Authority Magazine – 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Richie Litigation

Authority Magazine – 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Richie Litigation

There will be days when you are so stressed out, wondering how you will ever make it to the next day. Learn to love that feeling because it is exactly that which will drives you to sustain.

Follow your gut and always, always, trust your instincts. This goes not only for hiring, but for everything else in business.

Pursue your dream relentlessly — if you do, everything will fall in to place exactly as it should. Spending 14 years in business after graduating from law school was the perfect preparation for launching my own firm.

Others will doubt you along the way. Use that doubt as fuel to fight even harder for what you believe in: your firm, your principles, and above all, your clients.

You will, occasionally, need to unplug. Home is where your support network is. Be fully present there — and allow yourself to recharge from time to time, so you can be invincible at work.

Aspart of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Darren Richie, Chairman and Founder of Richie Litigation.

Darren established his Los Angeles based criminal law firm to provide his clients with only the best legal expertise. Powered by unwavering principles of integrity, bravery, and motivation; Richie will never give up on a client. By founding such a nimble, savvy, and fierce firm; he has laid an impeccable foundation to help ferociously protect any prosecution or defense. His own experiences are what give the firm its iron will and tenacity for achieve excellence.

Darren has an extensive lineage of achievement and winning. Of the elite few from the C-Suite and President of companies, he has been responsible for ultra-luxury brands as Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Maserati, and Ducati. Through his entrepreneurship, he has created prosperous business enterprises. These accomplishments have made Darren no stranger to the trials and tribulations those building their own empires will face and persevering without fail.

Because Darren is so well versed in the challenges his clients may face, he is able to advocate for them with indomitable fierceness. His love for competition and strong drive for success are contagious. You will no longer be deprived of justice. Darren Richie will restore your freedom while casting maximum accountability on those who stole it.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

From my very first memories, I have always wanted to be an attorney. Courtroom drama as portrayed in our culture was very attractive to me. During my school years, I was very involved in extracurriculars that supported that dream — I participated in debate and mock and moot trials, competitively; and I excelled. Prior to graduating law school, I worked at a very large global law firm in New York City for two years.

While the experience was invaluable, I realized “Big Law” was not my calling. At that firm, I found I was more drawn to the business executives who gave work to the lawyers. However, I was determined to achieve my law degree. Upon graduating from law school, I entered business. My silent goal was to achieve enough financial success to start my own law firm. But as time passed, the money in business was hard to walk away from, and the risks inherent with starting your own business were outweighed by other needs.

It wasn’t until two the two worlds collided that I was able to launch my legal venture, Richie Litigation LLC. Those two necessary circumstances were a) financial confidence and b) witnessing first hand being wronged in the workplace.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

Because I didn’t begin practicing until 14 years after graduating from law school, I could sense that opposing counsels on cases were not taking me seriously. Lawyers are not unlike other individuals in the working world, they are always looking to leverage weakness. Yet, in this case they were mistaken. I observed a lot of maneuvers that were designed to wear me out or make me give up fighting the good fight for people who have been disadvantaged by others’ misconduct. My resolve is not breakable.

I think those I was up against did not anticipate such steadfastness. It isn’t surprising to see that people who are in litigation resulting from negligence or intimidating tactics would demonstrate consistent behavior during the course of the actual litigation. Those very same people change their tune very quickly when they see a straight determined face time and time again.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Failure has never been an option for me…And it isn’t because I can’t stand to lose — it’s because I love to win. My motivation comes from both internal and external forces. Internally, I have been driven in this manner from the beginning. That core strengthens, though, when it meets external forces that call your integrity or resolve into question. My mantra is simple, but powerful, and it has worked for me time and again: “Whatever it takes.”

So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

Litigation is a long road. Cases we have filed from one or two years ago are now seeing their day in court. It is incredibly rewarding to know that, through our advocacy, our clients are getting their needs met. Seeing them being made whole is the best feeling in the world.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Like many employers, some of the largest — and, occasionally, the funniest- mistakes are poor hiring decisions. My first hire was a well accomplished and accredited attorney. On paper, this hire sounded great. However, when I met with this person, I didn’t have a great feeling about the situation. Against my instincts, I hired this person based on the names and places of prior employment (which were objectively prestigious).

