December 29 SBC Sentinel Legal Notices

CASE NO.  PROVA2300218
To all heirs, beneficiaries, creditors, contingent creditors, and persons who may otherwise be interested in the will or estate, or both of FRANK A. VIRAMONTES has been filed by PHILIP A. VIRAMONTES in the Superior Court of California, County of SAN BERNARDINO.
THE PETITION REQUESTS the decedent’s will and codicils, if any, be admitted to probate. The will and any codicils are available for examination in the file kept by the court.
THE PETITION FOR PROBATE requests that PHILIP A. VIRAMONTES be appointed as personal representative to administer the estate of the decedent.
THE PETITION REQUESTS the decedent’s will and codicils, if any, be admitted to probate. The will and any codicils are available for examination in the file kept by the court.
THE PETITION requests authority to administer the estate under the Independent Administration of Estates Act. (This authority will allow the personal representative to take many actions without obtaining court approval. Before taking certain very important actions, however, the personal representative will be required to give notice to interested persons unless they have waived notice or consented to the proposed action.) The independent administration authority will be granted unless an interested person files an objection to the petition and shows good cause why the court should not grant the authority.
A hearing on the petition will be held December 13, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. at
San Bernardino County Superior Court Fontana District
Department F1 – Fontana
17780 Arrow Boulevard
Fontana, CA 92335
Filed: OCTOBER 25, 2023
DiAnna Verdugo, Deputy Court Clerk.
IF YOU OBJECT to the granting of the petition, you should appear at the hearing and state your objections or file written objections with the court before the hearing. Your appearance may be in person or by your attorney.
IF YOU ARE A CREDITOR or a contingent creditor of the decedent, you must file your claim with the court and mail a copy to the personal representative appointed by the court within the later of either (1) four months from the date of first issuance of letters to a general personal representative, as defined in section 58(b) of the California Probate Code, or (2) 60 days from the date of mailing or personal delivery to you of a notice under Section 9052 of the California Probate Code.
Other California statutes and legal authority may affect your rights as a creditor. You may want to consult with an attorney knowledgeable in California law.
YOU MAY EXAMINE the file kept by the court. If you are a person interested in the estate, you may file with the court a Request for Special Notice (form DE-154) of the filing of an inventory and appraisal of estate assets or of any petition or account as provided in Probate Code section 1250. A Request for Special Notice form is available from the court clerk.
Attorney for Philip A. Viramontes
Tyler H. Brown
SBN 259620
Attorneys at Law
10681 Foothill Boulevard, Suite 490
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
(909) 982-5086
Published in the San Bernardino County Sentinel on December 8, 15, 22 & 29, 2023.

FBN 20230012053
The following entity is doing business primarily in San Bernardino County as
The business is conducted by: AN INDIVIDUAL.
The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above on: N/A.
By signing, I declare that all information in this statement is true and correct. A registrant who declares as true information which he or she knows to be false is guilty of a crime (B&P Code 179130). I am also aware that all information on this statement becomes Public Record upon filing.
Statement filed with the County Clerk of San Bernardino on: 12/06/2023
I hereby certify that this copy is a correct copy of the original statement on file in my office San Bernardino County Clerk By:/Deputy J7550
Notice-This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Section 14400 et seq., Business and Professions Code).
Published in the San Bernardino County Sentinel on December 8, 15, 22 & 29, 2023.

FBN 20230011975
The following entity is doing business primarily in San Bernardino County as
The business is conducted by: AN INDIVIDUAL.
The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above on: N/A.
By signing, I declare that all information in this statement is true and correct. A registrant who declares as true information which he or she knows to be false is guilty of a crime (B&P Code 179130). I am also aware that all information on this statement becomes Public Record upon filing.
/s/ MARVIN ESPINOZA, Principal Consultant
Statement filed with the County Clerk of San Bernardino on: 12/04/2023
I hereby certify that this copy is a correct copy of the original statement on file in my office San Bernardino County Clerk By:/Deputy J5842
Notice-This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Section 14400 et seq., Business and Professions Code).
Published in the San Bernardino County Sentinel on December 8, 15, 22 & 29, 2023.

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Big Bear Lake Mayor Targeted For Recall

