WALNUT CREEK — When a Walnut Creek policeman responded to a 911 hangup call last November, the driver of a parked car explained the call away; he told the officer his ex-girlfriend had been following him, trying to start an altercation, so he called the police.

In the backseat was a young woman “crying hysterically,” according to the officer’s report. She was unable to speak, but slyly typed a two-word message on her phone and turned her screen toward the officer. Her message read, “He’s lying.”

By the end of the police investigation, the driver, 22-year-old Amani Dupre Jackson, had been charged with human trafficking, assault and domestic violence. By February, he and two women had been charged in an alleged criminal conspiracy to convince the victim not to testify, and to delete evidence off Jackson’s phone.

Police describe Jackson as a member of the Del Paso Heights Bloods, a subset of the Bloods criminal gang based in Sacramento. Jackson has pleaded not guilty and his trial has been set for mid-April, according to court records.

Court records describe Jackson’s November arrest in Walnut Creek, saying officers were first called to a parking lot near the corner of Arroyo Way and Civic Drive after an “unidentified female” called 911 and hung up. All the dispatcher could hear was a woman crying and a man asking where his phone was.

After reading the woman’s message to him, the officer — listed in court records only as “Officer Clemente” — separated Jackson and the woman, and interviewed her. She told police Jackson had punched her in the head and choked her for 10 seconds.

Jackson denied all this when questioned by police, saying it was another woman — a family member — who had fought with the alleged victim, and that he was trying to break it up. He said he called 911 and was more or less acting as a peacemaker.

In a subsequent interview, the woman told police that Jackson had spent two years in prison, and before that was “pimping her out,” according to an officer’s statement. She said he would drive her to San Francisco, or Oakland, drop her off at street corners with a box of condoms, and tell her not to call for a ride until all the condoms were gone.

She usually made around $1,000 to $1,500 a night, and Jackson would have sex with her if she met her quota, the woman reportedly told police. She said the argument that led to the fight in Walnut Creek happened because she had refused to go to the San Pablo/Richmond area and perform “tricks,” or sex acts for money.

But the story doesn’t quite end there. In February, a grand jury indicted two women — Channel Jackson and Essence Littlepage — on charges of conspiracy and dissuading a witness, for allegedly plotting with Jackson to get the victim to change her statement. In phone calls from county jail, Jackson reportedly also told them to delete evidence from his phone and other electronic devices.

The Los Altos Police Department, with the assistance of the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children (SVICAC) Task Force and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, has arrested Los Altos resident Jeffrey Rowland for possession of child pornography.

In January 2019, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) provided multiple CyberTip reports to the Los Altos Police Department regarding the suspected possession of harmful matter, specifically child pornography.

A follow-up investigation conducted by the Mountain View Police Department and the Los Altos Police Department revealed that the suspect was a Los Altos resident.

On February 27, 2019, the Los Altos Police Department, with the assistance of the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children (SVICAC) Task Force and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant at Jeffrey Rowland’s residence in Los Altos. Child pornography was located and seized. Suspect Jeffrey Rowland was arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail without incident for the listed charge.

Individuals with information pertaining to this investigation are asked to contact Detective Sergeant Brian Jeffrey of the Los Altos Police Department Investigative Services Division at (650) 947-2770. Individuals wishing to remain anonymous may call the Los Altos Police Department Tip-Line at (650) 947-2774.

San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies said they believe the man was trying to flee to Mexico before being apprehended for assaulting a girl.

REDWOOD CITY, CA — A Richmond man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of committing lewd acts with a child under age 14 while inside his vehicle, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday.

Victor Alfonso Paredes-Castro, 34, was taken into custody in connection to an assault that happened on Feb. 23 and involved a family member of his girlfriend, according to the sheriff’s office. The incident occurred in an unincorporated part of San Mateo County, near Redwood City, officials said.

“The victim reported the incident immediately after it occurred, however the suspect fled the scene before deputies arrived,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Officials say they caught up with the suspect at his Richmond home on Thursday — just as he may have been headed out of town.

“Detectives believed Paredes-Castro was preparing to flee to Mexico before being apprehended,” the news release stated.

The sheriff’s department believes there are more potential victims and encourage anyone who had any contact or association with Paredes-Castro to contact Detective Jerri Cosens 650-363-4347 or Detective Sergeant Joe Cang at 650-363-4008.

Oak Lawn police have arrested a Burbank man accused of trying to lure two teens to his car on Feb. 22.

OAK LAWN, IL — A self-employed sales vendor from Burbank has been arrested after police said he tried to lure two Oak Lawn girls to his car last Friday. Safwat Mohammad, 43, appeared before Cook County Judge John J. Mahoney on a felony count of child abduction and child luring, as well as misdemeanor disorderly conduct. During Mohammad’s bond hearing on Tuesday, he was also served with an order of protection for an unrelated civil matter.

