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September 2010 Archives

Nogales Mayor Octavio Garcia-Von Borstel Arrested For Bribery

Many people in the Nogales community may have been surprised to find out the Mayor Octavio Garcia-Von Borstel left City Hall in handcuffs yesterday. The Arizona Republic reports that FBI agents arrested the 29-year-old city official on bribery and bank fraud allegations.

Federal authorities report that Octavio Garcia-Von Borstel solicited Nogales businesses to hire him as a consultant with the promise of using his official position to secure city contracts without going through a competitive bid process. One person admitted to paying the mayor a $2,000 bribe.

David Arnold Reed Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter Charge

The trial of David Arnold Reed has been driven out for quite some time, since his case ended with a hung jury and mistrial last July. However, the Arizona Republic reports that the Gilbert man pleaded guilty last week to one count each of manslaughter and child abuse in the death of Cheree Goard, the 13-month daughter of his ex-girlfriend.

David Reed was initially charged with first-degree murder for abusing the girl, but his case was declared a mistrial after the jury did not come to a unanimous decision. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office later established a plea agreement with the suspect, where David Reed admitted to abusing the young girl in a Gilbert home. In exchange for a guilty plea, David Reed got his first-degree murder charged reduced to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Two People Arrested For Disorderly Conduct in Scottsdale

Scottsdale police officers arrested two people after the police department received a call about possible gun shots being fired near a home at Thomas and Granite Reef roads. It turns out that there were no gunshots, but that a couple of people had been allegedly shooting off fireworks inside of a home.

The Arizona Republic reports that the officers arrested a man and a woman leaving the home of where the fireworks went off. Police searched the home and found drugs and signs that fireworks were lit inside of the home. The two people now face disorderly conduct and drug related charges. The two may each want to call a Phoenix criminal defense attorney if they're formally charged with the crimes.

14 People Face Felony Charges in Prescription Drug Ring Case

Writing fraudulent prescriptions for drugs can be a very serious crime in Arizona. ABC News reports that two people, who are believed to be leaders of a prescription drug ring in Peoria, were arrested and face charges that include participating in a criminal syndicate, fraudulent schemes and artifices, money laundering, forgery and other drug-related charges.

Pinal County Officers Making Hundreds of Drug Arrests This Year

So far this year, the Pinal County Regional Task Force has arrested 147 suspects for drug-related offenses. According to the Arizona Republic, the task force has seized nearly $20,000 in cash and has confiscated 23,354 pounds of marijuana, 85 marijuana plants, 85 grams of heroin, 11 grams of cocaine, 3.88 pounds of methamphetamines, 45 doses of ecstasy, 98 doses of other prescription drugs, and 30 guns.

Officers in Pinal County have also turned over 81 illegal immigrants to U.S. Border Patrol, many of whom were caught through illegal drug operations. The task force that keeps racking up arrests consists of law enforcers from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Apache Junction Police Department, Florence Police Department, Eloy Police Department, Coolidge Police Department and Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Another Luggage Theft Suspect Arrested

Luggage theft seems to be a huge problem at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. So far, there have been three people this year that have been arrested on suspicion of luggage theft at the airport.

It might not be too surprising that there are harsh consequences associated with such criminal charges. In an earlier blog post, we reported that Stacy Lee King was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison last month after she pleaded guilty to charges of theft, trafficking in stolen property and a dangerous drug violation, all of which were associated with a case that involved her stealing luggage from the airport. Her husband is scheduled to be sentenced on October 1 after pleading guilty to two counts of burglary, and one count each of theft, drug possession and trafficking stolen property.

Ramiro Garibay Faces Consequences of Stabbing Police Officer

A 34-year-old man named Ramiro Garibay was convicted of aggravated assault and theft of means of transportation last July after stabbing a Glendale Police officer last year. But what exactly are the consequences of stabbing a police officer in Maricopa County?

Associated Press reports that the man was sentenced to 27 years in prison over the incident. This may seem quite exteme for an aggravated assault charge, but authorities say that Ramiro Garibay had two prior felony convictions before the most recent run-in with the law.