The hire turned out to be a complete disaster for me and my clients. Always go with your gut.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

They say litigation should be viewed as economics and not principal. They say that a principally based litigant loses before he/she even starts.

We don’t believe that. My firm is built on principal. Richie Litigation takes a uniquely human approach. I have empathy for my clients’ issues — namely, being taken advantage of or being mischaracterized publicly. That compassion drives me. When I go to battle on a daily basis, I prosecute my client’s issues as if they were my own.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

The key is to have a strong support network at home that forces you, against all odds, to unplug.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

There was a time after law school when I didn’t have any money. When I say no money, I mean only a few hundred dollars to my name and no place to turn for more. I was offered a position at the law firm I worked at in New York which would have instantly put me on solid financial ground.

Following my gut, however, meant that I needed to take the road less traveled when I came to the proverbial fork in the road. I was almost begging for a job in business after graduation.

I was told I was overqualified many times. In fact, the main manager at the place I ended up starting at did not want to hire me. It was the manager below him that fought for my hire. That was a pivotal moment. Someone saw something in me and took a chance on me as an untraditional candidate. I am forever grateful for that.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why.

There will be days when you are so stressed out, wondering how you will ever make it to the next day. Learn to love that feeling because it is exactly that which will drives you to sustain.

Follow your gut and always, always, trust your instincts. This goes not only for hiring, but for everything else in business.

Pursue your dream relentlessly — if you do, everything will fall in to place exactly as it should. Spending 14 years in business after graduating from law school was the perfect preparation for launching my own firm.

Others will doubt you along the way. Use that doubt as fuel to fight even harder for what you believe in: your firm, your principles, and above all, your clients.

You will, occasionally, need to unplug. Home is where your support network is. Be fully present there — and allow yourself to recharge from time to time, so you can be invincible at work.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Head to, for all of the latest news and updates.

Written by Carly Martinetti

Originally posted to Authority magazine’s website:   Mar 02, 2020   Blog   Comments Off on Authority Magazine – 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Richie Litigation Read More

Court: Former Bentley Dealership President-Turned-Litigator’s Firm Can Rep Salesman Suing Dealer for Discrimination