Police said that a man later identified as Mohammad approached two girls, ages 14 and 15, moments apart as they walked home after school on Feb. 22. Both teens were students at Oak Lawn Community High School. There was no physical contact and, in both instances, adults happened upon the scene and scared the man away.

Around 3:40 p.m., the 14-year-old was walking home in the 5300 block of West 91st Place, when she noticed a man following her down the street in a Cadillac Deville. When the teen turned the corner, the car also turned and continued to follow the girl. The prosecutor said Mohammad pulled alongside the teen and rolled down his window. Mohammad allegedly began speaking to the girl — asking her name, saying she was pretty and that he wanted to get to know her better.

Man Sought In Two Attempted Child Luring Incidents In Oak Lawn

A woman on her way to pick up her son noticed the Caddy following the girl. Sensing something was not right, the prosecutor said the woman pulled up next to the teen and asked her if she was okay. When the girl responded that she was not the woman told Mohammad to leave, the prosecutor said. After making sure Mohammad left the area and that the teen was okay, she went to pick up her son. The girl met up with a friend, and they walked the rest of the way home.

Moments earlier, police said Mohammad approached a 15-year-old girl who was walking in the 9500 block of S. Marion Ave. and used the same modus operandi. When the teen turned up her driveway, police said the girl’s mother came out and Mohammad fled the area.

Using surveillance video from neighborhood home security cameras, police were able to enlarge one of the images to get a license plate number. The plate number came back as being registered to Mohammad, police said. Officers arrested Mohammad on Sunday at his home, according to the charges. He has no prior criminal background.

The 14-year-old was able to identify Mohammad, and he was charged with felony child abduction and child luring, police said. The other teen was unable to identify Mohammad as the man who approached her, so he was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

The assistant public defender told the judge that Mohammad is a self-employed sales vendor. He lives with his girlfriend in Burbank. He said he could post $100 bond. During the bond hearing, authorities also learned that another woman had filed for a civil order of protection against Mohammad, but it had not yet been served. The judge set bail at $250,000.

“I find you to be a danger,” Mahoney said.

Mohammad later returned to the courtroom where he was served with the order of protection issued Feb.19 from a Chicago woman. He was told to refrain from physical abuse, stalking, intimidation and communicating by phone, email or text; and he was asked to cease from online exploitation. He is also to stay away from the woman’s home and workplace.

Mohammad’s next court date is March 25 in Bridgeview. As Mohammed was being led out of the courtroom, he turned around and mouthed to a man and woman sitting in the gallery, “get my bond.”

 

In a deal, the man pleaded no contest to one charge each of child molestation, witness dissuasion & unlawful sexual intercourse with a child

SAN MATEO COUNTY, CA — A 30-year-old former youth counselor from Mountain View has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading no contest to several child molestation charges involving two girls at a group home in Redwood City, San Mateo County prosecutors said Monday.

Francis Caceres, who was sentenced Friday, was arrested in January 2017 after law enforcement became aware of his contact with a 14-year-old girl who was a resident at the Your House South youth group home in Redwood City where Caceres worked.

After Caceres’ arrest, a 13-year-old girl who was also a resident at Your House South came forward to say she was also a victim, prompting prosecutors to file several more charges against him, prosecutors said. The second victim said she was molested in the Your House South recreation room, according to the district attorney’s office.

In December, Caceres pleaded no contest to one charge each of child molestation, witness dissuasion and unlawful sexual intercourse with a child in exchange for an eight-year prison sentence. Prosecutors had asked for a nine-year sentence.In addition to the prison sentence, Caceres was ordered by San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Garratt to pay a yet-to-be-determined amount of restitution to the victims.

He will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, stay away from the victims for 10 years and submit to genetic marker testing, prosecutors said.

Suspect was arrested in Merced

REDWOOD CITY — A 28-year-old man suspected of forcing a 26-year-old woman to work as a prostitute in cities throughout the Bay Area was arrested Friday following an investigation by Redwood City police.

The suspect, Devone Richardson of Elk Grove, threatened to send nude pictures of the woman to her parents if she did not continue working for him, according to a news release issued by Redwood City police. The woman told police she had been working as a prostitute for about a month for Richardson, who controlled her by keeping her money, cell phone, purse and identification, and denied her food and made her sleep in his car.

The investigation started on Aug. 18 when patrol officers responded to a report of a domestic-violence incident in downtown Redwood City, police said. The male suspect fled before officers arrived, and the female victim initially denied any domestic violence had occurred.

Officers who interviewed the woman sensed “uneasiness in her statement” and, “out of concern for her overall well-being,” offered her temporary shelter. The woman accepted and she was taken to the local First Chance facility.