A little more than a year ago, the community of Big Bear – in particular the City of Big Bear Lake – was engaged in a recall effort against Councilman Alan Lee and a city wide referendum on vacation home rentals
That election is now more than 13 months in the past , but the issues at the heart of those two votes have not yet been resolved. Today, Big Bear Lake remains a city divided, a place where a cultural war remains in full swing between those who see the rustic mountain paradise hidden away in the northeast corner of the San Bernardino Mountains as a place to live and others who consider the county’s second smallest municipality population-wise and third smallest city geographically to be a place to ply their trade as entrepreneurs who run the community’s booming tourist industry.
With Lee having been removed from office by a majority vote of his constituents, a move is now on to remove another council member, Perri Melnick, who was recently elevated from councilwoman to mayor.
Big Bear Lake is a city divided and the division runs so deep that there appears no prospect of resolving the division. Lee sided with residents over entrepreneurs and found himself removed from office as a result. Other members of the council have sought to steer a middle course, bt they have done only marginally better. They remain in office but by trying to please both sides, they have ended up pleasing no one.
Residents in the 5,102-population , 6.42-square mile city find elements of the toruism industry that pervades what is a winter wonderaland in the winter and a boating, hiking, fishing and swimmming attraction from late spring until fall to be problematic. In addition to welcoming outsiders into the city’s hotels and motels, many landowners have converted their homes into vacation rentals, otherwise known as short-tem rentals, which they lease or ent out to people from lower San Bernardino County or Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange or San Diego counties or elsewhere on weekends or sometimes for aweek or two, getting a return for just a day or two that equals or exceeds the income typically produced for renting out a property for a mont. Occasionally the dwellings will be occupied by not just one or two people or a family but as many as dozens of skiers or fishermen or boating enthusiasts, such that already narrow streets are overparked with vehicles. Big Bear’s taverns, bars, saloons nightclubs and public houses are well-frequented establishments at nighttime, particularly on weekends, sometimes with rowdy patrons. A byproduct of a thriving local tourist industry is that one has a constant parade of new neighbors, most of whom remain forever strangers as opportunites of introduction are limited. Occasionally, those who come into the community for a short stay are less considerate of those living within shouting distance is less than is ideal, and some untoward events occur.
For years, local residents had been asking elected offiicals and City Hall to put into place some municipal regulations that would ameliorate the situation. Big Bear officials reacted by codifying some modest rules, which many residents found inadequate. When the residents asked for the rules to be intensified, only Councilman Lee indicated he was amenable to that request. The other city officials, somewhat aligned with, or otherwise wary of the tourist industry, responded by saying that they preferred to see if the rules already being employed would achieve the desired results. If, after a fair interim they did not, city officials said, they would consider revisiting the issue. . Still unsatified, local residents created a grassroots organization, one they settled upon calling Big Bear Lake United to Limit Short Term Rentals, with which they were able to get 762 of the city’s 2,887 registered voters to endorse a petition to put a measure on the November 2022 ballot, ultimately designated by the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters as Measure O. That measure asked the city’s residents whether the city should amend the Big Bear Lake Municipal Code to limit the number of vacation rental licenses the city may issue to a maximum of 1,500 and limit the number of vacation contracts to 30 per year per property. Also put on the ballot was Measure P, which called for increasing the hotel tax from 8 percent to 9 percent on January 1, 2024, and then increasing it from 9 percent to 10 percent on January 1, 2025, with the revenue dedicated to general services in the city. A third issue, other than the regularly scheduled elections of two/three? of the council members, was the recall question against Lee. Lee in his advocacy of spme residents and through the natural manifestation of his personality had made himself at odds with all four of his colleagues, and a combination of the council’s political supporters as well as representatives of the tourist industry pushed the effort to qualify the recall election against him.
While the strong sentiment of the contingent of residents who lived in Big Bear who had no personal financial stake in tourist trade who had had isolated or in other cases multiple negative interactions with short-term renters initially drove the perception that Measure O would pass by a solid margin, those with a dog in the hunt when it came to tourism in Big Bear – the owners or investors in motels, hotels, restsaurnats, drinking establishments, businesses that catered to boaters, fishemenan skiers, snowboasrders and the owners of skie resorts and boast and jet-ski rental concerns and their investors and employees networked with one another to create a campasign against Measure O. The No on O campaign, which dubbed itself Residents for a Better Big Bear, was not larking about, intending to overwhelm those do-gooders who wanted to limit short-term rentasls in the city. Residents for a Better Big Bear – the forces arrayed against Measure O – collected $173,978.07 in contributions to fight it, much of it in huge increments from deep-pocketed interests. Over 98.44 percent of the money provided to Residents for a Better Big Bear – No on O Committee, consisting of the $171,278.07 of the total $173,978.07 raised, came from individuals or entities outside of Big Bear Lake.
The Committee to Expand the Middle Class, an entity sponsored by AirBnb, Inc, put up $50,153 to support No on O. The California Association of Realtors Issues Mobilization Political Action Committee donated another $49,999. The National Association of Realtors put up $49,999.99.
The money in the possession of Residents for a Better Big Bear’s No on O Committee, then used that money to buy television and radio spots, newspaper ads, mailers, andnd handbills as well as to man telephone banks to convince Big Bear’s voters that voting for Measure O was against their interest, Ultimately, when all was said and done, the outside money used to run the campaign against Measure O doomed it to failure. Measure O fell short of passing, with 832 votes or 41.39 percent in favor and 1,178 votes or 58.61 percent in opposition.
Measure P, which had no committees promoting nor fighting it, passed with 1,044 votes or 53.87 percent in favor and 894 votes or 46.13 percent opposed.
The campaign to recall Councilman Lee, which was supported by a substantial number of those who supported the campaign against Measure O, likewise prevailed. Simultaneously, incumbent council members Rick Herrick, who was then the city’s appointed mayor; Councilman Randall Putz and Councilwoman Perri Melnick, were returned to office.
With more than a year having gone by, the division over tourist-related activity within the community of Big Bear continues unabated.
As a community, Big Bear is much larger than its municipal area.
The 38.45-square mile Big Bear community is home to 17,784 residents. There is some confusion, however, particularly among outsiders, about jurisdictional issues in Big Bear, as it consists of two entities, the City of Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City. Despite its name, Big Bear City is not a municipality but rather an unincorporated county area and a designated census place. Big Bear Lake is an incorporated municipality. Despite its status as an actual city, Big Bear Lake is smaller than Big Bear City both in terms of land area and population. Big Bear Lake is 6.42 square miles and has 5,046 inhabitants. Big Bear City is an expansive 32.03 square miles with 12,738 residents. While both qualify as rustic mountain districts, the more compact Big Bear Lake is slightly more urbanized and densely populated.
In Big Bear Lake last year, four-fifths of the city council appeared have a common foe in Lee, which created an alliance between them. Since Lee’s departure and the continued acrimony between lements fo the community over short-term rentals,further fissures or divisons have developed or become apparent on the city council. Councilwoman Mote, it appears, has developed personality differences with Councilman Putz, although the feeling on that does not seem to have run as deep as was that between Lee and his estranged colleagues.
With the 2024 election approaching, the tension between the pro-tourism element of the community and residents is again in evidence. It is not clear how the two individuals up for election – Mote and Kendi Segovia, who replaced Lee upon his recall – will seek to position themselves on that issue.
In Big Bear in 2012, the City of Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City Community Services District completed the merger of their fire departments, establishing Jeff Willis, who was then the Big Bear City Fire Chief, as the newly created department’s fire chief. Willis has managed the department using the available funding the city and the district have budgeted for the department over the years, which has rankled the department firefighters, who do not consider Willis aggressive enough in demanding from the city and the district more money to operate the department. Meanwhile, city and district elected leaders – including the Big Bear Lake City Council and the Big Bear City Community Services Board of Directors – have at least subliminally recognized that the firefighters’ hostility toward Willis is redirected hostility toward them since. At the same time, some elements of the community, perhaps not sophisticated or knowledgeable to understand the dynamic between the city council and fire chief in which the fire chief is taking heat that would otherwise be directed at the them, have leveled criticism at members of the city council because they have not acceded to the demands of the firefighters and their union that they cashier Willis.
This week, after issues relating to the short-term rentals have been roiling for a year, the city council was scheduled to take up a set of proposals by Big Bear Lake City Manager Erik Sund which recontoured the short-term rental ordinance that was passed in January 2021 by reducing the terms of some of the fines. Whereas under the prior ordinance fines were $2,500, $5,000, and $7,500, including $5,000 for operating without a license or an expired license, under the new fine structure that violation is to be reduced to $1,500. With the newly adopted ordinance, the fine structure was reduced to $1,500, $2,500, and $5,000. The City also added a 60-day warning system with 5 separate notices (4 emails and a mailer to the license holder) to provide ample notice/warning for renewing their license, thus avoiding any application of the fines or related penalties unless a violation has taken place in a deliberate fashion. Additionally, the ordinance adds a second option to the so-called “check-in process.” The prior ordinance only allowed for in person check in; with the new ordinance the city council was scheduled to approve a virtual check in/registration option, in addition to the in person check in option.
In the public hearing portion of this week’s city council meeting on December 19, which came prior to the city council’s vote on the matter, which was placed on the meeting’s consent calendar, Big Bear Mountain Brewery Owner Rick Snow, who was there on behalf of a group calling itself the Big Bear Voter Coalition, served an intent to recall notice on Mayor Melnick.
There seemed to be some degree of miscommunication at multiple levels, as Snow, by his statements seemed to suggest that he and his group were displeased with the city’s efforts to intensify the penalties applied to those out of compliance with the short-term rental ordinance that was to be voted upon that night when, in actuality, the newest form of the ordinance deintensifies those penalties.
By the sense of much of his input, Snow seemed to be pro-tourism in his orientation, but the upshot of his statement implied that the council was about to raise the penalties and fines. Two speakers that followed him seemed to make the same assumption.
Upon being called to the speaker’s podium, Snow served the recall papers upon Melnick. He then said, “This city council is not listening to the voters. They’re coming to me in droves. I got 38 signatures in 72 hours and half of the town is not here. The last city council meeting was disgusting: you guys thinking you could define who a relative is after they stay at someone’s house 20 minutes. Is it a cousin? Is it a father-in-law? What right do you have to do that?”
Snow’s reference was to how short-term rentals were to be defined and what exceptions would be or should drawn in the ordinance going forward.
“You guys aren’t listening and there’s a wave coming,” Snow said. “Start listening to the voters instead of making decisions that aren’t what the voters want. You can’t justify this STR [short term rental] ordinance. Anybody that votes for it should be recalled. To give [City Manager] Erik [Sund] more authority to fine our property owners and Big Bear Lake voters is disgusting. You’ve had poor judgment. The last three or four months, it’s all because he’s fining people for being late $5,000. That’s all they asked you to do: Stop the fines. Give notifications and do electronic checking. I don’t even have one [a short-term rental property]. I have no skin in the game. This is not about bullying, Randy [Putz]. It’s about public participation. And this whole STR [short term rental ordinance] being completely revamped? Two inches and four inches of snow and all the other stuff? Nobody asked for it. Nobody. And everybody’s pissed off. They didn’t even come because they know you are just going to railroad it it in. I don’t even know why. You can make a lot of people happy by refunding the exorbitant late fees that are people who are paying their TOT [transient occupancy or hotel bed] tax that never had code enforcement infringement and you are costing them ten and twenty thousand dollars? It’s just ridiculous. Start listening to the voters.”
Snow was followed by Barbara Olson, who said, “I understood after Measure O was defeated, that we would be relooking at the ordinances to make them less restrictive, but what I’m seeing happened over the last couple of weeks is they went from a small amount of ordinance to a huge amount of pages and pages and pages, things redefined, people called something different, check-in calling, registration. How is this helping our vacation rental business? People already think that we’re not visitor friendly. It’s out there. We hate that. I think that Big Bear has always been a friendly community. We’ve always been a tourist town. I think that the people who are making up some of these ordinances don’t have an understanding about who we are in Big Bear. We are a tourist town. We’ve been a tourist town for 50 plus years. We’ve always welcomed our tourists in the past. I had a chance today to look over the changes to these ordinances. I didn’t hear the city council ask for all these changes. One person came up with all these changes. Why do we have to just bend to what the city manager wants? Why isn’t it about what us (sic) as residents, homeowners and property owners want?”
Ronald Snow said, “Perri Melnick is a very outspoken supporter of high fines and punitive enforcement to fund more government control. Melnick has no empathy for us or our needs. Melnick criticizes residents for their comments, using their personal beliefs and agenda to be dismissive instead of compassionate. Melnick complains about taking her time to prepare for and attend meetings. Melnick has been absent through all – all – fireboard meetings in 2021, neglecting her responsibilities as a vice chair and contirbuting to the safety and the budget problems. Melnick’s relationship with the preceding mayor has created distrust in their transaprency and concerns with Brown Act violations very evident last week. Melnick approves paying exorbitant consultant fees to learn about our visions in or city instead of simply just talking to us. Melnick’s defensiveness and lack of oversight of the city manager [and] the fire chief has gone on and on. With this excessive spending and dictatorial rule Melnick is not who we need in charge. Thank you for helping us to fix this before its not too late. I vote yes to recall Perri Melnick. I haven’t been here too long, but I’ve been to a few meetings here and all I hear is spend, spend and allocate funds, spend and allocate funds, form overpriced city employees to these awards you have to hand out every month. I think it’s ridiculous. All you do is spend.”