Former Bentley Dealership President-Turned-Litigator’s Firm Can Rep Salesman Suing Dealer for Discrimination
A California appellate court has found that a law firm run by the former president and COO of a luxury car dealership can represent a fired Asian-American salesman in pursuing discrimination claims against the company.
The Second District Court of Appeal on Wednesday reversed a lower court decision that found that Darren Richie and Richie Litigation, the law firm he founded in 2017 after leaving his position as a senior executive at the O’Gara Coach Co. LLC car dealership chain, should be disqualified from representing Thomas Wu, a former salesman at the company’s Beverley Hills Bentley dealership. Wu claimed that leadership at the company had created a hostile work environment, that his supervisor referred to his Chinese friends as “chinks” and to him as “Buddha” or “sumo wrestler” due to his weight and heritage.
The company’s lawyers had successfully argued at the trial court below that Richie would be a key witness in the case and that through his employment at the company he had been directly involved with matters substantially related to Wu’s claims including the company’s discrimination policy. The company’s lawyers had also argued that, as a former senior executive, Richie owed the company continuing fiduciary duties, including to maintain the confidentiality of its privileged information.
But on Wednesday, the Court of Appeal found that, though Richie, who sat for the bar in 2017 after leaving the company, had been involved in setting and implementing the company’s discrimination policy as a nonlawyer, he never had an attorney-client relationship with O’Gara Coach. They also found that since Richie was not Wu’s personal lawyer his involvement as a witness was a nonissue.
“Under California law a law firm is not subject to disqualification because one of its attorneys possesses information concerning an adversary’s general business practices or litigation philosophy acquired during the attorney’s previous relationship with the adversary,” wrote Presiding Justice Dennis Perluss for the unanimous three-judge panel.
The court found that O’Gara Coach hadn’t shown “the required material link” between Wu’s claims in the lawsuit and the development and implementation of the policies Richie worked on while still at the company. The court reached this conclusion despite declarations from O’Gara Coach’s outside counsel at Fisher & Phillips and A
Darren L.A. Criminal Defense Attorney
rent Fox, as well as the company’s outside general counsel, Encinitas sole practitioner Keith D. Kassan, about their numerous interactions with Richie.
“While O’Gara Coach argues Richie was the primary point of contact at the company for its outside general labor and employment counsel regarding the handling of employee complaints, it identifies no category of information gained by Richie as a result of those contacts that is directly at issue in, or has some unusual value or critical importance to, Richie Li
tigation’s representation of Wu,” Perluss wrote.
“We are gratified that the Court of Appeal recognizes that Richie Litigation is not disqualified simply because of Mr. Richie’s prior work for O’Gara Coach,” Brown said. “The Court made clear that general information about the personalities, business practices, procedures, or ‘the playbook’ of a former client, or in this case a former employer, cannot be enough to justify disqualification of a lawyer.”.Richie, whose firm bio lists his C-suite experience dealing with “ultra-luxury brands as Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Maserati, andDucati,” referred a request for comment to Wu’s appellate counsel on the matter, Ethan Brown of Brown Neri Smith & Khan in Los Angeles.
O’Gara Coach was represented by Wendy McGuire Coats, who left Fisher & Phillips for an appointment on the Contra Costa County Superior Court bench while the appeal has been pending, and Christopher Boman and Sean Kingston, who remain with the firm. Boman was out of the office and unavailable for comment Thursday.
The Second District’s ruling comes a little more than seven months after the court went the opposite way in an earlier case involving Richie and the dealership. In the earlier case, the court found that Richie had knowledge of O’Gara Coach’s protected information regarding a former senior executive the firm was seeking to represent and disqualified both Richie and the firm. In the previously decided case, the court disqualified the firm, reversing a decision from the trial court below.   Sep 05, 2019   Former Bentley Dealership President-Turned-Litigator’s Firm Can Rep Salesman Suing Dealer for Discrimination   Comments Off on Court: Former Bentley Dealership President-Turned-Litigator’s Firm Can Rep Salesman Suing Dealer for Discrimination Read More

Santa Paula Man Charged With Murder For Girlfriend's Death

Santa Paula man arrested for murder for girlfriends death
As reported by KYOC & FOX11:
VENTURA, Calif. – A Santa Paula man who was arrested on suspicion of killing his girlfriend has been charged with murder for her death.
Jahshua Jarrett, 21, was charged with murder for the death of Christina Pena on Sunday. Charges include a special allegation that Jarrett personally used a firearm to kill his girlfriend.
Pena was found dead inside the home the two shared in Santa Paula.
Jarrett was questioned by police and eventually arrested.
He is currently being held on a $750,000 bail. He is set to appear in court on Aug. 7.
The case is active. Updates coming soon.   Aug 10, 2019     Comments Off on Santa Paula Man Charged With Murder For Girlfriend's Death Read More

Popular Musician Claims Police Brutality Following House Party, Arrest in San Bernardino

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (FOX 11) – Up-and-coming singer Jesus Ortiz Paz, a popular musician within the Latino community, is accusing the San Bernardino Police Department of police brutality after he was arrested over the weekend following a house party.
Ortiz Paz says police officers left him bruised and bloodied after his face was slammed by officers. Police say he was resisting arrest.
The incident began at about 10 p.m. May 11 after police received several calls about a loud party at a home in the 700 block of West 27th Street that included fireworks, according to the San Bernardino Police Department. They say when officers showed up, the partygoers became unruly and refused to turn down their music or cooperate with officers’ orders.
Video and Article Courtesy of:   May 15, 2019   Popular Musician Claims Police Brutality Following House Party   Comments Off on Popular Musician Claims Police Brutality Following House Party, Arrest in San Bernardino Read More

