Archived Press Releases 2015

December 30, 2015

Stalker Sentenced to 35 Years to Life

SAN FRANCISCO– Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced that Thomas Coca, age 70 of San Francisco, was sentenced yesterday to 35 years to life for stalking, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, petty theft, dissuading a witness, and two counts of exhibiting a deadly weapon.Read More

December 23, 2015

San Francisco Man Convicted of Murder and Manslaughter, Facing 61 Years to Life

SAN FRANCISCO– Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced that a jury found Keith Wilkins, 26 of San Francisco, guilty of murdering Marche Daniels, and guilty of voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of Fred Glaspie. Read More

December 1, 2015

SFDA Gascon Releases Study Casting Doubt On Plans To Build New Jail

SAN FRANCISCO – In advance of tomorrow’s Budget and Finance Committee hearing where Supervisors will vote on a proposal to build a new $240,000,000 jail, District Attorney George Gascón was joined by researcher James Austin of the JFA Institute to release findings of a new study that casts doubt on plans to build a new detention facility.  Read More

November 20, 2015

San Francisco District Attorney's Office Awarded Special DUI Prosecution Grant

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced that those arrested for DUI in San Francisco City & County, especially repeat offenders and those involved in fatal or injury crashes, can expect to face highly trained, specialized prosecutors, thanks to a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety. Read More

November 10, 2015

Insurance Brokers Arraigned on Embezzlement Charges

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced that Christopher Ramos, age 38, of Santa Rosa, CA, and Jay Trisko, age 36, of Rohnert Park, CA surrendered to outstanding arrest warrants on November 9, 2015 that charged them with Grand Theft; Conspiracy to Commit Fraud; Theft of Insurance Premiums by a Fiduciary; and Forgery.  Read More

November 4, 2015

Man Found Guilty of First Degree Murder for Drive By Killing

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced that a jury found Justin Howard, age 26, of San Francisco, guilty of first degree murder with an enhancement for committing the crime with a firearm in the drive by killing of 25 year old Dominic Anderson on Friday, June 13, 2014.  Read More

October 8, 2015

Governor Brown Signs Bill To Overhaul Compensation And Restitution For Crime Victims

SAN FRANCISCO – Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1140 into law to modernize the California Victim Compensation Program.   Read More

October 7, 2015

Man Posing As Fake Doctor Convicted Of 33 Felonies For Fraudulent Procedures And Sexually Assaulting Patients

SAN FRANCISCO – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that a jury found Carlos Guzmangarza, age 53 of San Francisco, guilty of 33 felonies, two of which are strikes under California law, and 8 misdemeanors.  Read More

October 5, 2015

National Bipartisan Group Meets To Discuss Direction Of Cutting-Edge Criminal Justice Policies

NEW YORK – The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center gathered state and local leaders from across the nation―including respected legislators, court and law enforcement officials and cabinet secretaries―to discuss complex criminal justice policies at its annual Board of Directors meeting last week.  Read More

September 22, 2015

Higher Education Institutions, Law Enforcement Agencies and SF Board of Supervisors Join Forces to Combat Sexual Assault on College Campuses and Break The Silence

SAN FRANCISCO– Today, District Attorney George Gascón was joined by Supervisor Jane Kim, SFPD Chief Greg Suhr, University of San Francisco (USF) President Paul Fitzgerald, University of California at San Francisco’s (UCSF) Interim Chief of Police Mike Denson, Dr. Alicia Boccellari of the San Francisco Trauma Recovery Center and representatives from San Francisco’s higher-education institutions to announce a three-part effort to raise awareness and combat sexual assault on college campuses.  Read More

September 18, 2015

Man Sentenced To 19 Years To Life For Murder Of College-Bound Young Man

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Andres Novelo, age 27, of San Francisco, was sentenced to 19 years and six months to life for the December 7, 2014 murder of Casey Bissell, as well as the assault on two additional victims stemming from the same incident. Read More