Concern Over Local Pols’ Cash Smuggling As Ontario International Gets Expedited Customs Desk

There is apprehension among political leaders, local law enforcement, National Transportation Authority officials, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration, FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice and Interpol over the establishment of the Global Entry Enrollment Center at Ontario International Airport.
In recent years Ontario International Airport has become a hotbed of document and money smuggling/transfer/exchange operations, in many cases involving government and corporate officials seeking to overcome constantly shifting and evolving regulations relating to materials, equipment, licenses and property purchases in which both American citizens and foreeign nationals are involved. Ontario International, as a lesser-used international airport, does not have the same intensity of scrutiny by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency as larger international airports in Southern California, such as Los Angeles International Airport, San Diego International Airport, John Wayne International Airport. Ontario, with its 17 airlines and 5,740,593 total passengers in 2022 compared to Los Angeles International’s 79 airlines 65.29 million total passengers, garnered little attention from Customs. Less than .03 of one percent of the agency’s $16.29 billion 2022 budget was spent in Ontario and fewer than a dozen of its more than 60,450 employees were assigned there during that time.
Politicians who have been tweaking governmental policy and decisions in favor of foreign businesses, foreign governments and internationalist interests without registering as foreign agents, which would potentisally undercut their effectiveness as shapers of policy in their elected capacities, have utilized offshore accounts to collect payments from their foreign employers but often have difficulty in transferring those funds to one of their domestic accounts without alerting authorities and triggering notification/investigation by the IRS or state taxing authorities. Consequently, governmental officials who are seeking to fly under the radar of the U.S. federal government with regard to the monetary transactions they engage in on foreign soil are commonly interested in converting that money into U.S. currency while out of the country and then bringing it into the country undeclared.
As Ontario International Airport was already a popular port for that activity, doing so just became that much easier as the airport board was able to successfully lobby U.S. Department of Homeland Security Chief Alejandro Mayorkas to allow the airport and and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency to establish a Global Entry Enrollment Center at the airport’s international terminal.
According to the Ontario International Airport Authority, “The new center is the sixth in California and will offer a convenient, local option for international travelers from the Inland Empire and nearby communities who wish to enroll in the popular program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Up until now, the nearest Global Entry Enrollment Center has been at Los Angeles International Airport.”
Ontario City Councilman Alan D. Wapner has served as president of the Ontario International Airport Authority Board of Commissioners since the creation of that entity more than a decade ago in anticipation of the conclusion of Ontario’s successful effort to liberate the airport from the control of the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Airports, which was effectuated in 2015, thirty years after Ontario transferred control of the airport to the megalopolis to the west in 1985, as a condition of a joint powers arrangement that allowed the much larger entity to bring its leverage as one of the operator of one of the world’s largest airports to bear in convincing airlines to increase their ridership at the Ontario aerodrome. After the number of passengers passing through Ontario’s gates peaked at 7.2 million in 2007, the downturn in the economy triggered a decrease in airline use altogether, and Wapner spearheaded an effort to once again have local control over the airport by having Ontario assume from the Los Angeles Department of Airports both ownership and management of the facility. That goal was achieved with the December 2015 agreement between Los Angeles and Ontario to have Los Angeles transfer ownership of the airfield and responsibility for its operations to Ontario for a series of payments by Ontario totaling $250 million.
Yesterday, a ribbon cutting for the new expedited customs desk at Ontario was held. Wapner hailed the development.
“We are thrilled that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has selected Ontario International Airport to serve as the site of its newest Global Entry Enrollment Center and look forward to helping residents across Southern California access this time-saving international travel amenity,” Wapner said.

“The new center reflects U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s commitment to improving the customer experience as Global Entry continues to attract thousands of new applicants in the Greater Los Angeles area and neighboring communities,” said Cheryl M. Davies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “We are very pleased with this expansion which brings visitors to the area and helps boost the local economy.”