Whistleblower Lawsuits Blow Lid Off UCSB Police

Former Police chief Dustin Olson

Former Police Chief Dustin Olson

Four UCSB police officers have filed suit against the UC Regents and UCSB, alleging offensive and demoralizing workplace activities that persisted despite repeated alerts to the then Police Chief Dustin Olson, his deputy chief, and his lieutenants, and that their complaints resulted in retaliatory actions against them. The allegations include charges of racist talk and sexually offensive videos — one even from a sexual assault video held in evidence — all for the entertainment of officers.
Lieutenant Mark Signa was the first to file suit, asserting he’d gone on stress leave in June 2018 after 28 years of service in UCSB’s Police Department. In his complaint, Signa states he conveyed to department brass his and other officers’ concerns about Sergeant Ryan Smith, who made “dick jokes” while female officers were present. Signa claims Olson, then-deputy chief Cathy Farley, Lieutenant David Millard, and Sergeant Robert Romero acted to protect Smith.
Corporal Tiffany Little and her husband, Corporal Michael Little, filed their complaint in Santa Barbara Superior Court on March 19, 2019. Both the Littles and Signa are represented by Richie Litigation, a Los Angeles law firm. The Littles’ lawsuit makes allegations similar to Signa’s, adding that their prospects for advancement were deliberately curtailed and their choice of work hours limited though they had seniority. Michael Little claims he lost his firearm instructor status and was denied a computer forensics position despite 25 years of experience. Tiffany Little alleges that after she made a complaint on UCSB’s whistleblower system in September 2018, her belongings were thrown in the trash, her house was egged, and she was given the silent treatment from her superiors.
Tiffany Little’s whistleblower complaint had to do with 2016 event on campus that resulted in conflicting stories. Little states she reported to Sergeant Smith that an officer repeatedly entered the students’ residence hall for unexplained lengths of time during which his radio was turned off and he did not respond to calls for police assistance. Smith did nothing, she alleges. Signa also states these alleged transgressions took place and that more than one officer was involved. Signa claimed that Smith didn’t want to act against these officers who were his close friends and that Chief Olson said he wanted the whole situation to go away quietly.
On March 27, 2019, another suit was filed, this time by an anonymous man, John Doe, contesting some parts of Lt. Signa and the Littles’ allegations. John Doe turned out to be, according to his lawyer, none other than Sergeant Ryan Smith. He contends that, in fact, he and two other sergeants met with Signa about the officers entering the dormitory, and that there were civil and criminal investigations, which resulted in a significant financial loss to the university. In his suit, Smith also claims that two officers resigned and two other officers were put on administrative leave.

Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith

In his suit, Smith also describes an incident, which if proven true, conveys a culture that mocks sexual assault. According to Smith, on January 27, 2018, he was working the Montecito debris flow for Cal-OES when other law enforcement officers on the scene showed him a phone message in which he believes he recognized the voice of a UCSB-PD officer. The audio dubbed salacious comments onto an evidence video of an alleged sexual assault, a video that had been made by the man, Patrick Galoustian, now formally charged with rape by the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office. Smith claims he’d asked his bosses to investigate the officer he suspected of dubbing the tape and who he alleged had made other videos in which he did voiceovers mimicking the accents of UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang, a black UCSB-PD dispatcher, and the victim in the Daniel Chen rape case. Smith, who left the department in late 2017 and is now an assistant chief with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, also charges that both Signa and Michael Little harassed him while he was on duty.
What is clear is that all three lawsuits paint a grim picture of misconduct within the UCSB police department. Though the filed court documents contain numerous “he said, she said” instances of the same event, they share the same conclusions that the command team at UCSB-PD and the UC Regent investigation of whistleblower complaints “did nothing.”
The university would not comment on pending litigation, but when asked about student safety, UCSB spokesperson Andrea Estrada expressed confidence in its officers’ “training in law, ethics, procedures, protocol and community policing. … When complaints are made internally or externally, they are promptly investigated and appropriate action is taken. Because personnel action is confidential, particularly for peace officers, often co-workers and others are unaware that matters have been investigated and/or that disciplinary action has been taken.”
Olson resigned in March 2019 and currently heads the police department at the Colorado School of Mines. Farley has been police chief at Allan Hancock College since November 2018. Signa retired. The Littles are still with UCSB-PD. A new chief, James Brock, a 40-year veteran in law enforcement, started last week.
Original Article: Santa Barbara Independent   May 10, 2019   Whistleblower Lawsuits Blow Lid off UCSB Police   Comments Off on Whistleblower Lawsuits Blow Lid Off UCSB Police Read More

