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One of 23 arrested pleads not guilty in connection with Hemet attacks


Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
Issue 16, Volume 14.
Mirna Alfonso
Special to the Valley News


MURRIETA - One of the suspects arrested in a three-county raid in connection with attempted attacks on Hemet police pleaded not guilty today to being a white supremacist gang member and having a "zip gun," which is the sort of weapon used in one of the attacks.

In all, 23 suspects were arrested on Tuesday, but none have been charged with the attacks.

Police have stopped short of blaming any one group or even conceding that all the acts are related, and news reports that the crimes may have been carried out by white supremacists remained unconfirmed late this afternoon.

However, Patrick Mike Nugent, 40, is charged with two counts of possession or manufacture of an undetectable firearm, or zip gun, a single count of having a nunchuks martial arts weapon, two counts of being a felon in possession of a zip gun and a single count of participating in the Coors Skins, a well-known white supremacist gang in Hemet. He also faces gang allegations.

Nugent was ordered back to court Thursday for a felony settlement conference. A preliminary hearing was tentatively set for May 6. Riverside Superior Court Judge Angel Bermudez set his bail at $50,000.

Two others were also charged today.

Joseph Matthew Zito, 29, pleaded not guilty with being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun with a gang activity enhancement, and illegal possession of testosterone, which is a misdemeanor.

He also faces allegations that he is a convicted felon in possession of a handgun and that he did not remain free from custody for five years after a previous conviction.

He was ordered back to court Thursday for a felony settlement conference and a preliminary hearing was tentatively set for May 6. His bail was set at $1 million.

Christian Ray Lewis, 44, was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. He made his first court appearance today but his arraignment was postponed to Wednesday, according to court records.

Law enforcement officers conducted the raids to seek information on those responsible for a series of recent attacks on Hemet police and city facilities.

On New Year's Eve, someone rerouted a natural gas line into a Hemet/San Jacinto Gang Task Force building.

On Feb. 23, a member of the task force opened a gate at its headquarters and was nearly struck by a bullet discharged by a homemade "zip gun" that was rigged to fire when the gate moved.

On March 5, another task force member found an explosive device attached to his unmarked patrol car when he pulled into a gas station in Hemet, and in late March, four city code enforcement trucks were torched in the Hemet City Hall parking lot.

The most recent attack occurred April 12, when a fire damaged a mobile home used for police training.

"The people we ended up arresting are not necessarily responsible for the attacks," Hemet police Capt. David Brown said earlier, although he added, "some of them may have been involved."


Most people arrested in multi-agency sweep in connection with Hemet attacks have lengthy rap sheets

MURRIETA - Most of the suspects arrested in a multi-agency sweep in connection with attacks on Hemet police have lengthy rap sheets, court records showed today.

"The people we ended up arresting are not necessarily responsible for the attacks," Hemet police Capt. David Brown said, although he added, "some of them may have been involved."

The suspects were arrested Tuesday during a sweep of 35 places, and 17 were booked for alleged parole violations, weapons and drug offenses, according to Brown.

Law enforcement officers conducted the raids to seek information on those responsible for a series of recent attacks on Hemet police and city facilities.

Some of those arrested Tuesday have violent criminal histories and at least one was convicted of violating someone's civil rights by force.

Joseph Matthew Zito, 29, who was booked on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, being a felon in possession of a firearm, gang membership and committing a crime while having a prison prior within five years. He was

being held in lieu of $25,000 bail, pending a court appearance Friday.

Zito was convicted in 2003 of possessing a firearm or ammunition while on probation and in 2004 of assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, to produce great bodily injury. He received two-year terms for both convictions.

In 2009, he was convicted of unlawful use of tear gas and sentenced to 120 days in jail. He was acquitted in 2008 of assault, making criminal threats and gang activity.

James Robert Tielens Jr., 27, was booked on weapons, drugs and parole violation and held on a no-bail warrant. In 2007, Tielens was convicted of making terrorist threats and false imprisonment in a domestic violence case. He was sentenced to three years probation and six months in jail.

Also in 2007, Tielens was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, not a gun, to cause great bodily injury, and violating someone's civil rights by force. Hate-crime allegations attached to the assault were stricken. Tielens' father, James Dean, 54, was booked on possession of a hypodermic needle or syringe, receiving stolen property and drug possession. He

bailed out on $5,000 bond, pending a court appearance May 18. He has spent three years in prison for shooting at an inhabited dwelling 20 years ago. He has an active vandalism case pending and a concealed weapons conviction from 1997 for which he received 36 months and violated probation at least three times.