“Ontario International Airport is a valued asset for the Inland Empire. As your Congresswoman, I am proud to have supported this project and others like to ensure ONT – which sits in the heart of our district – can get people and cargo where they need to be quickly and efficiently,” said Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35).
Global Entry uses specialized processing technology and dedicated lanes to expedite clearance for arriving international travelers who have passed what the Ontario International Airport Authority characterized as “a rigorous background check and in-person interview.” To set up an interview at the Global Entry Enrollment Center, travelers must first receive on-line pre-approval.”
Global Entry would allow an individual being processed who is carrying cash secreted about himself/herself or within his/her luggage to successfully import that money without detection.
Participating in yesterday’s ribbon-cutting with Wapner was another member of the airport board, San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman.
In 2014, Hagman, who was then serving in the California Assembly but was due to be termed out of the legislature that year, ran successfully for Fourth District supervisor. Shortly after being installed as supervisor, Hagman assumed a position on the airport board, a post he has held ever since, based on his reelection to the county board of supervisors in 2018 and 2022. In a development noted by many, in 2015 Hagman hired Wapner to serve as his policy advisor in his county supervisor’s office. The arrangement raised eyebrows at it created a circumstance in which Wapner, in one sense of the word, was Hagman’s superior on the airport board while Hagman was Wapner’s boss in that Wapner was working for him as a member of his supervisorial staff.
Wapner and Hagman over the next two-and-a-half years made several trips to China to promote Ontario International Airport as a destination with Chinese airlines as well as general opportunities for economic cooperation, investment and expansion involving Chinese capital and companies and investment opportunities and projects in and around Ontrario and San Bernardino County. When it was suggested, however, that Hagman’s and Wapner’s discussions did not confine themselves to meetings with airline executives but that they were actively recruiting Chinese Communist capitalists to make investments in property around the airport, concerns about the wisdom of allowing China to take a lead in developing and thereafter controlling assets that are key to the region’s economy resulted in a years-long paralysis with regard to development in the district around the airport.
There ensued questions about the scope and depth of the discussions that were taking place between Wapner and Chinese business and economic interests as well as between Wapner and Chinese business and economic interests along with what the nature of the relationship was between the two politicians and those foreign economic interests. In late 2018, after a decent interim following Hagman’s relection as supervisor, he ended Wapner’s tenure as his political adviser, a development not particularly well appreciated by Wapner. Wapner has remained as the dominant force on the airport authority and Hagman has remained as an airport authority board member.
The establishment of the Global Entry Enrollment Center at Ontario International Airport comes as the airport is seen international travel volumes double over the past year, with popular direct flights to Tqiwan, Mexico and Latin America. In October, Ontario International Airport and the Customs and Board Patrol Agency partnered to introduce another international travel amenity, Simplified Arrivals, which uses facial biometrics – facial recognition technology – to automate the manual document checks required for admission in the country. The technology provides travelers with a touchless process that further secures and streamlines international arrivals.
“Ontario International Airport is proud to partner with the Customs and Border Patrol Agency in providing an opportunity for our community to avail themselves of the Global Entry program,” said Atif Elkadi, Ontario International Airport Authority chief executive officer “As we expand our international travel options, all CBP programs will play a significant role in providing a more expedited and safe inspection process and today marks the start of how our region has proven itself as a key gateway into Southern California.”

Civil Libertarians Wary As County Officials Mull Acceding To Governor’s Conservatorship Plan

Civil liberties advocates in San Bernardino County are on their toes, acutely regardful of how local government officials might be willing to use California Governor Newsom’s promotion of aggressive application of conservatorship authority to round up, narcotize and institutionalize those whose mental state can in any way be questioned might to silence local government critics.
According to the governor’s office, conservatorships are a tool in the government’s panoply to be used in reducing the number of homeless in the state. Newsom encouraged the legislature to expand such authority, whereupon State Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) obliged him with Senate Bill 43, which allows local authorities to appoint a conservator for anyone deemed to be “experiencing a serious mental illness or severe substance use disorder and most at-risk of harm to themselves.” The threshhold for taking such action is not high. If two or more governmental officials concur that some one falls into such a category, the individual can be apprehended, handcuffed until placed into a straitjacket and then kept straitjacketed until he or she has been administered anti-psychotic medication. Individuals refusing to take the medication prescribed for them willingly can be forcibly drugged.

Five medications likely to be prescribed to the county’s homeless are old school Thorazine; Serioquel, also known as Quetiapine; Risperidone, also known as Risperdol; Haldol, also known as Haloperidol; and Stelazine.
Serioquel was described to the Sentinel as a mild antipsychotic. Risperidone is referred to as a mid-range anti-psychotic. Stelazine, Thorazine and Haldol are powerful anti-psychotics.
Thorazine leaves most of those who take it in an uncommunicative, nearly vegetative state, rendering even the most violent-prone individual docile. Because of the degree to which it incapacitates its users, many American psychiatric professionals have migrated away from using it in recent years.
A side effect of Serioquel is seizures.
Risperidone’s side effects may include users developing potentially permanent involuntary body movement; death resulting from an increase in body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure; and an increased risk of suicide.
Likewise, Haldol’s side effects include potentially permanent involuntary body movement and death resulting from an increase in body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure.
Stelazine use will after a short duration result in involuntary repetitive body movements, involuntary jerks, movent movement disorders, sustained or repetitive muscle contractions result in twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal fixed postures. Prolonged use will result in the onset of Parinson’s Disease or Parkinson’s-like conditions.
According to a medical professional the Sentinel consulted with, most of the above anti-psychotics given in sensible doses would remain effective for roughly six hours. An alternative dosing methodology to oral ingestion with Haldol, particularly those resistant to taking it on a daily basis, would be to intermuscle inject a time-released formulation every four to five weeks. Such intermuscle injection can take place while an individual is straitjacketed.
There is nothing in Senate Bill 43’s provisions that makes any sort of representation available for those deemed critically mentally unstable to contest such a categorization.
Those is authority are therefore at liberty, under Governor Newsom’s encouragement and the letter of Senate Bill 43, to not only drug but take physical control of individuals and their effects, particularly if, they are homeless. Under certain circumstances, those who are not technically homeless can be subjected to conservatorship.
A major practical shortcoming in Senate Bill 43 is the lack of housing facilities for those deemed homeless or otherwise subject to Senate Bil 43. Some three generations ago, the state’s mental hospitals provided beds for those designated mentally unfit. Toward the end of then-Governor Ronald Reagan’s first term, California began limiting access to those facilities and during his second term began what was ultimately a four-decade-long shuttering of the lion’s share of state-run mental wards. Thus, at present, those to be subject to conservatorships would need to be housed elsewhere. In San Bernardino County, the availability of housing for such conservatees is virtually non-existent. This might limit county officials options to declaring an individual to be a danger to himself and others, addicted or chronically homeless and then forcefully restraining the individual or taking him/her into custody long enough to straitjacket him/her, and administer some Thorazine, Stelazine, Serioquel, Risperidone or Haldol.
Homeless individuals do not have and are unlikely to develop the means and sophistication to legally challenge whatever it is that powerful and enabled government official are to be subjected to.
Even those who have a greater degree of control over their destiny are in danger of having their lives negatively impacted by Governor Newsom’s embrace of Senator Talamantes Eggman’s legislation.
There is concern that the county, led by elected officials who are hypersensitive to criticism, such as Sheriff Shannon Dicus, Supervisor Dawn Rowe, Supervisor Curt Hagman and Supervisor Paul Cook, might take the opportunity that Governor Newsom’s advocacy of conservatorships is presenting to have those they see as either political foes or effective opponents of their policies and utilize the virtually non-existent criteria in Senate Bill 43 as mentally deranged and drugged.
While Thorazine, Stelazine, Serioquel, Risperidone or Haldol suppress any overt manifestations of psychosis in the truly psychotic, they carry the potential of severely impacting the cognitive function of a normal individual. If and individual were to be shot up with Thorazine, he or she would likely be beset with a shuffling walk, tic-like or twitching movements, a swollen tongue that would make speech difficult, as well as motor coordination and mental challenges relating to multiple of normal or routine reasoning capability.
Whereas previously government officials had to establish that a person had “either a condition in which a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is unable to provide for their basic personal needs for food, clothing, or shelter or has been found mentally incompetent” in order to subject someone to the strictures of a conservatorship, Senate Bil 43 dispenses with that red tape. Under Newsom’s program, proof that an individual was homeless would not be required to put a conservatorship into place. In San Bernardino County, a citation by a sheriff’s deputy along with a backing signature from San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health Director Georgina Yoshioka or virtually any one of the employees of her division would suffice to get anyone straitjacketed and drugged. If that person had some financial means and either family, friends or contacts who became aware of what had befallen him/her, conceivably an effort to intervene in the effort to establish the conservatorship could be made. That intervention would need to be lodged in a timely fashion in court to be effective. An individual, straitjacketed and drugged, remanded into the custody of the sheriff or the Department of Behavioral Health and sequestered in a psychiatric ward would potentially be unable to inform anyone of his or her wherabouts and could be, on the basis of security measures applied, actively prevented from doing so.
Even in a case where the judicial proceedings to finalize a conservatorship encountered a challenge from an advocate for the individual whose mental health is being adjudicated, prior to that happening there would be ample opportunity for those working on behalf of a politician interested in discrediting a critic or political opponent to obtain sound video of a drugged and apparently non compos mentis individual for whom a conservatorship is being sought, and then using those indelible moving sound images for political purposes.
At present, both Rowe and Cook are seeking reelection to the board of supervisors. Discrediting the political opposition in San Bernardino County and elsewhere is a long-established campaign tactic.
It is for those reasons that many county residents are wary that San Bernardino County officials might misapply the authority that Governor Newsom is seeking to entrust to them.
Such opposition is a bunch of hogwash invented to prevent good work from being done, according to the governor.
“The counties are the front lines of this battle to address the crisis of our time, and that’s what’s happening on the streets and sidewalks,” Newsom insists. “They have to do their job with a deeper sense of urgency. They have to recognize people are dying on their watch.”
Civil rights advocates want the county to hold off until Janauary 2026 on liberalizing the definition of “mentally disabled” as permitted in Senate Bill 43 to allow literally thousands more county residents as being subjectable to guardianships/conservatorships, while Newsom and his supporters want the county to make the definition transition as of January 1, 2024.
At issue, from a practical standpoint, is who will fund the provision care and housing for those to be placed into conservatorship. Senate Bill 43 does not make any state money for that purpose available to counties.