Richie Litigation, P.C. Has Filed a Lawsuit Against Catholic Charities

Richie Litigation P.C. files lawsuit against Catholic Charities for continued abuse of a woman and her five children.
Los Angeles, CA
Richie Litigation, P.C. has filed a lawsuit against Catholic Charities, the nation’s fifth largest charity, for its employee’s repeated sexual assault and psychological exploitation of a mother of five.
Darren Richie, the lead attorney prosecuting this case, states, “I’ve prosecuted numerous cases involving sexual assault and sexual harassment, but I’ve never seen such negligence on the part of an organization as large and prominent as Catholic Charities. My client sought out Catholic Charities for emergency shelter when she was homeless and providing for five children, and as a result, was subjected to almost a year of sexual assault and abuse.
The trauma inflicted by sexual assault goes without saying, but to allow it to occur in a charitable organization that holds itself out to be a sanctuary for the impoverished is utterly despicable and inhumane. As the details of this matter are coming to light, it is becoming evident and clear that Catholic Charities knowingly hired a felon and then turned a blind eye when that felon willfully exploited, stalked, and preyed on my client when she had nowhere else to go.
The entirety of Catholic Charities’ mission is ‘to provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire church and other people of good will to do the same.’
Where was the service here? Where was justice? We at Richie Litigation are making it our mission to hold Catholic Charities accountable for its blatant breach of public trust, even though nothing will ever make my client completely whole again.”
Richie Litigation is zealously committed to fighting for its clients.
For more information, contact Richie Litigation at (213) 265-7888 or
Richie Litigation, P.C.
633 W. 5th St., Suite 6780
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Tel: (213) 265-7888
Fax: (844) 314-1380   May 08, 2019   Richie Litigation Files a Lawsuit Against Catholic Charities   Comments Off on Richie Litigation, P.C. Has Filed a Lawsuit Against Catholic Charities Read More

Alleged Gang Members Indicted in Burglaries of L.A. Celebs, Elderly and Asian Victims.