August 26, 2015

Man Found Guilty Of Murder And Arson For Killing And Burning Mother Of His Child

NEW YORK – Yesterday, Almon Johnson, age 33 of Sacramento, was found guilty of first degree murder and arson for the January 24, 2011 murder of Vanessa Herrera.  Read More

August 4, 2015

San Francisco Deputy Sheriff Convicted Of Assault On A Patient At San Francisco General Hospital

SAN FRANCISCO – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that San Francisco Deputy Sheriff Michael Robert Lewelling, 34, was convicted by a jury of assault by a peace officer in violation of Penal Code section 149, a felony.  Read More

July 20, 2015

Former San Francisco Police Officer Found Guilty of Two Counts of Bribery

SAN FRANCISCO–Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced that former San Francisco Police Department Officer Paul Makaveckas, age 69 of Fremont, was found guilty of two felony counts of bribery. Makaveckas faces 5 years in state prison in connection with the two convictions.  Read More

July 1, 2015

California’s Landmark Smartphone Theft Bill Takes Effect Today

SAN FRANCISCO–California’s landmark legislation requiring all new smartphones sold in California to come pre-equipped with theft deterrent technology takes effect today. SB 962, sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and authored by Senator Mark Leno, prompts every consumer to enable a kill switch during the initial setup of a new smartphone. The bill became law on January 1, but officially goes into effect today.  Read More

June 26, 2015

DA Gascón Statement on Historic Supreme Court Ruling Granting Same-Sex Couples Equal Rights

SAN FRANCISCO– Today, District Attorney George Gascón released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s historic ruling granting same-sex couples equal rights under the law.  Read More

June 25, 2015

District Attorney George Gascón Awards 10 Community Organizations with Neighborhood Justice Fund Grants

SAN FRANCISCO–Today, District Attorney George Gascón awarded Neighborhood Fund grants to 10 community organizations for their San Francisco-based projects which presented goals of improving the safety and viability of the city’s communities.Read More

June 19, 2015

Man Found Guilty of Vicious Sexual Assault, Faces 64 Years to Life

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced that Damir Shalako, age 30 of San Francisco, was found guilty of five felonies including two counts of rape by force or violence, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object with force or violence, burglary with intent to commit rape, and first degree residential robbery with enhancements for committing these offenses during the commission of a burglary. Shalako faces 64 years to life in state prison. Read More

June 15, 2015

Survey Finds One Million Fewer Victims of Smartphone Theft Nationwide from 2013 to 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – District Attorney George Gascón released the following statement in response to a survey from Consumer Reports National Research Center showing that 2.1 million Americans were victims of smartphone theft in 2014.  This reflects a 32% decrease in smartphone thefts nationwide from 2013, when Consumer Reports found that 3.1 million Americans were victims of smartphone theft. This is a considerable turnaround as 1.6 million Americans had been victimized in 2012. Read More

May 7, 2015

DA Expands Taskforce Investigating Officer Misconduct

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced the expansion of the existing taskforce that was implemented to investigate misconduct related to racist and homophobic text messages sent by 14 SFPD officers, revelations of faulty testing at the DNA crime lab, and prize-fighting of inmates in our County Jail. The expansion is limited to the inquiry pertaining to text messages which surfaced in a court filing submitted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office following the indictment of former SFPD Officer Ian Furminger. Read More

May 1, 2015

Man Sentenced to 25 Years, 8 Months to Life for Fatal Stabbing, Soliciting the Murder of a Witness and Dissuading a Witness

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the Honorable Kay Tsenin, sentenced Martin Martinez, age 26 of San Francisco, to 25 years, 8 months to life for the October, 2008 stabbing of 17 year-old Angelo Zuniga at a high school Halloween party. Martinez was charged with murder, soliciting the murder of a witness, and dissuading a witness. Read More

April 28, 2015

Senate Public Safety Committee Gives Thumbs Up to Legislation Overhauling Services for Crime Victims

