

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Applicants needed for Contra Costa County Disproportionate Minority Contact Task Force

Friday, April 29th, 2016

County Supervisors are seeking residents interested in reviewing data and discussing issues regarding disproportionate minority contact within the local criminal justice system. On April 12,

2016, the Board of Supervisors approved the 17 member Disproportionate Minority Contact Task Force composed of the following members:

  • ·County Probation Officer
  • ·Public Defender
  • ·District Attorney
  • ·Sheriff-Coroner
  • ·Health Services Director
  • ·Superior Court representative
  • ·County Police Chief’s Association representative
  • ·Mount Diablo Unified School District representative
  • ·Antioch Unified School District representative
  • ·West Contra Costa Unified School District representative
  • ·(5) Community-based organization (CBO) representatives (at least 1 representative from each region of the County and at least one representative from the faith and family community)
  • ·Mental Health representative (not a County employee)
  • ·Public Member – At Large

Following passage of Assembly Bill 109, commonly known as Public Safety Realignment, significant program infrastructure, both within the County and in the community, were put into place to support returning citizens with successful reentry into the community following incarceration; however, there remain factors that contribute to minority residents experiencing disproportionate levels of arrest, prosecution and incarceration. Cities and counties across the nation are grappling with the same issue, but precipitating factors and solutions are unique to each jurisdiction.

In Contra Costa County, the Board of Supervisors has charged the newly established Task Force with identifying these unique factors and recommending solutions to improve the experience of minority residents across the County. The Board is seeking applications for seven (7) of the seats above; five (5) community based organization seats, one (1) Mental Health representative seat and one (1) Public member At-Large seat at this time. Applicants for community based organizations seats must be affiliated with a community based organization operating within the County. Applicants for the Mental Health representative seat must be involved in the mental health community within the County, but cannot be a County employee.

Applicants for the Public Member At-Large seat may be any individual that resides or works within the County.

Applicants will be interviewed by the Board of Supervisors’ Public Protection Committee (Supervisors Candace Andersen, District II and John Gioia, District I) with appointment recommendations being sent to the full Board of Supervisors for action. Below is a timeline for the recruitment:

  • · June 15th: Application Deadline (7 week application period)
  • · June 27th: Public Protection Committee Meeting: Interviews
  • · July 12th: Board consideration of PPC nominations

Application forms can be obtained from the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors by calling (925) 335-1900, or by visiting the County webpage at www.co.contra-costa.ca.us. Applications should

be returned to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, Room 106, County Administration Building, 651 Pine Street, Martinez, CA 94553. Applications can also be faxed to (925) 335-1913.

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County Sheriff to hold National Prescription Drug TAKE BACK Day, Saturday

Friday, April 29th, 2016

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 10 AM to 2 PM, the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 11th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal at the following sites. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

DROP OFF LOCATIONS:

-Oakley Police Department, 3231 Main Street, Oakley

-Office of the Sheriff Muir Station, 1980 Muir Road, Martinez (Field Operations Building)

-Office of the Sheriff Bay Station, 5555 Giant Highway, Richmond (West County Detention Facility)

-Danville Police Department, 510 La Gonda Way, Danville

-Lafayette Police Department, 3675 Mt. Diablo Way, Suite 130, Lafayette

-Orinda Police Department, 22 Orinda Way, Orinda

Last September, Americans turned in over 702,000 pounds of prescription drugs at over 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its ten previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds—more than 2,750 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 30, 2016 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Office of Diversion Control website at: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov.

 

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Man who attempted to buy Kelly’s Card Room license in Antioch, sentenced to four years in prison for bank fraud, money laundering scheme, Friday

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

OAKLAND – Anthony Keslinke, 48, of Danville, was sentenced to four years in prison today for his leadership role in a large-scale bank fraud conspiracy and a separate money laundering conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Batdorf.

Keslinke pleaded guilty in May of 2015 to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  In pleading guilty, Keslinke admitted that he used straw buyers to purchase real estate throughout Northern California between 2011 and 2014.  Keslinke identified properties, including his own properties, that were potential candidates for a “short sale.”  A “short sale” is a sale of real estate in which the sale proceeds are less than the balance owed on the mortgage loan pertaining to the property and often occurs when a borrower cannot pay the mortgage loan.

In furtherance of the scheme, Keslinke submitted offers to the financial institutions on behalf of straw buyers.  In order to induce a bank to accept a short sale offer, Keslinke would draft fraudulent financial hardship letters and submit them on behalf of the seller of a property.  In addition, in order to give the appearance to the financial institutions that the properties were worth significantly less than true fair market value, Keslinke often altered engineering and pest reports associated with the properties.  Moreover, in furtherance of his scheme, Keslinke often altered bank account documents to create the appearance that the straw buyers had sufficient funds to purchase the properties in cash.  Once a financial institution accepted a particular property for a short sale, Keslinke used his own funds to purchase the property in the name of the straw buyer.  After a short sale was completed on a particular property, Keslinke maintained control of the property and often sold the property for a significant financial gain.  Keslinke admitted using this mortgage fraud scheme to orchestrate the short sale of properties in Danville, Walnut Creek, and Kings Beach, California.

