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Sting Operations

January 28, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Undercover narcotics agents from several Central Valley counties arrested 31 people in connection with drug deals at the Palace Indian Gaming Center after collaborating in a three-month operation. "We initiated the investigation because we had enough information to show there was quite a bit of street-level drug dealing in the Palace itself," said Michael Ortiz, commander of the Kings County Narcotics Force.
September 19, 2003 | Andrew Blankstein and Monte Morin, Times Staff Writers
An El Segundo man who offered to kill Kobe Bryant's accuser for $3 million was arrested early Thursday in a sting operation after he accepted a satchel of movie prop money from undercover officers, authorities said. Patrick Gruber, a 31-year-old Swiss national who boasted of ties to the Russian Mafia, allegedly wrote to the Lakers' basketball star and offered to "solve" Bryant's "current problem" for a price, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.
August 29, 2003 | Matt Lait and Scott Glover, Times Staff Writers
Undercover LAPD officers posing as citizens trying to report police misconduct were routinely dismissed or stonewalled by fellow officers in a series of stings, according to the federal monitor overseeing reforms after the Rampart corruption scandal. The monitor said in a report -- released this month and now on the LAPD's Web site -- that the officers' failure to properly handle complaints was "outrageous and discouraging."
July 25, 2003 | Christine Hanley, Times Staff Writer
Undercover agents caught two Orange County men trying to illegally export aerospace parts and other military technology to China, including components for fighter jets, attack helicopters and surface-to-air missiles, according to a federal indictment unsealed Thursday. Amanullah Khan, 54, was already in custody in Santa Ana on an unrelated parole violation when he was arrested Wednesday.
June 30, 2003 | From Times Wire Services
State and federal wildlife officials seized hundreds of rare and endangered turtles and snakes in raids aimed at breaking up one of the nation's largest suspected networks of illegal reptile and amphibian sales. The morning raids in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan followed a two-year investigation by the states' departments of natural resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, officials said.
May 14, 2003 | Patrick McGreevy, Times Staff Writer
Launching a sting operation against the growing crime of immigration fraud, City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo announced Tuesday that he has filed criminal cases against 18 immigration consultants for crimes including misrepresenting themselves as attorneys. During its initial five-month investigation the immigration fraud strike force targeted consultants in Pico-Union who specialize in assisting people from Spanish-speaking countries, including Mexico and El Salvador.
May 10, 2003 | Lance Pugmire, Times Staff Writer
Relying on the assumption that people love freebies and can't read foreign languages, San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies arrested 10 wanted people on Thursday by luring them to Big Bear to receive a free pair of hiking boots made by "Stockdum Scelestus" -- meant to be a mix of German and Latin meaning "utterly stupid criminal." The sting, arranged by Sgt.
March 12, 2003 | Denise M. Bonilla, Times Staff Writer
A police officer caught in a sting has been indicted on charges of stealing weapons that had been surrendered to the Los Angeles Police Department, authorities said Tuesday. Richard Piffard, 30, a desk officer at the West Valley Division, was charged with theft of a firearm, embezzlement by a public officer and unlawful possession of assault weapons. Piffard pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Wesley. He was released on $60,000 bond.
October 19, 2002 | Wendy Thermos, Times Staff Writer
A 44-year-old Lancaster man was arrested in Las Vegas during an FBI sting aimed at sex predators who prowl the Internet for child victims, authorities said Friday. Earl Roy Harvey has been charged in federal court with crossing state lines with the intent of engaging in sex with a minor, said FBI Special Agent Daren Borst. The alleged "victim" in the case was an undercover FBI agent posing as a 14-year-old boy in Internet chat rooms. Harvey's Oct.
Eight people were arrested Wednesday after they allegedly tried to change vehicle identification numbers and buy phony DMV registration documents from undercover police officers during a sting operation, authorities said. The arrests capped a four-month investigation by the district attorney's Orange County auto-theft task force, which worked with officers from 12 law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
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