• 27 indicted in Mexican Mafia gang extortion case: VENTURA (AP) — More than two dozen people have been charged in connection with case where the notorious Mexican Mafia prison gang controlled the street drug activities of local gangs through extortion, authorities said Tuesday.
Twenty-five adults and two teens were indicted by a Ventura County grand jury on charges ranging from extortion to robbery, assault and drug offenses. Twenty of the defendants are in custody and six remain fugitives.
The crimes occurred during a five-month period ending earlier this month. Two planned killings and a drugstore robbery were thwarted because of the investigation known as “Operation Wicked Hand.”
Authorities seized heroin, methamphetamines and cocaine as well as 32 weapons, including assault rifles.
• Fourth person dies in Calif. of mushroom poisoning: LOOMIS (AP) — A fourth person has died from eating a soup made with poisonous mushrooms earlier this month at senior care facility in Northern California, authorities said Tuesday.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Department identified the woman as Dorothy Mary Hart, 92.
Three others at the six-bed Gold Age Villa care facility in Loomis died from eating the mushrooms in what sheriff’s investigators characterize as an accident.
“This is an ongoing tragedy, an unfortunate accident,” said Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.
All of the victims were sickened Nov. 8, including the caretaker who made the soup after picking mushrooms in the backyard of the facility.
• Comic Katt Williams sued over aborted performance: OAKLAND (AP) — Comic Katt Williams is being sued over his onstage meltdown and aborted performance in Oakland.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports it’s the second Alameda County lawsuit filed over Williams’ bizarre 10 minutes on stage earlier this month at Oakland’s Oracle Arena.
The suit filed by 35-year-old Brian Herline, of Modesto, says he and hundreds of fans were disappointed when Williams took off his clothes and challenged people to fight.
Herline is seeking class-action certification in an effort to get ticket money back for all audience members.
A representative for Williams has refused to comment.
• Another Asian citrus pest found in Tulare County: FRESNO (AP) — Another tiny pest capable of carrying and spreading a disease deadly to citrus trees has been found in California’s citrus belt.
California Department of Food and Agriculture spokesman Steve Lyle says an Asian citrus psyllid was discovered near Terra Bella in Tulare County. The psyllid was identified last week on a trap in a citrus grove.
It’s the third psyllid found this year in the San Joaquin Valley. The first was discovered in February and the second in October, both in Tulare County.
As a result of the recent discoveries, Lyle said Tuesday a quarantine would be instituted for the area.