Enamorados To Remain Jailed At Least Until After Christmas

The eight Enamorados taken into custody in predawn raids in both San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties on December 14 remain locked up after court hearings before Judge Shannon Faherty Monday morning. It does not appear that the octet, who are accused of incorporating violence into their social activism in support of the dispossessed within Southern California’s Latino community, bear any prospect of leaving jail before Boxing Day, December 26.
Multiple levels of irony attend the current circumstance of the eight Enamorados, as there is a constant discrepancy, it seems, between both intent and outcome as well as perception and reality when it come to the group and its highly controversial leader.
Edin Alex Enamorado holds himself out as a do-gooder, justice crusader, upholder of civil rights and protector of Hispanics, immigrants and the impoverished. His followers seek to emulate him and follow in what they consider to be his enlightened and benevolent path. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and now the county district attorney’s office, however, maintain that the Enamorados ratchet their guardianship of the indigent up into assaults upon the innocent, using spurious justifications in doing so.
Edin Enamorado and his namesake zealots maintain that they are surrounded by cruel and inhumane racists who are exploiting their Latino sisters and brothers and that in the face of such incivility they are engaged in a mission of righteousness by striking down upon those who are victimizing the oppressed. According to the district attorney’s office, the Enamorados have themselves crossed the line into intolerance by physically assailing individuals who have not at once adhered to their conception of what the social order should be and, on other occasion, on the basis of ethnicity, such that they are engaging in racism and bigotry.
While Edin Enamorado and the Enamorados assert they are free speech advocates who test the boundaries of expression to protect the civil liberties that form the basis of our Constitutional rights, others say they often overwhelm those who enunciate a philosophy that differs from their own with obloquy and sometimes with brutal force.
A primary constituency of the downtrodden that Edin Enamorado and his cohorts have taken up the cause for are immigrants, both illegal and legal. A manifestation of illegal immigrant culture is street or sidewalk vending, as many new arrivals do not have the skill or training to function within other sectors of the U.S. Economy. It is known that Edin Enamorado, sometimes accompanied by others, sometimes on his own, has over the last couple of years advocated on behalf of sidewalk/street vendors in Los Angeles, Pomona, Upland, Fontana, Riverside, Santa Ana, Long Beach, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Woodland Hills, Huntington Park, San Bernardino and Moorpark. Those efforts go, quite often, beyond mere advocacy and include providing what Edin Enamorado refers to as “security,” in which he or other Enamorados act as bodyguards, warding off anyone – including racist citizens, municipal or county code enforcement officers, police or other officials – who might hassle, interfere with the vendors or prevent them from operating. Enamorado will take down their phone number so he can monitor how they are doing, provide them with his phone number so he can be rallied to assist them when they need help warding off the racists who bedevil street vendors and he will provide them with chemical agents such as mace or bear spray for the vendors to use if he and his crew cannot arrive on time to deal with some untoward situation.
The Enamorados at least occasionally take up the causes of those they consider to be unfortunate victims of prejudice beyond street vendors or immigrants. One such effort took place on September 24, a protest targeting the San Bernardino County sheriff’s station in Victorville, one undertaken on behalf of 16-year-old Victor Valley High School Student Faith Jeffers. On September 22, Jeffers had been in attendance at the high school football game between Victor Valley and Big Bear at Ray Moore Stadium. After the conclusion of the game, a brawl broke out in the parking lot outside the stadium, during which Jeffers was involved in a physical altercation with another girl. Two sheriff’s deputies attempted to intervene in the melee, one of whom got between Jeffers and her combatant. When Jeffers bent at the hip and reached toward deputy’s service belt, prompting him to reach down to secure the weapons and devices there, another deputy approached Jeffers from behind, lifted her and with some degree of force threw her to the pavement before both deputies turned their attention to subduing the other girl. Jeffers was injured and briefly hospitalized. A video of the incident went viral, sparking outrage. Edin Enamorado led a party of roughly 40 Enamorados, most of them from lower San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County, to Victorville on that Sunday, as they carried placards calling for justice and paraded in the vicinity of the sheriff’s station located on Amargosa Road and in the surrounding block including Palmdale Road, McArt Road and the parking lot of the nearby Destiny Christian Center. Edin Enamorado used his bullhorn to exhort the crowd and demand that the deputy who had injured Jeffers be identified, fired and prosecuted. He sometimes used his cell phone to videorecord the protest, which was also being memorialized for posterity by at least three other Enamorados using shoulder-held, handheld or tripod-mounted video cameras.
Proximate to the sheriff’s station between Amargosa Road and McArt Road facing onto Palmdale Road are some commercial concerns, including a car wash. That afternoon, as the protest was ongoing, a couple in a relatively late model Hyundai had gone into the car wash. Upon attempting to leave, the woman, who was driving, was unable to pull onto Palmdale Road from the car wash parking lot’s exit because of the traffic flow on Palmdale Road coupled with the constant stream of protesters moving in both directions on the sidewalk and gutter of the roadway. Despite the Hyundai’s obvious presence and the driver’s intent to leave, the protesters remained disregardful of the car and its occupants as most were engaged in making a show of protest to the motorists passing by on Palmdale Road.
The occupants of the Hyundai exhibited patience initially, but after more than two minutes, the woman sounded the Hyundai’s horn. This had no appreciable impact on the protesters, who continued to file in front of the car, such that the driver could not move the car forward without running into and possibly injuring one or more of the protesters. A further wait ensued, at which point the woman sounded the horn once more and the man opened the door on the passenger’s side of the car. As he emerged, he was immediately engaged by three of the Enamorados, at least one of whom referred to him as a “bitch” and accused him of opening the door on one of the woman protesters. One, then two, and then a third Enamorado began to rain blows on the man, who attempted to defend himself while he was angled away from the car and then knocked to the ground. As he attempted to get to his feet, he was pepper sprayed.
The incident was captured on video from at least three perspectives. Among those who can be seen in one of the video depictions hitting the man is Edin Enamorado, who does so with his left fist while holding and continuing to video with his cellphone in his right hand.
The man succeeded in getting up but as he was staggering, he was knocked to the ground once more and kicked while he was down. Off camera, shortly after the man came out of the car, Edin Enamorado could be heard belittling him for being less than a man for hitting the woman with his car door. After the man was pepper sprayed and on the ground for the second time, Edin Enamorado can be heard remarking that he had gotten what he deserved.
The incident was livestreamed to Enamorado’s YouTube page.
From their nearby vantage, deputies saw the assault and roughly two minutes later they came to the spot of the assault, whereupon a shoving match ensued between two of the deputies and two of the Enamorados. Within minutes, at least eight deputies had arrived. They took four of the Enamorados into custody at that time: David Chávez, 27, of Riverside, who was arrested on suspicion of assault with a caustic chemical and unlawful assembly; Wendy Luján, 40, who is described variously as Edin Enamorado’s partner or wife, who was arrested on suspicion of assault with a caustic chemical, obstructing a peace officer, battery and unlawful assembly; Victor Alba, 30, of Victorville, who was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a peace officer, battery and unlawful assembly; and Wayne Freeman, 36, of Moreno Valley, who was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a peace officer and unlawful assembly.