Richie Litigation substitutes in as counsel of record for named defendant in Grand Jury Indictment.
As Reported on My News LA:
Grand jury indictments against 31 alleged gang members facing 93 total felony counts — including home invasion robbery, elder abuse, and torture — were unsealed Monday as two-thirds of the defendants pleaded not guilty to participating in a burglary ring targeting elderly and Asian victims.
Eight other cases against some of the defendants — including for allegedly burglarizing the homes of Los Angeles-area celebrities and athletes, including singer Rihanna, then-Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods — are superseded by the indictments.
A pretrial hearing is set for April 5 downtown.
Six separate indictments were issued with counts including criminal street gang conspiracy; home invasion robbery; first-degree residential burglary; first-degree residential robbery; first-degree burglary, person present; elder abuse; torture; and mayhem, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Defendants are also facing gang and gun allegations.
Tyress Williams, 19, was initially arrested Sept. 28 by Los Angeles police and charged in connection with those celebrity break-ins, while three other people were released from jail after prosecutors asked Los Angeles police to conduct further investigation.
Police said Williams was picked up after a traffic stop in South Los Angeles revealed a firearm and items believed to have been taken from burglarized homes.
Detectives originally thought the burglaries targeting actors, producers’ musicians and professional athletes were set up at random but later discovered the homes were selected based on social media posting and tour and travel schedules.
The burglaries followed a pattern called “flocking,” whereby suspects flock to celebrities’ neighborhoods, dressing in nice clothes and driving luxury vehicles to avoid suspicion as they search for targets. They would then change into casual clothing, including hoodies, and use a larger vehicle to haul away stolen items.
One suspect would typically knock or ring a doorbell to check if anyone was home before breaking into a residence, according to police.
While those alleged crimes were designed to take place when no one was at home, prosecutors said the ring sometimes attacked other victims.
Prosecutors allege the burglary ring worked from October 2017 through December 2018 and hit 69 victims at residential properties from Santa Monica and Beverly Hills to communities in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.
The majority of cases targeted elderly and Asian residents, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The defendants arraigned Monday include:
— Hassan Murphy, 19, of Hawthorne;
— Jshawne Lamon Daniels, 20, of Los Angeles;
— Damaji Corey Hall, 19, of Los Angeles;
— Lance Williams, 19, of Los Angeles;
— Dekell Wright, 22, of Compton;
— Elan Lamberto Gabourel, 25, of Hawthorne;
— Tyress Williams, 19, of Van Nuys;
— Joseph Holley, 23, of Bellflower;
— Demonte Jordan Sears, 23, of Los Angeles;
— Anthonyo Sanders, 20, of Los Angeles;
— Kimya Wilson, 21, of Los Angeles;
— Deanthony Lamart Chatman, 27, of Inglewood;
— Deondra Devon Johnson, 24, of Los Angeles;
— Akeem F. Lauriano, 28, of Lomita;
— Scotty Richardson, 30, of Los Angeles;
— Verlton Glaspie, 19, of Los Angeles;
— Brandon Laititi, 25, of Carson;
— Ron Simmons, 20, of Los Angeles;
— Eric Harris, 20, of Gardena;
— Donnie Faizon, 22, of Los Angeles;
— Devin Garner, 25, of Los Angeles; and
— Tyshon McKinney, 20, of Los Angeles.
The nine other defendants charged in the indictments were not yet in custody.
If convicted as charged, all of the defendants face a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison.
As reported on TMZ:
The L.A. celebrity burglary ring is WAY bigger than we thought — officials say a total of 10 gang members were a part of the group targeting stars like Rihanna, Yasiel Puig, and LeBron James.
Officials had previously arrested 4 people in connection to the crime wave — after video captured a couple of guys breaking into Puig’s home and raiding his bedroom.
1 of the initial 4 suspects is apparently off the hook (the mother of one of the other suspects) but now 7 new men all between the ages of 18 and 25 have been arrested and charged with various crimes.
The charges include everything from criminal street gang conspiracy to 1st-degree residential burglary and home invasion robbery.
In total, cops say the burglary crew hit more than 24 homes — and had at least 12 more rich and famous targets in their sights, including Viola Davis.
The key to solving the case … cops say a neighbor of NFL star Robert Woods had called the police to report a robbery at his house. Cops located the suspect and, during the arrest, they found items connected to the other high profile cases.
In total, cops say the group stole more than $1 MILLION in the property — including $50,000 cash, watches, purses, and a vehicle. Cops say one of the suspects also had a firearm.   Apr 08, 2019   Alleged Gang Members Indicted in Burglaries   Comments Off on Alleged Gang Members Indicted in Burglaries of L.A. Celebs, Elderly and Asian Victims. Read More

Los Angeles Sheriffs sponsored Emerging Leader graduate indicted by Department of Justice in FBI Sting Operation involving former instructor and Sheriff.

LA Times reported:

