Weekender Updater: Of Smoke Shops, Pill Mills, the Church of Scientology and Broadcom

The Feb. 17, 2014, heist of the Golden Crown smoke shop in Anaheim turned violent.
The Feb. 17, 2014, heist of the Golden Crown smoke shop in Anaheim turned violent.

This weekender you are updatered on: a fugitive wanted in a series of smoke shop, t-shirt store and other robberies pleading not guilty after being extradited from Mexico; an ex-Irvine doctor getting sentenced for her role in a fraudulent OxyContin pill mill fraud; Irvine semiconductor maker Broadcom Corp. being acquired for $37 billion (with a B); and the Church of Scientology winning the right to have its own psychiatrist evaluate a former Orange County resident who is suing the institution, alleging she was coerced to have an abortion at age 17.

But I thought the Church of Scientology didn't believe in psychiatry ...

Story: Raul Ochoa and Eric Camacho Gonzalez Held for Robberies at OC Marijuana Accessory Shops

Ernesto Guerra's Mexican vacation is over.
Ernesto Guerra's Mexican vacation is over.
Santa Ana Police Department

Update: A fugitive wanted in a series of smoke shop, t-shirt store and other robberies in Anaheim, Santa Ana and Garden Grove pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple felonies, after being arrested Tuesday in Jalisco, Mexico, and extradited back to the U.S. Ernesto Guerra, 20, of Ontario, pleaded not guilty to 13 counts of second-degree robbery and denied sentencing enhancements for gang activity and weapons use. Eric Camacho Gonzalez, 19, Raul Ochoa, 22, and Gustavo Ochoa, 20, were arrested last year and face similar charges. The Feb. 17, 2014, heist of at the Golden Crown smoke shop at 1204 S. Brookhurst St. in Anaheim resulted in the store owner opening fire on the robbers, prompting the gunmen to return fire before fleeing without getting any money, according to Anaheim Police Lt. Tim Schmidt. The suspects taking an employee's phone after a later robbery led to a break that helped solve the case, police said. Besides smoke and t-shirt shops, the crew hit shoe stores, a nail shop and a cell phone business, according to cops.

Story: Eleanor Santiago, Irvine Doctor Charged in LA with Using Homeless to Bilk Medicare for Millions, Was Already Under Investigation for Giving Out Free Electric Wheelchairs Update: Former Irvine doctor Eleanor M. Santiago was sentenced this week to 20 months in prison for her role in a health care fraud operation in which nearly 1 million OxyContin pills were illegally obtained and sold. U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson in Los Angeles also ordered the 77-year-old to serve two years of supervised release after she gets out of prison and to pay a share of more than $3 million in restitution. Santiago pleaded guilty in August 2012 to one count of health care fraud tied to a drug trafficking ring based at a medical clinic in the Westlake district of Los Angeles. Pregerson gave Santiago until July 28 to turn herself in to begin serving her prison sentence. Sixteen defendants have been been convicted in the pill mill case, which also involved Southern California pharmacies, and four others are awaiting sentencing.
 

Weekender Updater: Of Smoke Shops, Pill Mills, the Church of Scientology and Broadcom

Story: Laura Ann DeCrescenzo, Ex-OC Scientologist, Gets Judge Removed in Coerced-Abortion Suit Update: A judge in Los Angeles issued a tentative ruling this week allowing a psychiatrist picked by the defense to evaluate a former Orange County resident who is suing the Church of Scientology, alleging she was coerced to have an abortion at age 17. Laura Ann DeCrescenzo also claims that, as a child, she was forced work long hours for the church's elite Sea Org, which acts as an administrative unit. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu said the church's request to have DeCrescenzo interviewed is reasonable because she has made her mental condition an issue by claiming emotional fallout from her history with the church. "Indeed, plaintiff alleges that she suffers from severe emotional distress, including anxiety, embarrassment, humiliation, shame, depression, feelings of powerlessness and anguish," wrote Treu, according to a City News Service report.    Story: William Ruehle, Ex-Broadcom CFO, Shares His Amazing ...Government Persecution Story at UCI Update: Irvine semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom Corp. will be acquired by Avago Technologies Inc. of Singapore for $37 billion, the two companies announced this week. Avago President and Chief Executive Officer Hock Tan will serve as president and chief executive officer of the combined company, which will adopt the name Broadcom Limited. Henry Samueli, Broadcom's chief technical officer and chairman of the board who founded the company with Henry Nicholas, will join the board of the combined company and be appointed its chief technology officer. "The combination of Avago and Broadcom creates a global diversified leader in wired and wireless communication semiconductors," says Tan in a statement. "Upon completion of the acquisition, the combined company will have the most diversified communications platform in the semiconductor industry, with combined annual revenues of approximately $15 billion," adds the statement released in Irvine and Singapore.       Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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