By February 28, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Police Chief Arrested After Scheme To Steal Cars From Poor Latino Residents

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The former police chief of King City, California has recently stepped down after he and six others were arrested. Former Chief Nick Baldiviez, current acting police chief, Bruce Miller, and others were arrested Tuesday morning for targeting low income Latinos for a car impounding and confiscation racket.

Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo said that, “The victims were economically disadvantaged persons of Hispanic descent who were targeted by having their vehicles impounded, towed and stored by Miller’s Towing.”

Residents had suspected the scheme for some time. Many residents, unable to speak English, complained in town that police were stealing their cars and money. But because of their disadvantage in society, there was little or nothing they could do about the victimization.

“I’m not at all surprised by the arrests, I’m just surprised there weren’t more charges,” local Vivian Villa said in Spanish Wednesday. “Now maybe some of them are going to feel what we feel when they target us.”

Vivian owns a local restaurant which became the focal point for a community meeting about the police corruption scheme.

Upwards of 90% of the community, about 150 miles southeast of San Francisco, is Latino. Farm mechanics Francisco Mendez and Alfonso Perez, said that “It seems like they just want a reason to pull you over.”

Acting chief assistant Monterey County District Attorney Terry Spitz confirmed “ordinary citizens, again and again, told us they didn’t trust the police. There are more investigations underway.”

The charges against the seven officers are as follows:

  • Sgt. Bobby Javier Carrillo: Conspiracy to commit a crime. Accepting a bribe. Bribing an executive officer.
  • Acting Police Chief Bruce Edward Miller: Accepting a bribe.
  • Civilian Brian Albert Miller, Owner of Miller’s Towing and brother of Bruce Miller: Conspiracy to commit a crime. Bribing an executive officer.
  • Former Chief Nick Baldiviez: Embezzlement by a public officer.
  • Officer Mario Alonso Mottu, Sr.: Embezzlement a by public officer.
  • Officer Jaime Andrade: Possession of an assault weapon. Illegal storage of a firearm.
  • Sgt. Mark Allen Baker: Making criminal threats.

One civilian was also arrested: Brian Miller, the brother of Chief Bruce Miller, who owns Miller’s Towing company.

Investigators said Sgt. Bobby Carrillo was the ring leader. They further concluded, according to one investigator, that “for every 10-15 vehicles impounded by Sgt. Carrillo, he would receive a free vehicle for himself, or whatever he wanted to do with it.”

(Article by M.B. David)

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