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with operating a large-scale drug trafficking scheme in which he boasted that he hired other law enforcement officers to provide security to dealers and could assault people for his clients, according to court records.
Deputy Kenneth Collins and three other men were arrested by FBI agents Tuesday morning in a
sting operation when they arrived to what they thought was a drug deal, according to records
unsealed after the arrest.
Court documents outlining the case show that Collins, 50, has been under investigation for months. He was recorded by agents discussing “his extensive drug trafficking network, past criminal conduct, and willingness to accept bribes to use his law enforcement status for criminal purposes,” according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
“I fix problems,” Collins was recorded saying to an undercover agent, court records show. “I
make a lot of things go away.”
U.S. Atty. Nicola T. Hanna said in a statement that “Deputy Collins sold his badge to assist an
individual he thought was a drug trafficker. The deputy allegedly used his status as a law
enforcement officer as a guarantee when he promised safe travels for large quantities of illegal
Thom Mrozek, a U.S. attorney’s office spokesman, said that the investigation is continuing but
that no other law enforcement officers had been implicated so far.
Last year, an undercover agent met with Collins while posing as the relative of a wealthy
investor looking to finance an illegal marijuana grow house. The deputy offered to provide
security and said he had three teams already working in the region, including one that was
protecting an illegal marijuana grow house disguised as an auto repair shop, according to the
At another meeting to discuss the security plan for the grow house, Collins showed off his
sheriff’s badge and lifted his shirt to show a gun in his waistband, the complaint said.
He later said that he could provide teams of security made up of cops who “travel … with guns”
and boasted that he and two comrades were hired by a client to set ablaze an $85,000 Cadillac
truck in order to intimidate someone, federal authorities alleged.
Collins sold about 2 pounds of marijuana to the agent for $6,000 as a “test run” to demonstrate
his ability to arrange and carry out deals, federal authorities allege. The deputy said he had
connections to marijuana operations in Northern California and could sell the agent $4 million of
marijuana each month, according to the court records.
His contacts were “the best growers you can find in the north,” Collins is alleged to have boasted to the agent.
Undercover agents then hired Collins to provide security while they drove several pounds of
methamphetamine and other contraband from Pasadena to Las Vegas, the court records said.
When one of the agents initially balked at the price, Collins explained that his services were
worth it:
“We’re cops,” Collins said, according to the complaint. “We deal with a lot of, you know, kind
of high-end clients, and $25,000, they’re like, you know, it’s like as long as you can make sure
my shipment gets from here to there, that’s fine. … They make profits in upwards of $5 million
on certain, certain transports.” On the drive to Las Vegas, one of the other men charged in the
case, David Easter, drove a lookout car while another, Grant Valencia, rode with the undercover
agent in the vehicle with the drugs, according to court records. Collins rode in a third car keeping watch from behind.
The methamphetamine the agents were carrying on the trip was not real.
In the complaint, agents said that Collins, Easter and Valencia had agreed to provide security for
a large drug transaction Tuesday at the Rosemont Pavilion, an events venue in Pasadena.
In exchange for as much as $250,000, Collins and his team were planning to help oversee the
transport of a large cache of drugs and cash, agents alleged in court records. At first, the agent
and Collins agreed to a $75,000 payment to oversee the shipment of 20 kilograms of cocaine, 6
kilograms of methamphetamine and cash, but Collins later suggested that they increase the
amount of drugs to fill “a moving truck” and upped the price tag for the job, according to an
undercover informant cited in the complaint.
Collins said he had a team of six men, including three other law enforcement officers, who could
ensure the cargo made it to its destination “untouched, unscathed,” the document says.
After a meeting Dec. 11 to plan the transport that was set for Tuesday, Collins called another
L.A. County sheriff’s deputy to discuss the deal, according to the complaint. The other deputy is
not named.
Like Collins, Easter, 51, and Valencia, 34, each face a charge of conspiracy to distribute a
controlled substance. Federal authorities did not publicly detail the allegations against the fourth man who was arrested, Maurice Desi Font, 56.
The Sheriff’s Department issued a statement saying the agency notified federal authorities about
the criminal allegations against Collins several months ago and had been cooperating with the
FBI. Collins, a 15-year-department veteran most recently assigned to provide security at county
buildings, was placed on leave and would be suspended without pay during the criminal case, the
statement said.
In court Thursday afternoon, Collins was denied bail despite his attorney’s argument that he
posed no risk to the community and that his wife and mother-in-law would put up $115,000 as
assurance he would not flee. Except for a drunk driving conviction in 1999, the attorney said,
Collins had no criminal past.
Assistant U.S. Atty. Lindsay Greer Dotson rebuffed the idea of bail, repeatedly calling Collins
“the mastermind” of the alleged drug operation and saying the deputy had indicated in
conversations with agents that he had family in Cuba and had recently traveled to the country.
Wearing a plaid shirt, Collins remained expressionless throughout the proceedings and answered
the judge’s questions in a monotone voice.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Steve Kim set Easter’s bail at $110,000. The other defendants did not seek
Collins has served as an instructor in a life-skills course for former inmates, according to a 2014 article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
The Emerging Leaders Academy, run by a retired sheriff’s sergeant, features deputies who act as
mentors for people with criminal pasts who want to improve their literacy and career skills in
order to stay out of prison.
Valencia also is featured in the Tribune article. He is described as an ex-offender who attended
the program at the time Collins was teaching.
Collins was quoted in the article as saying he grew up poor before joining the military and later
the Sheriff’s Department. He said the cognitive behavior program he went through to be able to
teach forced him to change his perception of himself from that of a hardcore deputy who busted
down doors and chased guns and dope slingers.
“I was so used to putting my foot on their neck,” he was quoted as saying. “This was kind of
foreign to me. It goes against what we do — our profession.”
A call to the academy was not answered Tuesday morning.


