Category Archives: Susan J. Bassi

Why both privacy and public safety matter with license plate reader data.

Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos

Carlos Bolanos

As the sheriff of San Mateo County, I am dedicated to protecting public safety and the privacy of our residents. In response to a recent opinion article on automated license plate reader (ALPR) technology, I wanted to provide our county’s residents with the facts about the technology and how the data is used, shared and retained by law enforcement.California law enforcement agencies are required to have and post ALPR usage and privacy policies to ensure that the collection, use, maintenance, sharing and dissemination of the information is consistent with respect for individuals’ privacy and civil liberties.Law enforcement agencies use ALPR technology to automate manual processes that help identify stolen vehicles, vehicles used by wanted suspects, vehicles used by registered sex offenders, locating missing persons and, more importantly, to investigate criminal activity more efficiently. ALPR technology takes photos of license plates in public view and runs the scanned images through a list of plates sought by law enforcement. The system collects the photo of the vehicle, license plate number and the location data. The system does not collect personal identifying information, such as birth dates, names or criminal history. My office’s ALPR data is retained for a maximum of one year unless the information is from an ALPR that has been deployed within an area wherein the local government has requested a shorter retention period.Our data is not shared with unvetted third-party organizations. Only law enforcement personnel with a need and right to know the information may have access to the data. On the topic of ALPR data sharing and immigration enforcement, we do not share any ALPR data with “ICE to track undocumented immigrants, who have committed no offense other than trying to make a life for themselves in California without documentation,” as stated in the guest perspective “Why license plate privacy matters” authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, in the April 7 edition of the Daily Journal. ALPR databases in California may not be accessed for the sole purpose of immigration enforcement as required by the California Values Act. Misuse of data by law enforcement personnel may be cause for administrative, civil and criminal penalties. Currently, Senate Bill 210 seeks to limit the retention of ALPR records to 24 hours. This would not improve privacy, but it would limit our ability to investigate violent crimes, serial criminal activity and any other crime that takes more than 24 hours to identify suspects, locate witnesses and locate victims. If the bill were passed into law, it would reduce or eliminate our ability to solve some of our most serious criminal offenses. In one example of the use of ALPR data, a suspect in Daly City exposed himself as he attempted to grab a 12-year-old female victim, who was fortunately able to escape the assault. The victim provided Daly City Police Department with a description of the suspect and his vehicle. After reviewing thousands of ALPR images, they found a match. The system was then used to locate the vehicle in San Francisco. The suspect was ultimately arrested in San Francisco for the assault on the child and for being in violation his sex offender registration. Under SB 210, the evidence that led to the identification and arrest of the suspect would have been destroyed before investigators had the opportunity to review the images.In another example, a robbery occurred at a shopping center in the city of San Mateo and witnesses provided San Mateo Police Department with the suspects’ license plate number. The car was registered in Madera, California. Historical ALPR records provided information that the vehicle had been parked multiple times in Redwood City at the same location. Redwood City police responded to the vehicle’s historical parking location and found the car with the suspects inside. San Mateo police transported the victim to the location in Redwood City, where the suspects were positively identified, and the stolen property was recovered. Historical ALPR data quickly located suspects that had no fear of harming the public and brought them to justice. Under SB 210, the historical ALPR data would have been destroyed and law enforcement would have been looking for suspects 150 miles away.I am deeply committed to public safety and the protection of privacy. I want the public to know that historical ALPR data helps us to focus our limited resources to solve crimes and save lives. I also wanted to clear up any misunderstanding regarding how we use this invaluable law enforcement tool in our community, while protecting privacy. Please visit our website to learn more about our ALPR policy and how we serve our community with pride, commitment, integrity, compassion and innovation.Carlos Bolanos is the San Mateo County sheriff.

Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos’ Opinion Piece above was sent to the San Mateo Daily Journal he chose not to publish it on the Sherif’s Office Website.

SMCSO Website

Some Residents of San Mateo County know that Carlos G. Bolanos was illegally appointed to the position of Sheriff on July 12, 2016 by the Supervisors of San Mateo County. It was not on the Agenda , Supervisor Don Horsley who was asked to recuse himself from that issue because his son is employed by the Sheriff’s Office lead the appointment through.