Keslinke also admitted that between August of 2013 and February of 2014, he met on multiple occasions with an undercover agent purporting to be a drug dealer.  Keslinke accepted a total of $550,000 from the undercover agent.  In an attempt to conceal the true source of the funds, Keslinke repeatedly deposited the money received from the undercover agent into business bank accounts under his control.  Keslinke then attempted to launder the money by wiring it from his business bank accounts to an account controlled by the undercover agent.  Keslinke routinely kept 8-10% of the money provided to him from the undercover agent as a fee for his services.

The sentence was handed down by United States District Judge Jon S. Tigar.  In addition to the prison term, Judge Tigar also ordered the defendant to pay a forfeiture judgment in the amount of $2,086,405 and a fine of $50,000.  Keslinke also agreed to forfeit $1,722,426 in cash seized from his residence and his bank accounts.  Judge Tigar also ordered Keslinke to pay $1,427,916 in restitution to the victims of the charged crimes.  Judge Tigar also sentenced Keslinke to a three-year period of supervised release.

At the time of the investigation, Keslinke was in the midst of trying to buy the card room license from the owners of the closed Kelly’s in Antioch. He was seeking approval from the California Gambling Control Commission, after receiving conditional approval from the Antioch City Council in November, 2013.

However, the City and council members were unaware of the FBI investigation at the time and weren’t informed until after Keslinke’s arrest.

Antioch Councilwoman Mary Rocha, who attended Keslinke’s sentencing hearing on Friday, submitted a letter on his behalf, telling the court of the things he had done in Antioch, including buying and renovating the ABC Building on A Street and the Friendship Care Home on Cavallo. She didn’t speak, but said about 30 others did in support of Keslinke.

Also in attendance was Linda King, the daughter Al Cianfichi, the  owner of Kelly’s. For years, she worked in the restaurant and bar part of the family-owned and operated business, which is named after King’s daughter and because her mother, Mrs. Cianfichi is Irish. She said the family didn’t know Keslinke when someone brought him into their place in 2013 and he decided to buy it. However, King stated “there has never been a purchase and sales agreement” for the business from him.

“Keslinke’s money laundering scheme had nothing to do with his interest in buying Kelly’s and his attempt to buy the card room license,” she added. “What he did was separate from him trying to have business dealings with us. All he did was apply for his gaming license. We never entered into negotiations.”

“The local level cleared him on his background check and even the state level approved him, so they weren’t aware of the FBI investigation, either, to my knowledge, ” King continued. “We found out about his arrest in the newspapers.”

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron Wegner and David Countryman are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Vanessa Vargas and Carolyn Jusay.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the DEA and IRS.  The Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office and Livermore Police Department also provided assistance during the investigation. The investigation was conducted and funded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a multi-agency task force that coordinates long-term narcotics trafficking investigations.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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DA Peterson, law enforcement agencies hold Day of Action to raise awareness on slavery and human trafficking in Contra Costa

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

District Attorney Mark Peterson announced that his office is collaborating with local law enforcement agencies, the County’s Zero Tolerance for Human Trafficking Coalition, Family Justice Centers, and community-based organizations to raise awareness of human trafficking and slavery, provide services and support to victims and bring traffickers to justice. Contra Costa County includes Human Trafficking in its “Zero Tolerance Initiative” and will coordinate with similar initiatives in neighboring counties such as Alameda.

Peterson notes that such coordinated efforts are important to combat the many forms of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. The FBI has identified California as one of the nation’s top four destination states for trafficked persons. According to Peterson, Contra Costa County is a natural corridor for human trafficking activities with its linkage to major metropolitan areas like Oakland and San Francisco via public transportation (BART) and its accessibility to Los Angeles and Sacramento via major highways such as 680, 80 and 5 (via Hwy 4). Though human trafficking is illegal, victims often do not know where to turn for help and community members may not know where to report suspicious situations.

As part of the County’s awareness-raising efforts, Peterson announced a “Day of Action” to enforce Senate Bill 1193 (SB1193). This law, which was passed in 2013, requires specified businesses including airports, train stations, truck stops, certain bars, urgent care centers, farm labor contractors, and certain massage parlors to post notices listing information about human trafficking and a hotline number for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.

Today, Saturday, April 23, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office and police agencies in Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasant Hill and Martinez are personally contacting some of the businesses covered by SB1193 and provide posters that include hotline numbers to seek help or report unlawful activity.

For additional information regarding SB 1193, please visit the Attorney General’s website at www.oag.ca.gov or contact your local law enforcement to report any possible slavery or human trafficking activity.

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Man shot near Lowe’s on Auto Center Drive in Antioch, Wednesday night, police seek shooter

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

By Corporal Matthew Koch, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at approximately 9:20 p.m., Antioch Police Officers were dispatched to the Lowe’s located at 1951 Auto Center Drive for the report of a shooting that just occurred with a subject shot. Upon arrival, Officers located an adult male victim who suffered from a single gunshot wound. The male victim was treated by medical personnel and transported to a local hospital. The victim’s injuries were not life threatening. The investigation into the identity of the shooter is ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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