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Feb 21, 2014

California lawmaker indicted on bribery, corruption charges

LOS ANGELES, Feb 21 (Reuters) – A California state senator
has been indicted on federal charges that he accepted some
$100,000 in cash bribes from a businessman and undercover FBI
agents in connection with legislation, prosecutors said on
Friday.

Democrat Ron Calderon, 56, has agreed to turn himself in on
Monday to face charges including mail fraud, wire fraud,
bribery, conspiracy, money laundering in the 24-count
indictment, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S.
Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

Feb 21, 2014

California state senator, brother indicted in corruption probe

LOS ANGELES, Feb 21 (Reuters) – A California state senator
who has been the subject of an investigation into political
corruption accusations has been indicted on federal charges,
prosecutors said on Friday.

Democrat Ron Calderon and his brother, Tom, have both been
indicted in the case, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S.
Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

Feb 21, 2014

Feds to announce charges in California political corruption case – source

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors will announce charges on Friday in a political corruption investigation involving a California state senator accused of taking bribes, a law enforcement source told Reuters.

The charges center on accusations that Democratic state Senator Ron Calderon accepted bribes from a healthcare executive, who is also under investigation in the case, said the source, who asked not to be identified ahead of a formal announcement.

Feb 21, 2014

Four dead in attack at Native American tribal office in California

By Eric M. Johnson and Dan Whitcomb

(Reuters) – Four people were killed and two others critically wounded when a woman opened fire at a Native American tribal office near the Oregon border in Northern California on Thursday, police said.

A 44-year-old former tribal leader identified as Sherie Lash, also known as Sherie Rhoades, was arrested at the Cedarville Rancheria Tribal Office on charges of murder and attempted murder, a spokeswoman for the Alturas police department said.

Feb 20, 2014

Venture capitalist in bid to split California into six states

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A venture capitalist seeking to break California into six new states has won approval to begin collecting signatures needed to get his plan on the ballot in November, but experts said such a measure likely stands little chance of success.

The proposal, which would also require approval by the Congress, would split California into six new states called Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and South California.

Feb 14, 2014

Court overturns concealed-carry rule in blow to California gun law

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Thursday struck down a requirement by San Diego County that residents show “good cause” to carry a concealed firearm, a ruling that could force local governments across California to revisit the way they license handguns.

A three-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, acting on a 2009 lawsuit, ruled in a 2-1 decision that San Diego County’s restrictions amounted to an unconstitutional infringement on citizens’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms.

Feb 10, 2014

Ex-Guatemalan army officer tied to massacre sentenced to U.S. prison

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A former Guatemalan army commander convicted of covering up his role in the massacre of 250 men, women and children during that country’s bloody civil war in order to gain U.S. citizenship was sentenced on Monday to 10 years in federal prison.

Prosecutors say Jorge Sosa lied to immigration officials about his involvement in the 1982 mass killings at the Guatemalan farming village of Dos Erres, which was considered one of the worst atrocities in that country’s bloody 36-year civil war.

Feb 7, 2014

Two L.A. sheriff’s deputies charged in jail beating amid ongoing probe

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies accused of punching, kicking and pepper-spraying an inmate, then falsely claiming that he attacked them, have been indicted on federal charges amid an ongoing probe of the country’s largest jail system.

The indictments against deputies Mariano Ramirez and Joey Aguiar came two months after 18 other current or former members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were charged with corruption and civil rights violations at the county’s jails.

Feb 5, 2014

Man pleads guilty to murder of USC students from China

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A man accused in the 2012 killing of two University of Southern California graduate students from China, a crime that stunned the prestigious private school, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to murder charges and was sentenced to life in prison.

Bryan Barnes entered his guilty plea during a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court. The plea was part of an agreement with prosecutors that spares him the possibility of receiving the death penalty if he had been convicted at trial.

Feb 5, 2014

Four arrested in connection with drugs at actor Hoffman’s home: report

By Dan Whitcomb

(Reuters) – Four people were arrested on Tuesday in connection with drugs found at the home of film star Philip Seymour Hoffman following his death of an apparent heroin overdose, the New York Daily News reported, citing unidentified police sources.

The arrests came during a raid on a building in the Chinatown district of Manhattan after police traced the heroin believed to have killed the Oscar-winning actor there, the newspaper reported.