On January 16 th , 2018 Grant Valencia was arrested by the FBI. The Department of Justice charged & Indicted him with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances. Valencia was facing a 20-years to life sentence because of his prior Federal conviction. Getting nowhere with his court appointed panel attorney, he dropped him and retained Darren M. Richie.


Valencia’s charges were reduced; he later plead guilty to his conduct of Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana. Having been sentenced to time served and 3 years of supervised terms, Valencia was released and ready for his now bright future. As of August 29, 2018, he has been home and reunited with his 2-year-old Son and family.   Feb 14, 2019     Comments Off on Los Angeles Sheriffs sponsored Emerging Leader graduate indicted by Department of Justice in FBI Sting Operation involving former instructor and Sheriff. Read More

250K a week Heroin Ring Operated like a Pizza Delivery Service

NBC News reports:

In raids across multiple counties, the DEA on Wednesday took down a “heroin distribution machine” they say earned $250,000 a week packaging and selling the drug.The group the feds said was extremely sophisticated and structured like a pizza delivery business worked in plain sight and operated out of the San Fernando Valley. It supplied locals from Santa Barbara to Riverside counties.They packaged high-quality heroin and cocaine in colorful and white fluffy balls.At one spot, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration seized drugs, $15,000 in cash and a car with a trap door for sneaking drugs. Sixteen people have been charged in the case.”The volume was enormous,” said Will Torrence, the DEA’s resident agent in charge of the Ventura office. “Their dispatch and call centers received hundreds of requests every day for the delivery of heroin and cocaine.”The NBC4 I-Team got exclusive access as federal search warrants and indictments were carried out.The accused ringleader of the operation, known as “Manny’s Delivery Business,” was taken into custody.

Authorities hope the arrests permanently shut down the organization. The monthslong investigation coincides with the rising number of addictions, overdoses and deaths nationwide from heroin and opioids. Some 175 overdose deaths a day are recorded, a number the White House cited when the president called the drug crisis a public health emergency in October. The group maintained a fleet of about 20 vehicles, compact cars, most with hidden compartments.They dispatched calls out of a building, complete with drivers getting paid salaries, working shifts and getting holidays off.Behind a facade, investigators say, was the largest street-level drug operation they have seen in the Valley.Agents continue to seek information on the whereabouts of several more individuals. Anyone with information is asked to call the Ventura DEA office at 805-383-6464.

Violation: Defendant in a Federal conspiracy indictment to distribute controlled substances. In raids across multiple counties, the DEA took down a “heroin distribution machine” they say earned $250,000 a week packaging and selling the drug.
Results: The defendant was a flight risk, an undocumented resident and unlikely to receive bond. In this instance our Client was held before the 9th District Court Judge for a proceeding on Bond. He was allowed to bond out because of the representation of Darren M. Richie. Under ordinary circumstances this unheard-of opportunity would be nearly impossible, but our client received bond against presumption of bond. The defendants was sentenced to 27 Months & a term of supervised release of 4 years.   Feb 11, 2019     Comments Off on 250K a week Heroin Ring Operated like a Pizza Delivery Service Read More