SAN FRANCISCO - Today, the Senate Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to support California crime victims. SB 519, authored by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) and sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, removes a myriad of obstacles facing victims and witnesses who seek treatment and services to help them heal and recover from victimization. SB 519 makes necessary, commonsense changes to the protocols of the Victims Compensation and Government Claims Board (VCGCB) to make it work better for victims of crime. Read More

April 10, 2015, 

Co-Conspirators Arrested and Charged for Bilking Insurance Companies of Over Half-A-Million Dollars 

SAN FRANCISCO - District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Catherine Gregoire, age 52, of Hercules, CA, and Adela Delores Belfrey, age 52, of Oakland, CA were arrested on April 9, 2015 and charged with conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, false and fraudulent claims, claims adjuster fraud, grand theft by false pretenses, forgery, and money laundering. Read More

April 9, 2015

Man Found Guilty After Intentionally Running Over a Firefighter 

SAN FRANCISCO– Yesterday, a jury convicted Eduardo Chaparro-Esquivel of torture, mayhem, and assault with a deadly weapon with an enhancement for great bodily injury.  Read More

April 8, 2015

DA Gascón Announces Guilty Plea and Sentencing of Contractor Charged With Bribery of Former San Francisco State University Director

SAN FRANCISCO - District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Stephen Cheung, the owner of an environmental waste disposal firm that contracted with SFSU, was sentenced to a term of 3 years and 8 months in prison after pleading guilty to 118 counts of commercial bribery and bribing an executive officer. Read More

March 4, 2015

Man Found Guilty of Rape and the Pimping and Pandering of a Minor 

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, a jury found Jaime Marcelo, age 34 of San Francisco, guilty on four felony counts including rape, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, pimping and pandering. The defendant preyed upon a 16 year old victim whom he knew was a minor at the time the crimes were committed. “This young woman was terrorized by this predator, but today the community held him accountable for his violent crimes,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “He preyed upon this victim’s vulnerabilities, such as the fact that she was disadvantaged and undocumented.” Read More 

February 11, 2015

A.G. Schneiderman, London Mayor Johnson and D.A. Gascón Welcome Dramatic, Global Drop in Smartphone Thefts Following Introduction of Kill Switch 

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, London Mayor Boris Johnson and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón today released new crime data showing that smartphone thefts and robberies have declined dramatically in New York City, London and San Francisco since the wireless industry began to implement ‘kill switches’ on their devices. A.G. Schneiderman, Mayor Johnson and D.A. Gascón co-chair the Secure Our Smartphones (S.O.S.) Initiative, an international partnership of law-enforcement agencies, elected officials and consumer advocates that was formed in June of 2013 to find solutions to the violent crime wave of smartphone thefts. The S.O.S. Initiative called on the smartphone industry to adopt kill switch technology as a theft deterrent. The crime data released today demonstrates that the strategy of putting pressure on private industry to implement existing technology that removes incentives to steal a smartphone is working to reduce crime and protect wireless consumers. Mayor Johnson is in New York City today for the announcement. Read More.

February 5, 2015

Man Targeting Undocumented Immigrants and Impersonating an Officer Facing Life in Prison for Sexually Assaulting Five Men 

SAN FRANCISCO – Yesterday, a jury found Jeffrey Bugai, 36, of San Francisco, guilty on 17 felony counts. Read More.

January 5, 2015

Safeway Inc. Settles Environmental Protection Lawsuit for Retail Hazardous Waste Disposal Violations in the State of California 

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, together with 41 other California District Attorneys and 2 City Attorneys announced today that Alameda County Superior Court Judge Wynne S. Carvill has approved a Stipulated Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction against Pleasanton-based Safeway Inc. The settlement resolves allegations that more than 500 Safeway stores and distribution centers, including its other brands, Vons, Pavilions and Pak ‘n Save, violated California laws for the safe storage, handling and disposal of hazardous and pharmaceutical waste generated from spills and customer returns of hazardous products. Read More.