Southern California breaking news and trends

Federal indictment handed down after Anaheim police crack alleged pimping operation


Eric Wells

Two people have been indicted in an alleged multistate pimping operation that had at least two underage girls, and possibly others, turning tricks around California and the Southwest, including near Disneyland.

Authorities say they currently know of two young victims, ages 14 and 17, who were shuttled around and advertised as prostitutes on websites like MyRedBook and Backpage, then made to turn tricks in motels like the Motel 6 on Disney Way.

Eric Wells, 24, and Tonisha Moore, 22, were arrested late last month, and on Wednesday a federal grand jury handed down an indictment against them, the Orange County Register reports. Moore is described as a prostitute and the mother of Wells’ child. The teen girls in their service were not related to them.

Although Anaheim police cracked the case and the couple was tracked down in Sacramento, the couple allegedly crossed state lines with the girls -- three times in a nine-day period -- so are now in the custody of the FBI, according to reports. They face charges in federal court of sex trafficking of children, conspiracy and transportation of minors, and could face life in prison if convicted.


Marijuana dispensary near school for 'at risk' teens sparks outrage


Photo by Dank Depot via Flickr Creative Commons

A medical marijuana dispensary has opened less than 50 feet from an Anaheim continuation high school for "at risk" teens, and fired-up administrators say the proximity violates state law.

Currently, the city is in a high-profile court case over its moratorium banning all pot dispensaries, but under the existing law, no outlet can operate within 600 feet of a school.

Officials say that while the continuation high school -- part of the OC Department of Education's ACCESS program for "at risk" students ages 13 to 18 -- is located in the untraditional setting of a strip mall, the same distance laws should apply.

Open for about six weeks, the dispensary, located at 1877 W. Katella Ave., promotes its services with a green cross and "a cartoon logo of a smiling house with a smoking chimney," notes the Orange County Register.


LA Angels settle wheelchair suit with better service and prime seating discounts

angels stadium anaheim

Photo by Sara Grajeda via Flickr Creative Commons

A federal lawsuit between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and stadium patron J. Paul Charlebois was settled Monday, the Orange County Register reported.

The dispute was over wheelchair seating and service at the baseball team's Anaheim stadium. The team and the city of Anaheim were both sued in 2009 by the patron who said they failed to provide sufficient club level seating.

The team will now offer prime seating at a deeply discount rate for fans who rely on a wheelchair (ie: tickets in the Diamond Club will now cost for $50 instead of $150), and will also expand its in-seat food-and-beverage service options to the existing 32 wheelchair seats on the Terrace level.

Charlebois did not seek monetary damages. Attorney fees and court-related costs, which could cost the Angels $300,000 to $800,000, will be considered by a judge at a future hearing.


The happiest spray on earth? Disney altercation video raises security questions

tower of terror disney

Photo by Missy Martinez via Flickr Creative Commons

A four-minute, profanity-heavy altercation between a seemingly drunk man and an employee of Disney's California Adventure was recorded Saturday afternoon by a park visitor.

The incident occurred near the "Tower of Terror" attraction where the suspect is seen punching, kicking, and grabbing a costumed park worker -- dressed as a bellhop in a straw hat -- who was attempting to subdue him with a repellent spray.

Despite long blasts to the face, the happiest spray on Earth administered by the Disney employee did very little to stop the suspect, who continued to curse and fight and ultimately knock the employee to the ground.

The suspect -- 53-year-old Glenn Horlacher -- was eventually restrained on the ground by two guests until authorities arrived. He was arrested for battery and assault by Anaheim police, booked into jail, and later released on a citation.