Edin Enamorado at that point avoided, narrowly, arrest. In the confusion that ensued as several brawls broke out while the arrests were being effectuated the deputies were too distracted to identify Edin Enamorado as the leader of the protest. Nor did the arresting officers have any real sense of who the Enamorados are or their roles as primary participants in the protest and accompanying violence. Upon her booking, Luján provide her jailers with a Pomona address rather than her actual residence in Upland, which sheriff’s department’s investigators, as a result of their subsequent investigation, now believe was an effort to protect Edin Enamorado, with whom she cohabits, from being connected to what had occurred that day.
Edin Enamorado uploaded an extended video of the protest including the assault of the couple in the Hyundai to a social media account on TikTok he controls under heading “Edin Enamorado is going live.” of. It was presented to the public within a context in which it was suggested that what had occurred was a demonstration of the noble efforts of the Enamorados to stand up to racism. The posting did not dwell on the consideration that the passenger of the Hyundai who was assaulted is Hispanic.
The sheriff’s department investigation that ensued in short order brought Edin Enamorado into focus, helped along in part by his utterances to the media and other public forums in the immediate aftermath of Chávez, Luján, Alba and Freeman arrests when he assigned blame for what had occurred to the driver of the Hyundai, who, he said, “tried to run over protesters” and her passenger, who, Enamorado asserted “hit a woman” and then assaulted Luján, who, Enamorado indignantly insisted, had merely “defended herself.”
Investigators at that juncture had identified Enamorado as the prime mover of the group he heads. Thereafter, they located the video of the assault which offered a visual and verbal contrast to what Enamorado claimed to have occurred. This led the investigators to explore the activities of the Enamorados and their leader in multiple other venues, which were likewise documented in posted videos.
As investigators delved into the circumstance, they became aware of further incidents involving the Enamorados and Edin Enamorado specifically, and began trading notes with the police agencies in Los Angeles, Pomona, Upland, Fontana, Riverside, Santa Ana, Long Beach, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Woodland Hills, Huntington Park, San Bernardino and Moorpark, and their dealings with him. Along the way there had been a handful of missteps and miscues, including opportunities to observe or even dialogue with/interview/interrogate Enamorado directly when he was placed into the department’s custody and then quickly cite released following his arrest by the Fontana Police Department on October 24 and then again on November 16, both outgrowths of Enamorado’s confrontations with the Fontana City Council, in particular Mayor Acquanetta Warren.
The department had an array of investigative options available to it, including access to some of the Enamorados and their associates who had been arrested by the department or other agencies who were therefore vulnerable to compromise by means of deals that could be cut with them in exchange for cooperation to include providing inside information known only to the Enamorados themselves. The department has also cultivated its own undercover operatives, including Hispanic officers capable of assuming the persona and traits of the barrio. By last month, the Sentinel is told, the department had effectively penetrated the Enamorados with at least one undercover officer and two informants.
As the cases against Chávez, Luján, Alba and Freeman based on their September 24 arrests progressed, Edin Enamorado appears to have taken stock of how the extended video of the protests in Victorville that day including the assault on the couple in the Hyundai represented evidence of criminal activity by both him and his associates, and he removed it from his social media platform. That, investigators and prosecutors believe, is a demonstration of what they term “consciousness of guilt” on Enamorado’s part. Despite his scrubbing of the video, investigators had already secured a reprint.
In addition, an exploration of the various posting Edin Enamorado has made going back for some time allowed investigators to get an accurate profile of the formula he uses in his crusade against racism and prejudice. This approach toward shaping opinion and influencing those he comes into contact with as often as not consists of real time physical confrontation, a recipe that has as its ingredients a presumption of moral superiority, making accusations of racism, profanity, rapid fire questions and assertions without giving his interlocutor an opportunity to respond or otherwise immediately dismissing any response made, browbeating, insults and threats. In such circumstances, the intent is not to achieve an exchange of information or views but rather to relentlessly intimidate, provoke and generate more heat than light. Key elements of Enamorado’s tactics are being surrounded by a physically intimidating support network, the use of surprise, verbal domination and videography to capture indelible moving sound images of the individual being confronted, which in many, though not all, cases will result in an untoward or intemperate remark or reaction. Routinely, videos of these confrontations are uploaded onto a variety of social media platforms Enamorado controls. Some of those depict an individual being confronted or in other cases bystanders to the protests Enamorado’s group has mounted growing impatient at being blocked or hemmed in or harangued and then reacting, whereupon the subject is ganged up upon and physically assaulted by those present.
Previously, upon being challenged, would assert that he and his organization started from a position of rectitude – the eradication of racism – and proceed from there. His was a just cause, he insisted, and those who stood with him moral crusaders. Those who opposed him and the Enamorados by his side were opposed to civil rights and freedom of speech, he said, and he vowed retribution in the form of legal action in which he had the U.S. Constitution on his side such that he would bankrupt those who opposed him.
Christian Contreras, at attorney specializing in civil rights and criminal defense, who is billed by his law firm as “one of the top-rated attorneys in the nation,” has on more than one occasion moved to backed Enamorado.
In October, when the Enamorados led by Edin Enamorado surfaced in Fontana to oppose that city’s imposition of an ordinance to regulate street/sidewalk vendors and physically intimidated some of the supporters of the ordinance, including referring to some members of the Latino Small Business Alliance and other Hispanics in the city who supported it as “coconuts – brown on the outside but white on the inside,” who deserved to “be fucked up” and launched pointed personal attacks on Mayor Acquanetta Warren and then conducted protests around her home until after 11 p.m. at night, the city went to court to obtain a temporary restraining order, logged as a “petition to prevent workplace violence” filed for on October 27 against Edin Enamorado specifically, to enjoin him from coming within 100 feet of Warren. On October 27, Superior Court Judge Ron Gilbert denied the request for that civil harassment temporary restraining order.
Nevertheless, sheriff’s department investigators delving into the activity of the Enamorados and several instances involving Enamorado himself by last month had come to the conclusion that what may have started out as protected exercisions of First Amendment rights at expression of opinion or the petitioning of the redress of grievances against the government had crossed the line from speech to criminal, and in some cases, felonious violence. Moreover, in the production of videos intended as much or more for the consumption of his followers as the public at large, the application of that violence is featured as standard method of approach in the Enamorados comportment. The capturing of that ethos on video in which Enamorado sought for himself and the Enamorados he has spawned to be seen as avenging angels inflicting upon the community’s racists the punishment they deserve represents, in the hands of prosecutors, the evidence to make the case against those who have now been arrested and charged.
Sheriff’s investigator, after identifying those depicted in the video evidence now in their possession, obtained arrest and further search warrants for Enamorado and seven of his associates.
The raids were carried out with clock-like precision in the early morning hours of December 14.
One team arrived at 3560 East Gage Avenue in Bell at 3:20 a.m., at which point they awoke Fernando López, 44, and took him into custody on suspicion of violating PC 422(A), threatening to engage in a crime with the intent to terrorize; PC 244, assault by throwing acid; and PC 236, false imprisonment.

