June 2019
Volume 4, Issue 6
Dear Friends:
I am pleased to announce that I have expanded the criteria for cases eligible for evaluation by my office’s Conviction Review Unit.

We now are reviewing any felony conviction involving a defendant who currently is in custody on that offense. Previously, the office reviewed only felonies defined by law as “serious or violent.”
Prison Crimes Unit
The justice system doesn’t stop holding inmates accountable because they’re behind bars. Nor does it ignore the victims of crime on the premises of a prison – whether they are a visitor, a worker or another inmate.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey created the Prison Crimes Unit within the Parole Division in February to prosecute crimes by inmates.

This is especially important as more inmates are being considered for parole and return to the community.

Hundreds of crimes are committed each year in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) facilities in Los Angeles County. They can range from minor offenses, such as possession of contraband, to more serious and violent felonies, such as sexual assault and murder.

Head Deputy District Attorney Steven Frankland said filing charges against inmates, even those already serving life sentences, is important for the parole review process. Parole decisions take into account an inmate’s behavior while incarcerated, whether positive or negative.

“It’s imperative that the commissioners sitting on the parole board get an accurate picture of inmates’ conduct while in prison,” Frankland said.

People who continue to commit crimes while incarcerated demonstrate that they may still be a danger to others. They also may hinder their fellow prisoners’ rehabilitation efforts.

To help ensure public safety, the office is dedicating four deputy district attorneys, two investigators and support staff to the specialized unit, based in the Antelope Valley. The unit is led by Deputy-in-Charge Louis Avila Jr.

The Prison Crimes Unit handles all cases originating in facilities run by the CDCR within Los Angeles County, including the state prison in Lancaster; the Department of State Hospitals, Metropolitan, in Norwalk; fire camps; and community re-entry centers.

Previously, these cases were handled by deputy district attorneys assigned to the branch or area office nearest the facility where the crime took place.
Fraud Alert
  Significant Cases
Beware of criminals attempting to take your home right out from under you.

Read the Fraud Alert and watch the video here .
  • More than a dozen Southern California chiropractors were charged in connection with an insurance fraud and illegal kickback scheme. Learn more about their alleged crimes. 

  • Two people were accused of stealing $1.5 million from Chinese nationals seeking legal entry into the United States. Find out how the investment-for-visas scam worked.

  • A postal carrier was struck and killed by a speeding driver in Commerce. Read how much time the defendant may spend in prison.
Combating Opioid Abuse
District Attorney Jackie Lacey is seeking the public’s help in saving lives and reducing opioid addiction throughout Los Angeles County.
At a May 7 news conference, pictured, District Attorney Lacey asked members of the public to report non-emergency information about the illegal trafficking or overprescription of opioids to her office for possible criminal prosecution.

“We must do everything in our power to stop the flow of these deadly drugs into our community, whether they are bought illegally on the streets or legally with a valid prescription,” District Attorney Lacey said. “Reporting this crime will help us save lives.”
In Los Angeles County, 447 people died from opioid-related overdoses in 2017, according to the latest statistics from the California Department of Public Health. That was a 61 percent increase over opioid-related deaths just two years earlier.
District Attorney Lacey said getting the public’s help could make a lasting, meaningful difference in the lives of those who struggle with opioid addiction.

Her office aggressively prosecutes both manufacturers and sellers of illegal narcotics and those who unlawfully prescribe controlled substances.

Among the more notable cases was the conviction of Dr. Hsiu Ying “Lisa” Tseng, who ran a clinic in a strip mall in Rowland Heights. It was one of the nation's first murder convictions of a doctor for overprescribing drugs.

A jury found Tseng guilty of three felony counts of second-degree murder in the overdose deaths of three otherwise healthy young men, ages 21, 24 and 28. She was sentenced to 30 years to life in state prison.
Opioid trafficking and overprescription complaints must be submitted in writing to the District Attorney’s Office. More information and a complaint form may be found on the office's website at http://da.lacounty.gov/operations/opioid-complaint-form .
In Case You Missed It: Housing Program for Mentally Ill Inmates Expanded
Watch this video to learn about services being offered by Los Angeles County's Office of Diversion and Reentry to mentally ill inmates. Through this program, more than 1,700 people have been moved from jail into permanent supportive housing since 2016.
Did You Know...?
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office was the first local prosecutorial office in the nation to establish a specialized unit dedicated to prosecuting the physical, emotional and financial abuse of people who are 65 or older. In 2018, the office provided services to more than 600 victims of elder abuse.
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office | (213) 974-3512 | info@da.lacounty.gov

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