Criminal Defense | Drunk Driving | Military Law

Monday, August 20, 2012

Former Military Lawyer Will Bruzzo Gets Two Positive Urinalyses Cases Dismissed out of Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base

Will Bruzzo has been successfully representing members of the United States Military for almost 20 years. In two recent cases where he was representing Marines charged with ingesting a controlled substance (UCMJ Section 112a) the legal proceedings prior to trial showed that there were serious problems with the urine testing procedures being used at the Navy Drug Screening Lab (NDSL) in San Diego, California. These problems became public when on May 1, 2012, the Director of NDSL Commander Lee Hoey and his Deputy, Commander Shelly Hakspiel were relieved by the Commanding Officer of the Navy and Marine Corp Public Health Center. This information came out of a press release made by the Navy Medicine Support Command Public Affairs on the same date.

Mr. Bruzzo discovered this information as he was litigating two separate cases where Marines at Camp Pendleton had come up positive in random urinalyses but denied having ingested a controlled substance. Mr. Bruzzo took the opportunity to question an expert at a pre-trial hearing provided by the NDSL, Christopher George. Mr. George testified under oath that a ‘false positive’ had occurred at the NDSL on April 2, 2012. The false positive came about when a blind sample was sent to the NDSL from another government laboratory, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AMES) to test the procedures at the NDSL. This blind sample contained a controlled substance, MDMA also known as ecstasy. However, when the NDSL reported a positive result for this sample they reported it positive for Methamphetamine and for MDMA. AMES notified NDSL that a false positive had occurred since there was no methamphetamine in the AMES blind sample prior to it arriving at NDSL. Despite the relief from duty of the Director and the Deputy Director of the NDSL about 30 days after the false positive the Navy Press release and Mr. George state that the relief occurred for reasons of “low morale” at the NDSL not because of the false positive.

Mr. George testified that an internal investigation as well as investigations from outside groups hired to determine the cause of the false positive found that a NDSL technician had used a contaminated pipette tip from a urine sample containing methamphetamine and contaminated the AMES blind sample. Mr. George initially echoed an internal report called a Non-conforming Event Report, which said that this false positive occurred only when an unauthorized testing procedure was used as a way of avoiding ‘crystal accumulation’ in amphetamine/methamphetamine urine testing. However, upon further questioning he conceded that the problem of the contaminated pipette could have affected testing common to all controlled substances. The latter would indicate that the problem was not limited to urine samples positive for amphetamine / methamphetamine.

Both of the cases Mr. Bruzzo was litigating were dismissed by each Command prior to trial even though both Marines may be subject to Administrative Separation later. Neither Marine was found positive for methamphetamine.

Criminal Law Updates by the Law Offices of Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636.
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Friday, August 17, 2012

UC Irvine Professor in Custody for Threatening to Attack Irvine High School

A professor at UC Irvine is in custody following his arrest at a park near University High School. On July 24 a patrol officer noticed Rainer Reinscheid at the park trying to start a fire. There was extra patrolling in the area because there had been a series of fires at the park. He did post bail shortly after being arrested but officers found more information and arrested him without bail on July 27. Authorities connected him to the fires from earlier that month and came across e-mails he had written detailing how he wanted to set the school on fire, buy guns, kill students and administrators at University High, commit sexual assaults and commit suicide thereafter. The emails were addressed to himself or his wife and were found on his phone. The detailed plans were used to prove that he should be denied bail because he could be a danger to others.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has charged Reinscheid with five counts of arson, one count of attempted arson, and resisting or obstructing a police officer. His arraignment was postponed until August 8. The fires and plans against University High are explained as being part of Reinshcheid’s anger from his son’s suicide. His son was a student at the high school and was given trash pick duties during lunch for stealing at the student store. He apparently hanged himself at a park near the school.

Here is a video from ABCNews covering the story.

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 If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here. Also updated related articles can be seen below.

Criminal Law Updates by the Law Offices of Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Santa Ana City Council Member Charged with Sexual Assault and Other Charges

Carlos Bustamante of the Santa Ana City Council pled not guilty to several felony and misdemeanor charges. The allegations are that he sexually assaulted seven women at the Orange County Public Works Department. This happened over a period of eight years and the alleged victims were subordinates in the same department.

Bustamante has denied these allegations since leaving his position last year. Allegations were made in March of 2011 and information gathered by the county’s internal investigation was given to the District Attorney’s Office in March of this year. The scandal resulted in the firing of the county’s director of public works. A deputy chief executive officer has gone on medical leave and the county Board of Supervisors could evaluate whether to keep the county’s CEO. Bustamante faces six felony counts of false imprisonment, three felony counts of assault with intent to commit a sexual offense. Other charges are one count of stalking, attempted sexual battery by restraint and one grand theft for misuse of public funds. Misdemeanor charges of sexual battery, assault and battery have also been filed against Bustamante.

Here is an Orange County Register video covering Mr. Bustamante plea.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

Criminal Law Updates by the Law Offices of Orange County Defense Attorney William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Police Suspect Same Person Of Stabbing Three Homeless Persons In Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Police Department’s robbery and homicide division are investigating three stabbing incidents. One incident occurred in Santa Monica the other two in Los Angeles. Three homeless people were stabbed by one suspect. According to the Los Angeles Times, police said they were searching for David Ben Keyes who has been missing from Santa Barbara. Now police state that the suspect’s real name is Courtney Anthony Robinson. The three victims survived the attacks. Two weapons have been recovered each from a different crime scene. One a black kitchen knife used in the Hollywood incident where a homeless woman was stabbed while she slept. The other was a hunting knife from the first attack on July 4th, the victim had been struck between the shoulder blades. The knife was still inserted in his back when he was helped. Notes have been left at all three sites. A note with the words “death warrants” and the suspect’s signature have been confirmed at two of the crime scenes.

Here is an NBC Los Angeles news report covering Mr. Robinson turning himself into LAPD.

If you are having trouble viewing this video, you can see it here.  

Criminal Law Updates by the Law Offices of Orange County Defense Lawyer William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636
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