At 3:55 a.m., another sheriff’s team in Upland went to the apartment at 1610 West Arrow Route that Enamorado shares with Wendy Luján. They were both taken into custody, Enamorado, 36, on suspicion of violating PC 22801(a), being a prohibited person in possession of pepper spray; PC 182, conspiracy; PC 236, false imprisonment; PC 422, making criminal threats; PC 245, assault with a deadly weapon; PC 29800(a) (1) being a felon in Possession of a firearm; and PC 207 – kidnapping, and Luján, 40, on suspicion of violating PC 182, conspiracy; and PC 236, false imprisonment.
At 4:05 a.m., deputies burst in upon David Chávez, 28, who had been arrested previously by the department along with Luján on September 24 in Victorville, at his residence located at 3863 Del Air Street in Riverside, taking him into custody on suspicion of violating PC 182, conspiracy; PC 236, false imprisonment; and PC 244, assault with chemical agents.
At 4:08 a.m., at her 742 West Sunkist Street residence in Ontario, Vanessa Carrasco, 40, was arrested on suspicion of violating PC 422(A), threatening to engage in a crime with the intent to terrorize; PC 236, false imprisonment; and PC 182 (A) (1), conspiracy to commit a crime.
At 4:10 a.m., sheriff’s deputies moved on Gullit Eder Acevedo, 30, at his domicile at 2855 Fremontia Drive in San Bernardino, arresting him on charges of violating PC 245.2, use of a deadly weapon on an operator of a motor vehicle; PC 236, false imprisonment; and PC 182.5 conspiracy to commit a gang-related felony.
At 4:22 a.m., sheriff’s deputies rushed upon Stephanie Amésquita, 33, at her 1936 Magnolia Avenue place of residence in San Bernardino, arresting her on charges of PC 236, false imprisonment; and PC 22810(G)(1), illegal use of tear gas.
At 4:46 a.m., sheriff’s deputies raided the premises of Edwin Pena, 26, at 1809 West 11th Street Unit 310 in Los Angeles, taking him into custody on suspicion of having violated PC 245.2, use of a deadly weapon on the operator of a motor vehicle; PC 422(A), threatening to engage in a crime with the intent to terrorize; and PC 236, false imprisonment.
All eight were initially held without bail based on concerns the judge had for the safety of the public. On December 18, they were then arraigned in the Victorville Courtroom of Judge Shannon Faherty.
Faherty arraigned Enamorado on the seven charges he had been arrested on along with nine others. At present, Enamorado is charged with one count of conspiracy; two counts of threatening to engage in an assault that will result in in death or great bodily injury; three counts of false imprisonment; one count of kidnapping; three counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury; three counts of unlawful use of tear gas; one count of vandalism involving destruction of property worth $400 or more; one count of possession of tear gas by a convicted felon; one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Faherty arraigned Luján on the two charges she was arrested on and 12 further ones prepared against her by the district attorney’s office. She is now charged with one count of conspiracy; three counts of unlawful use of tear gas; three counts of assault by a means likely to result in great bodily injury; one count of vandalism to property worth $400 or more; three charges of false imprisonment; one charge of kidnapping; and two counts of threatening to engage in an assault that would be likely to produce great bodily injury.
The three charges against López were transformed such that the direct reference to an acid attack was wrapped into an assault charge and he was hit with a total of 12 counts at his arraignment. At present, he is charged with one count of conspiracy; two counts of threatening to engage in an assault that would be likely to produce great bodily injury; two counts of false imprisonment; one charge of kidnapping; two counts of assault by means likely to result in great bodily injury; two counts of unlawful use of tear gas; one count of vandalism to property worth $400 or more; and one count of possession of tear gas by a convicted felon.

Chávez, who had been arrested on suspicion of three charges was arraigned on one count of conspiracy; two counts of threatening to engage in an assault that would be likely to produce great bodily injury; three counts of false imprisonment; one charge of kidnapping; three counts of assault by means likely to result in great bodily injury; three counts of unlawful use of tear gas; and one count of vandalism to property worth $400 or more.
Carrasco was arraigned on 14 charges precisely the same as those levied against Chávez: one count of conspiracy; two counts of threatening to engage in an assault that would be likely to produce great bodily injury; three counts of false imprisonment; one charge of kidnapping; three counts of assault by means likely to result in great bodily injury; three counts of unlawful use of tear gas; and one count of vandalism to property worth $400 or more.
Gullit Acevedo was arraigned on four charges that were recontexted from the three charges he was arrested on. Those four charges are one count of conspiracy; one count of unlawful use of tear gas; one charge of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury; and one charge of false imprisonment.
Amésquita at her arraignment saw the two charges she was arrested on expanded to nine. She was arraigned on one count of conspiracy; a single count of threatening to engage in an assault that would be likely to produce great bodily injury; two counts of false imprisonment; two counts of assault by means of force likely to result in great bodily injury; two counts of unlawful use of tear gas; and one count of vandalism to property worth $400 or more.
Pena saw the three charges the sheriff arrested him on zoom to 14 counts alleged by the district attorney’s office and for which he was arraigned by Faherty. He was arraigned on one count of conspiracy; two counts of threatening to engage in an assault that would be likely to produce great bodily injury; three counts of false imprisonment; one charge of kidnapping; three counts of assault by means of force likely to result in great bodily injury; three counts of unlawful use of tear gas; and one count of vandalism to property worth $400 or more.
All charges leveled against the defendants are felonies.
Faherty continued the no bail hold on each until December 26, at which point they are to appear before Judge Zahara Arredondo.
Enamorado is incarcerated at the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto, which is operated by the sheriff. Chávez is housed at the High Desert Detention Facility. Acevedo, who is also known as Jaguar Arreola, is housed at the High Desert Detention Facility. López, who is also known as Patino, is housed at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, which is closer to Los Angeles, making it easier for his family to visit him.
Luján, Amésquita and Carrasco are incarcerated at West Valley Detention Center.
While Judge Faherty cited concerns about the safety of the public that would be endangered if the defendants were to be released in continuing the no bail hold on all eight defendants, the actual reason keeping Enamorado, Luján, Chávez, Carrasco, Acevedo, Amésquita, López and Pena is the investigators’ concern that if they were to be released – most particularly, Enamorado – evidence that the department has yet to discover and gather in terms of postings to the internet on various social media accounts will be taken down or removed. It has been the casual, indeed cavalier and naively brazen, manner in which Enamorado publicly shared his exploits in “protecting” and “shielding” vulnerable victims of racism Enamorado saw it as his calling to serve, action that on multiple occasions devolved into out-and-out physical confrontations and assaults, that has allowed the sheriff’s department to put the case it has now handed over to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office together.
All eight of the Enamorados are currently represented by the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office. There is a motion pending before the court to have the public defender’s office substituted out and Christian Contreras substituted in as Edin Enamorado’s defense attorney, but that motion was yet pending before the court. A previous effort by the Sentinel to determine whether Contreras, who has unofficially been representing the Enamorados in general and Edin Enamorado in particular since their arrests, or anyone from his law firm, has made any headway in identifying who the informants among the Enamorados are went unanswered earlier this month. Similarly, the Sentinel has not been able to ascertain from Contreras or the public defender’s office whether the Enamorados legal team will seek to suppress the videos that Edin Enamorado had recorded of his and the Enamorados’ activities in the fight against prejudice and racism that crossed the line into occasional violence as evidence in the cases against Enamorado, Luján, Chávez, Carrasco, Acevedo, Amésquita, López and Pena and at trial.