Alfred Lee Morris, 48, who was arrested on parole violations and is being held on no bail, pleaded guilty in 2004 to making terrorist threats and misdemeanor assault with a weapon likely to produce great bodily injury in connection with domestic violence. He was sentenced to a year in jail. The rest of his prior cases are drug offenses.

Ronald Potter, 39, was arrested on suspicion of weapons, ammunition and parole violations. He is being held on a no bail warrant. He has no record of priors in this county.

Patrick Mike Nugent, 40, was arrested on suspicion of manufacturing, selling or possessing a martial arts weapon and probation violation. He is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail, pending a court appearance Friday. Nugent was convicted in 1998 and again in 2006 for manufacturing, selling or possessing an undetectable firearm. He was sentenced to six months weekend jail time and five years probation in 2006.

Ryan Lendon Stobaugh, 28, was arrested on drug and parole violations and was being held on a no-bail warrant. He was convicted in 2002 on an auto theft charge, got 180 days in jail and three years probation, which he violated when he was found in possession of a firearm or ammunition in 2005. Probation was revoked and he was sentenced to eight months in jail.

Jessie Claire Marie Reynolds, 24, was booked on suspicion of possession of a deadly weapon. She made bond on $5,000 bail and is set for a court appearance May 18. There is no record of felony or misdemeanor convictions for Reynolds.

Darren James McGraw, 29, was booked on suspicion of driving on a suspended license, petty theft and failure to appear on a written promise. He was being held on no bail, pending a court appearance July 20. McGraw was convicted of petty theft in 2006 and shoplifting in 2000 and spent five years on probation for those misdemeanors.

Christian Ray Lewis, 44, was booked on possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held on no bail, pending a court appearance Friday. In 1995, he was convicted of receiving stolen property and was sentenced to three years probation and 90 days in jail. In 1998, he was convicted of petty theft and received two years in prison. Since 1996, he has been in and

out of jail on drug charges eight times, including this latest bust.

Anthony John Ross, 27, was booked on a parole violation. He was being held on a no-bail warrant.

In 2003 he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor burglary and received three years probation and 60 days weekend jail time. He violated probation and was sentenced to 57 more days in jail and probation was terminated early.

Rhonda Lynn Thomas, 34, was arrested on drug, weapon and probation violations. She was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail. Last October she was convicted of drug possession, possession of burglary tools, possession of a hypodermic needle or syringe and allegations of committing crimes on bail, convicted twice on a felony and having a prison prior within five years. She was sentenced to three years probation, a year in county jail and recommended attendance at a residential substance abuse treatment program.

Derrick Yates and Sheri Dillon were booked on parole violations. No record for them was found in the sheriff's jail system.

Kelley Rae Jackson, 40, was booked on possession of a controlled substance and possession of a needle or syringe. She made bond on $5,000 bail, pending a court appearance May 20. Jackson has misdemeanor drug, DUI and paraphernalia convictions stemming from 2001. She was sentenced to three years probation, 240 days in jail and attendance at a substance abuse outpatient clinic. She violated probation but it was reinstated.

Brandon Edward Garciduenas, 35, was booked on suspicion of possession of at least 28.5 grams of marijuana, a misdemeanor, and felony possession of a deadly weapon. He made bond on $5,000 bail, pending a court appearance May 18. He has no prior criminal history in Advertisement
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Christopher Richard Felber, 21, was book on parole violations. He was being held on a no-bail warrant. In 2007, Felber pleaded guilty to auto theft and was sentenced to three years probation and 120 days in jail.

Jon Felgen, Erin Kaiser, Ryan Gray, Keith Garron and Chris Burton were booked on misdemeanor warrants. Jarett Mejia was booked on suspicion of a probation violation.


23 people arrested during multi-agency sweep named and questioned about Hemet attacks

MURRIETA - Some of the 23 people arrested during a multi-agency sweep in Riverside County were questioned today about recent attacks on Hemet police and facilities, although none of the suspects have been charged in connection with the attacks, police said.

"The people we ended up arresting are not necessarily responsible for the attacks," Hemet police Capt. David Brown said today, though he added, "some of them may have been involved." The suspects were arrested Tuesday during a sweep of 35 places, and 17 were booked for alleged parole violations, weapons and drug offenses, according to Brown.

"We have not booked or filed charges on this particular case," Brown added.

Police continued today to be tight-lipped about the investigation into the attacks.

"The investigation continues to narrow," was all Brown would say on its progress.

About 200 law enforcement personnel from the Hemet Police Department, FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the San Bernardino and Orange County sheriff's departments took part in Tuesday's raid, which also yielded 12 handguns, three rifles, 13 computers, cell phones, numerous martial arts weapons, including brass knuckles, gas masks, drug paraphernalia, including pipes and syringes, tools, ammunition and gang paraphernalia.

