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Man Federally Charged w/ Pointing Laser at LASD Helicopter

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LOS ANGELES: A Los Angeles man has been arraigned in federal court on charges that allege he pointed the beam of a laser at a law enforcement helicopter, announced Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; and AndréBirotte Jr., the United States Attorney in Los Angeles.

George Sam Elali, 31, of the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, was named in a grand jury indictment filed on February 14. Elali is charged with one count of aiming the beam of a laser at an aircraft, a felony offense that carries a penalty of up to five years in federal prison.

On the evening of November 17, 2013, tactical flight deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were conducting patrol when their helicopter was struck with the beam of a laser, according to investigators. The pilots reported that their aircraft was struck multiple times with a green laser that illuminated the helicopter’s cockpit. Following the alleged laser attacks, the deputies successfully tracked the source of the laser to a suspect located in the backyard of a residence in Los Angeles. Police on the ground responded to the residence and took Elali into custody on state charges of pointing a laser at an aircraft. Elali subsequently posted bail and was released from local custody while a federal investigation by the FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department continued. That investigation resulted in the indictment issued by a grand jury. The state charges against Elali have been dismissed.

Elali was arraigned on the indictment this afternoon in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

In addition to a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison, Elali is also subject to civil penalties by the Federal Aviation Administration.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This investigation was conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI. Elali is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California.

[box type=”info” align=”aligncenter” ]Reports of laser attacks have increased dramatically in recent years as laser devices have become more affordable and widely available to the public. In addition, technology has advanced the effectiveness of laser devices, with a resulting increase in the potential safety hazards for pilots operating aircraft and their passengers and crew. Such safety hazards include temporary distraction and impaired vision, which is particularly dangerous during the critical takeoff or landing phase of flight. In addition, pilots have reported the need to abort landings or relinquish control of the aircraft to another pilot as a result of laser attacks. California consistently leads the nation in reports of laser attacks. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, which compiles statistics on the number of laser strikes in the United States, 3,960 laser attacks were reported nationwide in 2013.[/box]

source: FBI news release

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18-year-old U.S. Army Reservist Stationed at Ft. Irwin arrested on child porn charges

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FORT IRWIN, Calif. (VVNG.com) — An 18-year-old reserve with the United States Army National Guard stationed at Fort Irwin was arrested for possession of child pornography Wednesday, officials said.

Detectives from multiple agencies conducted a joint investigation involving the suspect, Neal McCoy, a resident of Fridley, Minnesota, and subsequently arrested him on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

McCoy was booked at the High Desert Detention Center for PC 311.11(A) Possession of Child Pornography with a bail set at $100,000. McCoy is scheduled for arraignment on August 7th.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Specialized Investigations Division Crimes Against Children Detail (CAC), Barstow Sheriff’s Station, and the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) worked together in their investigation.

In January 2020, VVNG reported on similar arrests after Steven Berg, 38, was arrested by investigators who determined that child pornography was distributed from a home within the base at Fort Irwin.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Brian Arias of the Specialized Investigations Division, Crimes Against Children Detail at (909) 387-3615. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

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18-year-old out on bail arrested again after a pursuit in Victorville

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) — An 18-year-old out on bail was arrested again after leading Victorville deputies on a pursuit.

At about 2:28 AM on August 6, 2020, a deputy from the Victorville Police Station observed a vehicle run a red light at Amargosa and Palmdale Roads and attempted a traffic stop.

The driver, identified as Antoine Jackson, of Victorville, failed to yield and led deputies on a pursuit for approximately 7 miles, officials said.

During the pursuit, Jackson drove at high speeds, exceeding 100 mph at times. He also drove in opposing traffic lanes and ran several red lights and stop signs.

The pursuit came to an end in the 12500 block of Terrano when Jackson crashed into a parked car.

Jackson, who was out on bail from a July 28, 2020 arrest, was arrested and booked at High Desert Detention Center for VC2800.2(A) Evading a Peace Officer with disregard for safety and PC12022.1(B) New Felony Offense while on bail.

His bail is set at $100,000 and is scheduled for arraignment in a Victorville courtroom on August 10, 2020.

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1900 lbs of marijuana seized from six residential locations in Victorville

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Victorville MET deputies served 6 search warrants at illegal marijuana cultivation sites;1900 lbs of marijuana seized

VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) — Search warrants at six different homes in Victorville resulted with 1900 lbs of marijuana seized.

During the month of July, deputies with Victorville Police Department’s Multiple Enforcement Team (MET) conducted an extensive investigation into several residential locations throughout the city, suspected to be illegal, indoor marijuana cultivation sites.

Information obtained through the investigation led to the procurement of search warrants for multiple locations.

On July 23, 2020, MET deputies conducted a one-day operation, serving six search warrants. During the service of the search warrants, all six of the locations were confirmed to have been converted into illegal cultivation sites.

Deputies discovered 4,997 marijuana plants, in various stages of growth, inside the six houses. In total, over 1,900 pounds of marijuana was seized for destruction.

  • 14300 block of Pioneer Way, Victorville
  • 14300 block of Pioneer Way, Victorville
  • 15900 block of Opal Mountain Place, Victorville
  • 15900 block of Blue Colt Way, Victorville
  • 13700 block of Sunshine Terrace Street, Victorville
  • 14900 block of Stone Drive, Victorville

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact the Victorville Police Department’s Multiple Enforcement Team at (760) 241-2911 or Sheriff’s Dispatch at (760) 956-5001. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip website at www.wetip.com.

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