It’s telling that Sheriff Bolanos uses a minor female sexual assault victim as an example of why ALPR are great.

In one example of the use of ALPR data, a suspect in Daly City exposed himself as he attempted to grab a 12-year-old female victim, who was fortunately able to escape the assault. When on April 21, 2007 Carlos Bolanos was Detained in Las Vegas during the FBI Sting “Operation Dollhouse” He was caught inside the single family residence located at 3474 Eldon Street where a minor female was the victim of Human Trafficking of Sex Slaves.

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San Mateo County Sheriff Vehicle involved in the Death of a CHP Traffic stop suspect.

By Michael G. Stogner

Last night around 10:30 PM April 6, 2021 the CHP made a traffic stop in the Southbound lanes of Highway 101 just south of Millbrae Ave. The deceased exited his vehicle and before could be arrested and placed in the CHP vehicle he ran across the 4 southbound lanes and crossed over the divide and was struck and killed by the San Mateo County Sheriff SUV driven by Sgt. Andy Ward who was traveling northbound 101 in the fast lane.

The deceased was a 30 something year old male not identified yet.

It’s not clear yet wether he was handcuffed when he ran?

No mention of this on Sheriff’s Website.

Sheriff’s Website

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Hon. Judge Joseph Scott, Medical Emergency.

By Michael G. Stogner

Juan P. Lopez

Update Next Court Date: April 26, 2021 Time: 9:00 AM, We will see if Judge Scott will be the judge at that time.

Last Thursday April 1, 2021 retired San Mateo County Sheriff Deputy Juan P. Lopez’s case was moved from Courtroom 2H to 2 G just 10 minutes before it was to be heard. Judge Leland Davis III informed everyone that Hon. Judge Joseph Scott would not be there based on a Medical Emergency. That in itself is a pretty big deal one that would be on the front page of every Newspaper in San Mateo County even if it didn’t have anything to do with Deputy Sheriff Juan P. Lopez 6.5 year criminal case.

Today at 2:00 PM 1-425-650-1381 Code 425463

I hope the Medical Emergency has passed and everyone is ok, I have no idea who had the M.E. and Judge Davis III did not go into any detail.

What was to be heard last Thursday was a Motion to Quash a Subpoena involving San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Judge Scott had spent several hours getting up to speed on this issue.

For those who have been following the Deputy Juan P. Lopez story you will remember it began back in 2013 with SMCSO Lt. Armando, Sgt. Jason Peardon, and SMCDA Inspector Supervisor William Massey.

He was charged with Smuggling a Cellphone and Drugs to Hells Angels Gang Member in Maguire Jail. Embezzlement of Campaign Funds ($400K). What ever happened to those very public charges?

Defense attorneys for Juan Lopez are Tony Serra and Maria Belyi of San Francisco.

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SMC Hon. Judge Joseph Scott ruling on Miranda to be appealed.

By Michael G. Stogner

Juan P. Lopez

Yesterday in the x San Mateo County Sheriff Deputy Juan P. Lopez case Hon. Judge Joseph Scott ruled that San Mateo County District Attorney Inspector Jordan Boyd did not violate Deputy Lopez’s Miranda Rights even though he clearly asked to speak with his attorney twice. As soon as he finished stating his ruling Defense attorney Maria Belyi and Tony Serra respectfully informed the court that they would be appealing his ruling as early as that afternoon.

The Juan P. Lopez case all started 6.5 years ago with San Mateo County Sheriff Lt. Gilbert Armando and Jordon Boyd deciding on his own to start a criminal investigation, He claims nobody asked him. Wait till William Massey takes the witness stand. Massey is Boyd’s Boss.

This is SMC’s Collateral Consequences Case.

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I want to speak to my attorney.

By Michael G. Stogner

x Sheriff Deputy Juan P. Lopez asked San Mateo County District Attorney Inspector Jordan Boyd to speak to his attorney two times during an interview on August 4, 2014. Jordan Boyd had other plans and continued the interview.

Does a Law Enforcement Officer have the same rights the rest of us do? DDA Kimberly Perrotti doesn’t think so, she argued to Hon. Judge Joseph Scott that Juan Lopez was an experienced Law Enforcement Officer and knew that he could just get up and walk out of the little room in the D.A.’ s office anytime he felt like it.