Warrants were served in San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside counties, including San Jacinto, but all those arrested were taken in Riverside County and booked into the Riverside County jail system.

As a result of the raids, police said they believe they are closer to identifying the culprits responsible for a series of attacks on vehicles, officers and buildings in Hemet since December.

On New Year's Eve, someone rerouted a natural gas line into a Hemet/San Jacinto Gang Task Force building.

On Feb. 23, a member of the task force opened a gate at its headquarters and was nearly struck by a bullet discharged by a homemade "zip gun" that was rigged to fire when the gate moved.

On March 5, another task force member found an explosive device attached to his unmarked patrol car when he pulled into a gas station in Hemet, and in late March, four city code enforcement trucks were torched in the Hemet City Hall parking lot.

The most recent attack occurred April 12, when a fire damaged a mobile home used for police training.

"Intelligence reports indicate that the police facility (station) is the likely focus of future criminal acts," Brown wrote in a staff report to the City Council at the time of the fire.

Police have stopped short of blaming any one organization or even conceding that all the acts are related, although the Los Angeles Times reported that investigators believe white supremacists may be behind the attacks.

Brown today declined to say whether any one group or type of group was under particular scrutiny in the investigation, although most of those arrested are white.

"It's definitely not the only focus of our investigation," Brown said. He said some of those arrested are gang members, but not all are white supremacists. "That's a hard thing to determine anyway," Brown said.

The sweep came about a week after the Hemet City Council gave the city manager emergency purchasing power to outfit police with whatever equipment, resources and personnel were deemed necessary to combat the attacks that have put police on the defensive.

Some of those arrested have violent criminal histories and at least one was convicted of violating someone's civil rights by force.

One of those arrested was Joseph Matthew Zito, 29, who was booked on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, being a felon in possession of a firearm, gang membership and committing a crime while having a prison prior within five years. He was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail, pending a court appearance Friday.

Zito was convicted in 2003 of possessing a firearm or ammunition while on probation and in 2004 of assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, to produce great bodily injury. He received two-year terms for both convictions.

In 2009, Zito was convicted of unlawful use of tear gas and was sentenced to 120 days in jail. He was acquitted in 2008 of assault, making criminal threats and gang activity.

James Robert Tielens Jr., 27, was booked on weapons, drugs and parole violation and held on a no bail warrant. In 2007, Tielens was convicted of making terrorist threats and false imprisonment on a domestic violence case. He was sentenced to three years probation and six months in jail.

Also in 2007, Tielens was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, not a gun, to cause great bodily injury, and violating someone's civil rights by force. Hate-crime allegations attached to the assault were stricken.

Others jailed on suspicion of felonies were: -- James Dean Tielens Sr., 54, booked on possession of a hypodermic needle or syringe, receiving stolen property and drug possession. He bailed out on $5,000 bond, pending a court appearance May 18.

-- Ronald Potter, 39, on weapons, ammunition and parole violation. He is being held on a no bail warrant.

-- Patrick Mike Nugent, 40, on martial arts weapons and probation violation. He is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail, pending a court appearance Friday.

-- Ryan Lendon Stobaugh, 28, on drugs and parole violation. He was being held on a no-bail warrant.

-- Jessie Claire Marie Reynolds, 24, booked on possession of a deadly weapon. She made bond on $5,000 bail and is set for a court appearance May 18.

-- Darren James McGraw, 29, booked on suspicion of driving on asuspended license, petty theft and failure to appear on a written promise. He was being held on no bail, pending a court appearance July 20.

-- Christian Ray Lewis, 44, booked on possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held on no bail, pending a court appearance Friday.

-- Anthony John Ross, 27, on a parole violation. He was being held on a no-bail warrant.

-- Rhonda Lynn Thomas, 34, on drugs, weapons and probation violations. She was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.

-- Derrick Yates, on drug and parole violations. No record was found for him in the sheriff's jail system.

-- Alfred Lee Morris, 48, on parole violations, held on a warrant, no bail.

-- Sheri Dillon, on parole violation. No record for her was found in the sheriff's jail system.

-- Kelley Rae Jackson, 40, booked on possession of a controlled substance and possession of a needle or syringe. She made bond on $5,000 bail, pending a court appearance May 20.

-- Brandon Edward Garciduenas, 35, booked on suspicion of possession of at least 28.5 grams of marijuana, a misdemeanor, and felony possession of adeadly weapon. He made bond on $5,000 bail, pending a court appearance May 18.

-- Christopher Felber, 21, on parole violations. He was being held on a no-bail warrant.

