DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
(26 years with the MCDAO)
(15 years with the MCDAO)
(14 years with the MCDAO)
(9 years with the MCDAO)
(8 years with the MCDAO)
(6 years with the MCDAO)
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICERMike Geniella
|LEGAL SERVICES AND SUPPORT|
Legal Services Supervisor
Supervising Legal Secretary
Senior Department Analyst
Claudia Macias de Ortega
The Anti-Drug Abuse Program prosecutes offenses involving commercial marijuana cultivation/distribution, and the manufacture, processing, sales, and distribution of controlled substances, typically methamphetamine; however, there have been recent increases in arrests for MDMA (ecstasy), as well as other hard drug arrests including cocaine and heroin. The ADA Prosecutor works closely with the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force (MMCTF), a special unit of highly trained law enforcement officers dedicated primarily to the reduction of commercial drug activity in our county. Emphasis is placed upon the sentencing of those who plead guilty, with the prosecution arguing in favor of heavy prison terms for manufacturers and distributors of methamphetamine and other hard drugs. Large marijuana grows in our national forests and the manufacture/sales of controlled substances inflict immeasurable damage on Mendocino County's inhabitants and environment due to the toxic substances/chemicals and associated violent criminal acts accompanying the illegal drug trade. Anti-Drug Abuse Prosecutors work with Mendocino County Child Protective services (CPS) in a combined effort to protect drug-endangered children. Parents who make, sell, and use drugs around their children can expect to be criminally prosecuted for child endangerment. The District Attorney's Office, the MMCTF and Child Protective Services are united in a "Zero Tolerance" attitude toward adults whose irresponsible behavior with drug trafficking victimizes children.Consumer Fraud and Economic Crimes Protection
The Consumer Fraud and Economic Crimes Division is responsible for investigating and prosecuting economic and environmental crimes including all civil and criminal violations of California's environmental protection laws and laws relating to unfair business practices. The unit consists of a Deputy District Attorney, a paralegal, and an assigned DA Investigator. Working together, this group has been sending people who commit fraud and embezzlement to prison.
Economic crimes prosecuted by this unit include major embezzlement, identity theft, counterfeiting, Internet fraud, tax crimes, welfare fraud, fiduciary elder abuse and public corruption cases. Identity theft continues to be the number one fraud issue (the unit is starting a new program to educate the public about identity theft); it is closely followed by employee embezzlement.Gang Prosecution
The District Attorney’s Office is dedicated to the prosecution of serious and violent felonies committed by gang members in our community. The Gang Division includes specially trained and highly experienced attorney and investigator who work on familiarizing themselves with the gang member’s background and prior criminal history. Gang crimes have been rising in our county and the District Attorney’s Office is dedicated in removing the most dangerous gang members from our streets.Juvenile Division
The purpose of the juvenile court system is to decide if a crime has been committed by a person under the age of 18, and if so, to make orders imposing consequences on the juvenile offender for the misconduct and to aid in his or her rehabilitation, always keeping in mind the rights of victims and the community’s need for safety.
As a community, we must deal with the reality that juvenile gangs do exist in Mendocino County. Gang-related crimes are primarily physical assaults (to intimidate and retaliate against rival gang members) both at school and on the streets. Since fiscal year 2007, several dozen juvenile wards have had special terms of probation ordered by the juvenile court designed to prevent them from associating with other gang affiliates. The social forces encouraging gang association are widespread throughout California, not only in the large cities, but in our own county’s rural communities.
Violent crimes against the person, such as sexual assault, crimes where a weapon is used, or where a person is seriously injured, are facts of life in juvenile court. California’s plans for juvenile justice include a realignment similar to that seen in felony adult courts. No longer will counties be able to send their most serious juvenile offenders to a state-level institution; all minors adjudged wards of the court will need to be handled in the local community. This means a renewed emphasis on probation supervision and local rehabilitation programs, a new state-wide strategy that causes the District Attorney to have increased concern for public safety. It also means the District Attorney will still decide in appropriate cases whether a minor should be tried as an adult.
Because the primary goal in juvenile court is rehabilitation of the juvenile offender, our local criminal justice resources include Juvenile Hall, special schools for delinquent minors, Juvenile Probation’s IMPACT program, and counseling through local agencies. Minors are also ordered to perform community service, go to drug and alcohol treatment, and participate in anger management classes. At times the court resorts to out-of-home placement for minors who need more structure than what their parents and our local resources can provide.
The District Attorney regards crimes committed by juveniles with the utmost concern. Juvenile lawbreaking frequently involves inflicting damage on people and property. Victims of crimes repeatedly come to court with compelling expressions of the pain and loss that these crimes inflict. The District Attorney's Office is committed to advocating for appropriate criminal sanctions against minors on behalf of victims and ensuring that restitution is ordered and paid.
A constant consideration of the District Attorney and his prosecutors involves the negative effects of all juvenile crimes on parents, relatives, schools, and neighborhoods. Even lesser juvenile offenses, such as skipping school, staying out late in violation of curfew and consuming alcohol or using drugs, may negatively impact our community. The overall goal of the District Attorney is to influence a reduction in juvenile crime and, in turn, encourage normal and positive activities that help all of our children mature into functioning, well-adjusted, and productive adults.
Annual Report of Hate Crime Cases
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