On August 4, 2014 Deputy Lopez was escorted from his work station on the 4th floor to Inspector Jordan Boyd’s interview room by Ed Barberini and Craig Denton of the Sheriff’s Office. There was a Plan between the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office. The reason I say this is on August 1, 2014 a Judge in San Mateo County signed 2 Search Warrants for both of Juan’s properties and Jordan Boyd claimed to have them at that moment and informed Juan that teams were at both properties as they speak.

That information by itself would be pretty disturbing to most of us.

The Search Warrants mentioned Mortgage and Insurance fraud issues. It means prior to August 1, 2014 the Sheriff and District Attorney have reason to believe a San Mateo County Sheriff Employee might have provided a lender with the box for owner occupied checked, when that might not have been accurate. Does that ever happen in the lending industry? Did the lender file a criminal complaint to bring it to the Sheriff’s attention?

Where would they have gotten that idea?

April 2014 San Mateo County Sheriff Deputy Juan P. Lopez reported to the Sheriff’s Office that his car was broken into at his Redwood City Condo. Stolen from a Backpack were documents regarding mortgage and insurance.

When Juan Lopez was asked if he had any idea who broke into his car he answered San Mateo County Sheriff’s Gang Task Force.

Miranda rights, are they equal for everyone? How many times do you have to say I want to speak to my/an attorney?

I’m not an attorney but, It looks like just to be on the safe side, especially with Jordan Boyd you should say it right after he says Hello, and say it every sentence there after.

Example Hello, I’m Inspector Jordan Boyd.

You: I want to speak to my/an attorney, I want to speak to my/an attorney, I want to speak to my/an attorney, etc.

Hon. Judge Joseph Scott is expected to rule on the Miranda issue today.

Defense Attorneys for Juan P. Lopez are Tony Serra and Maria Belyi from San Francisco.

If you are interested you can listen today at 9:30 AM phone 1-206-279-9591 code 631595

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San Mateo County District Attorney Inspector Jordan Boyd is a Brady Officer.

By Michael G. Stogner

SMCDA Inspector Jordan Boyd is the lead investigator in the x Sheriff Deputy Juan P. Lopez NF433910 case which is in court this morning after 6.5 years.

A Brady Officer is someone who is dishonest. The hope and goal is to have honest people in Law Enforcement everybody wants that.

In August 2014 Jordan Boyd asked Deputy Juan P. Lopez to provide him with his California Drivers License, as soon as Juan complied and gave Jordan the license he informed Juan that it was Suspended out of the Los Angeles area, he kept it and then he and others followed Juan to his car to make sure he did not drive home. Juan Lopez did not drive for the next 3 or 4 months. COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES

A reasonable person would ask How did Jordan Boyd know about Juan P. Lopez’s CDL without looking at a computer database? How many other CDL’s has Jordan Boyd removed from Law Enforcement Officers. District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe informed me that his office does not handle any DMV issues.

SMCDA Inspector Jordan Boyd has admitted under oath that he started his own Investigation of Juan P. Lopez. Why?

A reasonable person would ask, In Jordan Boyd’s entire career how many criminal investigations has he just started on his own? He would have known that his Supervisor William Massey also a Brady Officer based simply on his own actions causing COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES when he twice tried to get Juan’s girlfriend fired. That’s really not what a high ranking Law Enforcement Officer is supposed to do. That is Dishonest.

The normal way is somebody would have filed a criminal complaint with a Law Enforcement Agency, that agency would decide if it should be referred to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution, If the D.A.’s office thought it should be investigated they would assign it to Jordan Boyd or someone in his position.

That did not happen in the Juan P. Lopez case.

San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Perrotti filed a 24 page Motion in Limine last week. I was struck by item 4, EXCLUDE REFERENCE TO COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES EXPERIENCED BY DEFENDANT AS A RESULT OF THE INVESTIGATION, EXECUTION OF SEARCH WARRANTS, ARREST, AND SUBSEQUENT COURT PROCEEDINGS.