Suspecting there was more to the story, officers collaborated with First Chance counselors and asked them to call police if the woman wanted additional help from law enforcement.

Later that evening, the victim told First Chance counselors she had been forced into prostitution and beaten by a man she referred to as her pimp.

A Redwood City patrol officer responded to First Chance and interviewed the woman, who provided more information about how she was forced “into an unwilling life of prostitution,” according to the police press release.

Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Richardson and contacted law enforcement agencies in areas where he was known to frequent.

Friday, Merced police officers stopped Richardson after receiving a hit on their automated license plate reader. Redwood City detectives went to Merced, took custody of Richardson booked him into the San Mateo County Jail on suspicion of human trafficking, pimping, pandering, robbery, domestic violence, extortion and assault.

Redwood City police collaborated with San Mateo County Human Trafficking Program Coordinator to get the woman additional assistance for long-term housing and money for food.

Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Nick Perna at NPerna@redwoodcity.org. Persons with information about this case or any other case who wish to remain anonymous may leave messages at 1-800-222-TIPS.

If anyone has any questions regarding human trafficking in San Mateo County or elsewhere, please send an email to stophumantrafficking@smcgov.org.

By Mark Gomez | mgomez@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: August 27, 2018 at 10:59 am | UPDATED: August 27, 2018 at 3:37 pm

An alleged San Francisco pimp who was behind the wheel during a harrowing police pursuit that began on the Bay Bridge and ended with a fiery, fatal crash in Emeryville was charged with murder this week in the death of a female passenger, as well as kidnapping and human trafficking, prosecutors said.

Michael Brown, 42, remained hospitalized Thursday and was unable to show up for court four days after the chase that authorities said ended with bystanders and police dragging Brown from burning wreckage while a woman remained trapped and perished in the flames. A second, kidnapped woman — who had been stuffed into the car’s trunk — escaped before the crash, officials said.

Brown, who has a violent criminal history dating to 1996, was arrested at the scene and later charged with murder, domestic violence, assault, human trafficking, pimping, robbery, conspiracy, kidnapping and criminal threats.

The episode began in April when Brown enlisted the woman who ended up in the trunk as a sex worker, San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Michael Swart wrote in court papers seeking to hold the defendant without bail. Brown would drop the woman off to do sex work, and would keep her cell phone and identification until she came back and gave him a cut of her take, prosecutors alleged.

On one occasion, when the woman failed to make enough money, Brown forced her to sleep outdoors, and in another instance punched her in the face, Swart wrote. The treatment prompted the victim to switch pimps.

On Sunday, prosecutors said, Brown and another sex worker, identified as Daphne Bailey, 40, told the victim they wanted to celebrate her birthday with a cake and a bag of cocaine. The meeting was actually a ploy to punish the woman for leaving Brown, Swart wrote.

After meeting at Turk and Leavenworth streets in the Tenderloin, Brown allegedly stuck the victim in the face, knocking her to the ground, before hitting her again and dragging her by the hair to the trunk of his nearby vehicle, where Bailey was waiting. Witnesses watched as the car sped off, and someone followed the vehicle before the driver stopped and let the victim out on Van Ness Avenue, officials said.

The second woman, though, “forcefully prevented” the victim from getting her belongings out of the trunk, slapped her hand and slammed the trunk shut, Swart said. Brown then sped off to the Bay Bridge, where officers spotted him around 3 p.m. and began a high-speed chase, police said.

While fleeing police, Brown lost control at West MacArthur Boulevard and Peralta Street in Emeryville, hit a car and spun into a light pole, causing the car to burst into flames, authorities said.

Bystanders and police pulled Brown from the wreckage, while Bailey remained trapped in the burning vehicle and died. A witness captured video of the aftermath of the crash and posted it on social media.

Evan Sernoffsky is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: esernoffsky@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @EvanSernoffsky

Two teens were saved from becoming victims of a human trafficking by nothing less than a miracle — literally.

The two young girls had approached an American Airlines ticket agent — whose name is Denice Miracle — at Sacramento International Airport, trying to board a flight to New York with no identification or return tickets. Miracle, however, felt something was wrong.

Miracle immediately notified sheriff’s deputy Todd Sanderson, and the two are now being celebrated as heroes for saving the 15- and a 17-year-old female from a possible human trafficking incident, Fox 40 reported.

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Lake County authorities have arrested two Clearlake men suspected of human trafficking linked to prostitution, a bust that culminates a six-month investigation, District Attorney Don Anderson announced Friday.

Timothy Lee Williams, 52, was arrested Thursday as he sat in a car outside a motel where the District Attorney’s investigators set up a sting operation involving a woman they believed was working for Williams “possibly not of her free will,” Anderson said in a statement.

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