Jon Felgen, Erin Kaiser, Ryan Gray, Keith Garron and Chris Burton were booked on misdemeanor warrants. Jarett Mejia was booked on suspicion of a probation violation.

No home towns for any of the suspects were provided by authorities.


Hemet police arrest 23 people for recent attacks

HEMET - Hemet police arrested 23 people today while serving search warrants in at least 35 locations countywide as part of an investigation into recent attacks on police and city facilities.

About 200 law enforcement personnel from federal, state, county and city agencies took part in today's raid, which also yielded 16 firearms, along with other evidence and contraband, Hemet police Capt. Dave Brown said.

As of this afternoon, no charges have been filed in connection with the ongoing investigation into a series of attacks on city and police facilities.

The operation came about a week after the Hemet City Council gave the city manager emergency purchasing power to outfit police with whatever equipment, resources and personnel were deemed necessary to combat the attacks that have put police on the defensive.

The most recent attack occurred April 12, when a fire damaged a mobile home used for police training. Police said they believe the blaze was connected to a series of life-threatening acts that started with someone rerouting a natural gas line into a gang task force building on New Year's Eve.

"Intelligence reports indicate that the police facility (station) is the likely focus of future criminal acts," Brown wrote in a staff report to the City Council at the time of the fire.

In late March, four city code enforcement trucks were torched in the Hemet City Hall parking lot.

On March 5, a member of the Hemet/San Jacinto Gang Task Force found an explosive device attached to his unmarked patrol car when he pulled into a gas station in Hemet.

On Feb. 23, a member of the task force opened a gate at its headquarters and was nearly struck by a bullet discharged by a homemade "zip gun," which was rigged to fire when the gate moved.

Police have stopped short of blaming any one organization or even conceding that all the acts have been related.

Today's activity is the closest police have come to linking the acts. "The purpose of this morning's operation was to obtain evidence and information related to the investigation," Brown said.

"As the investigators do their work throughout the day, we hope to obtain additional information that will help us accomplish our priorities: to identify and apprehend the individuals responsible for these crimes and stop the attacks," he said.


 

9 comments

Comment Profile Imageobserver
Comment #1 | Wednesday, Apr 21, 2010 at 6:30 am
well, were they all Vagos or not?
Comment Profile Imagepatriot
Comment #2 | Wednesday, Apr 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm
good job.
Comment Profile Imageallan
Comment #3 | Wednesday, Apr 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm
ihope these peolpe are not being set up . the amount of corruption in this city and county its a real possibility .
Comment Profile Imagereality
Comment #4 | Thursday, Apr 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm
Allan,

Your an idiot. Corruption??? Really? You listen to too many ignorant people. The men and women of hpd do not set people up. They do their jobs well and make it so you and your family can sleep at night! When you see one, thank them. Remeber who you call when you need help!
Comment Profile Imagedewy
Comment #5 | Friday, Apr 23, 2010 at 7:23 am
riverside corruption is huge....and hemet pd pissed someone off...."reality you live in lala land",,,,,,hemet is a hell hole anyways .
Comment Profile Imageobserver
Comment #6 | Friday, Apr 23, 2010 at 8:40 pm
It truly is a shame that the good people of Hemet are subjected to such terror. Alot of people's grandma's are out there still...really scary times for them.
Comment Profile ImageR Thomas
Comment #7 | Sunday, Jul 4, 2010 at 6:01 pm
when the police raid your house and find old prescriptions of drugs left behind by old room mates that are years old you get charged with possession, when the police raid your house at 1am and find nothing then leave their mace there and come back at 6 am and find it you get charged. this is the case with Rhonda Thomas of hemet. also when you have someone trying to break into your house while you are there and the hemet police come and shoot your car in your garage they laugh and think its a joke and get treated like a low class human. so would you say the hemet police are corrupt? yes Rhonda did some things she should not have but she went to prison for it, and once you are in the system you cannot get out of it, the police will always find something no matter what and you have no recourse. Rhonda is not a gang member or would ever hurt anyone or anything or do harm to anyone, I know i am her father.
Comment Profile Imageonce1always1
Comment #8 | Tuesday, Oct 12, 2010 at 3:22 pm
wah wah...why r they picking on my kid?shutup there ol' boy - u know shes guilty as sin .................................... always some kind of excuse rather then ownership of the crime. own it, they are what they are and they each will get what they have comin. glad hpd is finally givin us citizens the defense we need - these creeps are tryin to take our city. hell no.
Comment Profile Imageemar-grc
Comment #9 | Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013 at 11:31 pm
one of these guys used to be my neighbor he would tell me all about this all the time when he was all doped up on pills

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.

 

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