California Civil Rights Department Suit Vs. Ralphs Tests If Criminal History Can Be Hiring Criterion

Just how exacting an employer in California can be in setting the standards for its employees will be determined when a lawsuit filed Thursday by the State of California’s Civil Rights Department against the Ralphs grocery store chain goes to trial.
In that suit, the California Civil Rights Department maintains that Ralphs corporate executives went too far when it included questions about job candidates’ criminal histories on the company’s job applications and then utilized admissions of what the civil rights division deems “minor offenses” as the basis for screening out those would-be employees.
The lawsuit is poised to re-raise questions and resurrect controversy that accompanied the passage of the Fair Chance Act, Assembly Bill 1008, passed into law by the California Legislature and signed into law by then-Governor Jerry Brown in 2017.
The Fair Chance Act, authored by Assembly Member Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), was intended to to ensure that California residents with criminal convictions who are seeking employment are fairly considered for jobs. When it went into effect on January 1, 2018, it prohibited most California employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal history as part of a job application and it further disallowed businesses from conducting background check on applicants until after a job offer was made to that specific individual.
An exception existed in the law if under another law or governmental regulation the employer was required to run a background check for the specific job applied for. The larges number of jobs given such specific exceptions were one in finance or requiring coordination with governmental agencies. In considering an applicant’s criminal history, employers are required, under the Fair Chance Act, to take into account various factors such as the nature and gravity of the offense, the time that passed since the offense or completion of the sentence, and the nature of the job sought.
There was, among certain industries or sectors, some reservation about the new law in 2018 and the governmental intrusion into the workplace. It was pointed out that for some companies, strict hiring standards had proven to be a critical element of their formula for success, that the standards had existed for a considerable length of time, indeed, decades in some cases; that the standards were drawn from governmental practices and standards, as the convictions themselves were imposed by the state government in the form of its penal code, passed by the legislature, and convictions handed down by its courts.
Under the law, an employer could make a “conditional offer” of employment and then carry out a background check, but only with the employee’s written permission. A legitimate question then applied as to whether the employer could terminate the employee for refusing to submit to the background check.
Under the act, employers cannot require an applicant to provide a specific type of evidence demonstrating rehabilitation, though applicants are free to provide evidence of rehabilitation or mitigating circumstances voluntarily at any time during the hiring process, extending to their conduct during incarceration, employment history since the conviction or sentence completion, community service, and other rehabilitative efforts. Applicants are also at liberty to disclose whether trauma, domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, duress, or other similar factors contributed to the offense or conduct. Further, applicants can identify if a disability, such as a past drug addiction or mental impairment, contributed to the offense or conduct. The applicant can also inform the prospective employer whether the likelihood of harm arising from similar conduct could be sufficiently diminished or eliminated by a reasonable accommodation made by the employer or whether the disability has been mitigated or eliminated by treatment. Employers cannot refuse to accept any evidence provided by the applicant. The act calls upon potential employers to “carefully evaluate” such information and give applicants a fair chance to demonstrate their qualifications and readiness for the role they are applying to assume.
Critics of the law asserted that employers should reasonably be allowed to know whether those they are to employ have been rehabilitated.
Employers with fewer than five employees were not subject to the Fair Chance Act.
Since 2018, the California Civil Rights Department has been inundated with thousands of complaints from job applicants who said they were subjected to unlawful questions. The department launched more that 300 investigations into alleged discrimination in which employers discriminated against potential employees based on their criminal history. In something like 70 of those, settlements were obtained.
Ralphs, which employs roughly 25,000 at its 185 stores and warehouses in California, was clearly subject to the law, according to the State of California. No settlement was reached with the company and the state filed what is the first lawsuit based on the act against it.
According to the lawsuit, Ralphs employment applicants were provided with a application in which they were asked to disclose their criminal history but told doing so was not required. Nevertheless, there were instructions relating to completing the portion of the application with instructions that were so involved the applicants were, essentially, fooled into responding or inveigled into responding against their will.
According to the suit, “The instructions provide detailed, superfluous instructions concerning how to report convictions, after telling applicants that they do not need to answer the question. Additionally, by suggesting specific convictions that should not be reported in California, the instructions necessarily suggest that other convictions should be reported.”
Between 2018 and 2022, more than 70 percent of Ralph’s applicants in California answered the questions relating to criminal history, according to the suit.
The grounds then used for denying employment were based on issues that had, or should have had, no bearing on the fitness of the applicants for the positions they wanted to work, according to the State of California Civil Rights Department. should Candidates “lost their job offers based on convictions for a single misdemeanor count of excessive noise,” according to the department. “Other applicants who had convictions from other states for simple cannabis possession were also disqualified.”
Ralphs uses an online application methodology that involves an electronic application which entails a format involving multiple question including those related to criminal history. It uses an evaluative algorithm that bypasses human or personalized assessment, selecting and/or rejecting applicants merely on a standardized scoring basis, which the California Civil Rights Division maintains is illegal.
The company further failed to make adequate disclosure to rejected applicants of its reason for denying them employment.
More than three out of four of those job applicants with Ralphs who had the job offers they had previously been extended rescinded were not given an opportunity or the means to contact the company to appeal the decision, as required under the Fair Chance Act. Those given contact information soon learned that the phone number they were provided terminated at a fax machine, according to the lawsuit.
Ralphs has done nothing to undo its denial of employment to hundreds of applicants on account of their di minimus and stale criminal histories, which under the law does not stand as sufficient reason to deny them employment, according to the lawsuit.
“These types of convictions, and hundreds more like them, do not bear any direct and adverse relationship with the duties of any job at a grocery store, including the grocery clerk positions that are the vast majority of the positions Ralphs denied on the basis of conviction history,” the lawsuit states.
“They were not legitimate grounds for a decision by Ralphs to withdraw a conditional offer that had already been made based on the applicant’s application and interview.”
Multiple candidates allegedly lost job offers based on convictions for a single misdemeanor count of excessive noise. Others who had convictions for simple cannabis possession in states where it remains illegal were also disqualified, according to the suit.
Ralphs has not made any statement in reaction to the lawsuit. That the Department of Civil Rights was moved to file suit rather than come to a settlement might be interpreted as an indication the company will opt to go to court and perhaps argue that it is within its rights to not want to employ pot smokers or those who have demonstrated themselves as discourteous enough toward their neighbors or fellow citizens as to disturb their tranquility. It is anticipated that Ralphs will, if it goes to court to defend against the suit, to employ whatever protocols or algorithms it has developed in conjunction with its business model in evaluating applicants for their future employment potential.
The lawsuit seeks from Ralphs monetary damages for applicants who were denied employment or lost hiring opportunities because of Ralphs’ policy. The department als wants Ralphs to be enjoined hereinafter to comply with the Fair Chance Act.
“The Fair Chance Act is about giving every Californian an opportunity to thrive,” said Civil Rights Department Director Kevin Kish. “We can’t expect people to magically gain the economic and housing stability needed to reintegrate into their communities and stay out of the criminal legal system without a fair chance at steady employment, particularly when the job has nothing to do with a past offense.”