The people request exclusion of any collateral consequences defendant has experienced as a result of the investigation, excution of search warrants, arrest, and subsequent court proceedings in this case. This would include but is not limited to, any employment or employability consequences; embarrassment or shame, or any other effects resulting from members of the community learning of the investigation and prosecution. Evidence of or reference to these topics is irrelevant under Evidence code 350 and should be excluded.

When you read the word defendant replace it with Sheriff Deputy Juan P. Lopez.

I’ve always wondered how a person who has sworn an Oath to enforce the law could do just the opposite. This is not the first DDA who has continued to produce a False case in San Mateo County. I’ve written about DDA Melissa McKowen several times in the past.

San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Perrotti also doesn’t want the Jury to hear the words Prosecutorial Misconduct, I don’t blame her for that this case is FULL of Prosecutorial Misconduct. You wouldn’t want the Jury to be aware of it if your goal continue to cause harm.

I have had the privilege of serving on a jury in San Mateo County, I was the jury foreperson in a trial where the District Attorney charged a young Marine with a DUI case. The DDA knew she had NO EVIDENCE to prove her case but that didn’t stop her and it made No impact on her when the young Marine was found Not Guilty. I offered to meet with the DDA if she wished to find out why she lost that case. She had No interest in learning where she missed.

From that day on I always wondered how many other cases in San Mateo County are defendants Falsely Charged?

You can Listen Today at 9:00 AM Phone 1-206-279-9591 Code 631595

SMCN.com Article about DDA Melissa McKowen

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Barbara Bonilla Case Continued.

By Michael G. Stogner

Barbara Bonilla

Barbara Bonilla former campaign manager for Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos 2018 run, and former Executive Director of San Mateo County Sheriff Activity League, Former San Mateo County Sheriff Employee, former San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Commissioner, former State of California PAL Board, former National PAL Board, former Redwood City Rotary Board president waived time today. She appeared in Court in front of Hon. Judge Susan Greenberg today at 2:25 PM by ZOOM.

Next Court Appearance is March 10, 2021 Time: 1:30 PM Case Number 20SF01336A

I would tell you the name of the State of California’s Prosecutor if I knew it and I’m sure the person said it twice now but to be honest I could barley hear what they were saying, I had to listen by phone.

This case was investigated as an Embezzlement and Laundering case involving SAL FUNDS.

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Aaron Russell First Law Enforcement Officer Charged with Murder.

The idea that he is the first Law Enforcement Officer Charged in California since the law changed January 2020 should be shocking. San Mateo County has the Sandra Lee Harmon Homicide by Deputies, Shot in back three times all fatal, shot while unarmed with hands up above her head. 3 of the 14 spent shell casings moved (Evidence Tampering) because the original location didn’t support the Sheriff’s Office Official Statement, which by the way was supported by the District Attorney’s Office. The Half Moon Bay City Council made a Historical Effort to make an official request to the Attorney Generals Office for a Independent Criminal Investigation of the Sheriff Deputy, the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office Investigation of the Homicide. The City Staff members did everything possible to water down, dilute the request to make sure the A.G.’s office would never open the Investigation of the Homicide of Sandra Lee Harmon on May 5, 2020 in Half Moon Bay.

Aaron Russell, 24 is Charged in the Death of Nicholas Bils, 36,

Former San Diego Sheriff Deputy Aaron Russell is the first law enforcement officer in California to be charged with murder since the state raised the standard January 2020 last year for when peace officers can use deadly force.

Prosecutors contend Russell committed second-degree murder.

San Diego Deputy Dist. Atty. Stephen Marquardt argued that the shooting was not legally justified and noted that no other officers at the scene pulled a weapon.

“The idea that this amount of force was necessary … it’s just not plausible,

This is a first good step in reforming Law Enforcement, Charge those who commit crimes, all of them.

Nobody is above the law, That is what we have all heard all of our lives, now prove it.

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San Mateo County President of Supervisors David Canepa wants to close Schools.

By Michael G. Stogner

SMC Supervisor President David Canepa

President of the San Mateo County Supervisors wants to close all schools. San Mateo County has 1 available ICU Bed. That’s 1 for the whole County. Santa Clara County next door has 1 Death and 60 Emergency Room Staff that are Positive for COVID-19.