Jonathan Sosnowicz Sentenced After Running Over Man

Getting into a physical fight can have severe legal consequences in the state of Arizona, especially if such a fight results in a death of another human being. The Arizona Republic reports that a Maricopa County judge recently sentenced Jonathan Sosnowicz of Gilbert to 30.5 years in prison after the man was convicted of running somebody over with his Hummer H2.

Daniel Cope Pleads Guilty to Sex Crime Charges

Daniel Cope used to work as a volunteer with American Youth Soccer Organization for two years, where he coached children in Ahwatukee, Phoenix, south Tempe and Chandler. Yet many parents may have been worried once they found out that the 25-year-old man was arrested and charged with several sex crimes, including possession of child pornography and sexual misconduct with a minor.

The case is interesting in that none of the children he coached stepped forward with any allegations of misconduct. Associated Press reports that the man was arrested after El Mirage police officers responded to a child-molestation call last year. A woman told police officers that her roommate, who was identified as Daniel Cope, molested her son.

Mesa Accountant Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud Charges

Tax fraud isn't always a victimless crime. Some people might not be earning the money that they're entitled to when a tax return isn't filed on their behalf. Hence, the punishments for such an offense can be quite severe.

The Arizona Republic reports that a judge recently sentenced 37-year-old Gregory Peters to 32 months in federal prison after the man pleaded guilty to charges that included mail fraud, bank fraud and filing a false tax return. The defendant used to run the business PBS Tax Firm Inc., a bookkeeping and tax-return preparation company in Mesa and Scottsdale. The tax returns that Gregory Peters filed through his business showed that little or no tax was owed and on some occasions the accountant reportedly failed to file a return at all.

Sixto Balbuena Sentenced to 10 Years For Second-Degree Murder

A 21-year-old convicted of killing his supposed fiancée's other lover in a heat of passion was sentenced to 10 years in prison last week. The Arizona Republic reports that the man could have faced a maximum of 22 years in prison for the second-degree murder charge.

The case of Sixto Balbuena is quite bizarre to many people in the Maricopa County community. Both he and 18-year-old Samuel Valdivia were reportedly romantically involved with their former high school teacher at Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe and El Dorado Charter School in Chandler. Sixto Balbuena had been dating the teacher Tamara Hofmann since he was her student at Marcos de Niza High. However, he claims that he caught her in the bedroom with the younger Samuel Valdivia. At this point, Sixto Balbuena stabbed the younger man.

Keith King Pleads Guilty in Luggage Theft Case

A man accused of stealing over 1,000 pieces of luggage through a series of burglaries at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts of burglary, and one count each of theft, drug possession and trafficking stolen property. According to Associated Press, 62-year-old Keith King will be sentenced in the case on October 1.

Nikolai Khabibulin Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail

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Edmonton Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin was sentenced to 30 days in jail last week in a Scottsdale courtroom after being convicted of extreme driving under the influence, excessive speed and driving under the influence with blood alcohol level over .08. However, the Toronto Sun reports that the Phoenix criminal defense lawyer representing the hockey player plans to appeal the drunk driving convictions.

Phoenix Considers Plan For Medical Marijuana

The state of Arizona is known to have some of the harshest marijuana laws in the country. However, this November voters in the Grand Canyon state might be able to vote for medical marijuana through a ballot initiative. With the high chances of medical marijuana being legal by the end of the year, Phoenix city leaders held a meeting earlier this week to come up with a plan if medical marijuana is legalized.

ABC News reports that the passage of the ballot initiative would allow patients with serious medical conditions to have two and a half ounces of marijuana every two weeks. Medical marijuana patients would only be allowed to buy marijuana from a limited number of clinics that are regulated by the state. At Monday's Phoenix City Council Meeting, council members discussed the potential requirements of medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona so that the state would be able to enforce zoning plans. Phoenix Councilwoman Peggy Neely is looking to develop a zoning plan before the Nov. 2 election that ensures buffers for certain neighborhoods, churches, schools, and other sensitive locations.