Law and Disorder

Arrests at the East Yanonali Street labor line sent 56 to jail on 4/12 on charges ranging from sale and possession of cocaine to possession of drug paraphernalia and violations of parole and probation. The 400 to 600 blocks of the street have long been the city’s pick-up spot for workers seeking day labor; however, the Santa Barbara Police Department has been investigating the presence of drug traffic among the workers.

The House on 4/10 passed a bill introduced by Representative Elton Gallegly (R-Santa Barbara and Ventura) that makes it a felony to violate federal animal-fighting law, transport animals across state lines for fighting, or purchase implements used in cockfighting. Those convicted will face up to three years in prison.

Currently serving time for raping a mentally disabled resident at the Devereux School, former employee Darren Boyer Thomas was convicted of perjury on 4/16. The jury took about 20 minutes to find Thomas guilty of lying about the manner in which detectives obtained incriminating DNA evidence from Thomas’s coffee cup during their investigation. Thomas faces having two years and eight months tacked onto his current eight-year sentence when he returns for sentencing in mid May.

In response to the gang-related death of Luis Angel Linares on State Street a month ago, Westside residents have collected 100 signatures on a petition seeking the return of bicycle patrols to their neighborhood. In addition, the City Council has asked for a budget report detailing how much is now spent on gang prevention and police programs to determine what gaps exist and how they might be addressed. Although the city’s draft budget has yet to be released, it appears to be $400,000 in the black. However, $800,000 worth of additional spending requests are already waiting in line.

A Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge ruled on 4/10 that UCSB was not required to re-enroll former student Gregor McIver. McIver was kicked out of UCSB in 2006 after the Student/Faculty Committee on Student Conduct decided that McIver had engaged in nonconsensual sex with an underage female in 2004. The committee judges cases independently of legal investigations, and McIver claimed the university had no right to expel him because he was not convicted of the alleged crime.

Approximately a dozen protesters descended on the downtown Marine Corps recruitment office on 4/14. Participants dressed in clown garb identified themselves as members of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA), using humor to denounce military recruitment on high school campuses. Santa Barbara police officers were called to the scene, but no arrests were made.

Santa Barbara resident and former Grateful Dead manager Ronald Leon Rakow was sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles on 4/10 to five years in prison for tax evasion. Rakow had falsely reported his income dating back to 1985.

Along with wreaking havoc on power lines and leaving thousands in the dark last week, high winds blowing up to 50 mph also propelled a fire across nearly 100 acres in Goleta beginning around 11 p.m. on 4/12. Firefighters managed to contain the blaze before it touched any homes.

The arrest of 41-year-old Aden Perez on 4/12 marked the close of a monthlong investigation by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s narcotics detectives. Perez was arrested at his Isla Vista home on suspicion of dealing heroin. Detectives began investigations following what they cited as an overall “increase in heroin on the streets in all areas of Santa Barbara County in the last several months.

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