San Mateo County is supposed to have 25% of it’s ICU Beds and trained staff available. If the number of ICU Beds and Staff total number is 82 than 21 ICU Beds and Staff should be available, again today SMC has 1 available. That is what everybody should be worried about.

“To even have conversations of keeping schools open, probably not the most responsible to do at this point in time.” said Supervisor David Canepa.

It’s interesting that it has taken this long for an Elected Supervisor of San Mateo County to take this position. Now lets see what happens.

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Déjà vu, Another Skyline Body Dump

By Michael G. Stogner

The December 1st, 2020, discovery of a dead body, 40-year-old East Palo Alto resident Eddy Cervantes, on the side of Skyline Boulevard, should come as no surprise to anyone. Nor should the fact that he is a suspected homicide victim who apparently had been dumped there and found by passersby.  

The dumping of dead bodies, on Skyline Boulevard, was both foreseeable and, I dare say, inevitable. Sheriff Carlos Bolanos and County executives failed the community, by not ensuring the adequate patrolling of Skyline Boulevard.

As previously pointed out, in 2019, following the murder and dumping of yet two other bodies, on Skyline, that this geographic area, in unincorporated San Mateo County, had formerly been assigned patrol deputies to provide line-level law enforcement services for each of the sheriff’s office’s shifts. It was known as the “90 Beat.” The position, that of a deputy sheriff providing patrol services, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, was fully funded for by the County Board of Supervisors and staffed by the sheriff.

Under then Sheriff Don Horsely & Undersheriff Greg Munks, staffing for this position was changed, with the deputies being removed (reassigned) and the funding being used to, first, pay for deputies assigned to East Palo Alto and, later, other pet projects of the sheriff. This practice was continued, first, by Munks who took Horsely’s position as sheriff, in 2007, and then Carlos Bolanos who became sheriff (Illegally), in 2016.

Horsley, Munks, and now Bolanos, respectively, made decisions to leave county residents who live at and about Skyline Boulevard unprotected, without a dedicated patrol officer, because they were deemed to have less value, even though the County Board of Supervisors fully funded the position and, I dare say, had the expectation that this was being done. In short, residents of Skyline and the immediate surrounding area were not persons who mattered.

Conversely, while leaving the residents of Skyline unprotected, the Sheriff’s Office, at great expense and effort, placed surveillance cameras, in the form of license plate readers, in the cities of San Carlos and Portola Valley, to protect their respective citizens against crime……. but then they are persons / constituencies who matter to Sheriff Bolanos. Why don’t you afford the residents of Skyline the same level of protection, Carlos?

Could the described homicides, body dumps, on Skyline Boulevard, be, in part, the result of no dedicated deputy sheriffs patrolling that area, providing an incentive for those that would engage in crime there? Absolutely. Couldn’t the resulting crimes and body dumps have been foreseeable, even inevitable, since there was no dedicated credible sheriff’s deterrent? Again, absolutely.

Did Horsely, Munks, or Bolanos ever inform area residents of their decision to divert resources? No. Did these residents not have an expectation their neighborhood was being staffed and protected by sheriff’s patrols? I think so.

Without the advent of passersby discovering Eddy Cervantes’s body, how long would it have been before he had been found? Shouldn’t County residents expect more from current Sheriff Carlos Bolanos and now Supervisor Horsely? Has either shown the vision, decision making, results, and stewardship residents should expect from such County executives? Certainly, this should be a question best put to the residents of Skyline, the 90 Beat?

And District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe’s comments to the press, following the discovery of Mr. Cervantes, saying:

D.A. Steve Wagstaffe

DA Steve Wagstaffe

It’s a serious mistake, for any culprit to try and think, I can cover my crime by putting the person out off of skyline. There are so many hikers, bicyclists, road, you know, Mountain bike people going around that it just isn’t an acceptable way to do it.”

are somewhat disingenuous, in that the possibility of a sheriff’s deputy coming across a body being dumped, on Skyline, is remote, seeing the Sheriff’s Office has no dedicated staff patrolling the area, and the person or persons responsible did, in fact, get away with it, so far.

You’re right Steve, there are hikers, bicyclists, mountain-bikers, and passersby, in the area, but there is one person who is not, a Sheriff’s Patrol Deputy.

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