By Tom Jenson


During the break that we are currently on in this trial, I have had a chance to do a lot of thinking. I wonder how such a miscarriage of justice can be allowed to occur. The criminal justice system in Stanislaus County appears to be at times used as a tool to destroy people who are disliked by elected officials or people of power in our community.

Carmen Sabatino

The first time I became aware of this was during the trial of our former mayor Carmen Sabatino. I attended every day of testimony during this trial. The election of Carmen Sabatino came as a great shock to many people who had controlled Modesto over the years. As soon as he was elected, a concerted effort was made to find a way to get him out of office.

It appears to me that a local real estate baron, and his land use attorney were the main players in this effort. Someone contacted a Sonora attorney by the name of Roger Brown, and made allegations against Mayor Sabatino. Eventually, 12 felony charges were levied against Carmen Sabatino. None of the charges were based in fact, but Carmen was put through the trial of his life.

During the trial, the main witness against Mr. Sabatino, Patrick McGrath, decided to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, and refused to testify. It made no difference that the charges levied against Carmen Sabatino were based on Patrick McGrath’s lies, and Carmen had to endure a lengthy trial. Patrick McGrath eventually lost his license to practice law because of a Ponzi scheme that he used to steal money from others.

The District Attorney was unable to convict Carmen of any of the charges. Because of all the publicity concerning the trial, Carmen Sabatino was unable to win re-election for mayor of Modesto, and has been unable to get elected in subsequent elections. The powerbrokers succeeded in destroying his political life. Frank Carson was the defense attorney that defended Carmen Sabatino during this trial.

AJ Pontillo

My next experience of this type of political prosecution was with the AJ Pontillo Bail Bonds case. AJ Pontillo had become very unpopular with law enforcement in our community, and they tried to take him out by charging him with kidnapping and other charges. These charges were totally without merit. In the end, AJ was found totally innocent of all charges. During the trial, AJ’s wife died while being pregnant. Many people feel that her death was caused by the stress of the situation. Frank Carson defended AJ Pontillo during this trial.

My third experience of this type of political prosecution was with the trial of Frank Drummond, who was teaching police science at Modesto Junior College. Mr. Drummond had exposed misconduct by local police officers who were involved with teaching at Modesto Junior College. Frank Drummond was charged with sexual crimes against a minor. These charges were totally baseless in fact, and he was not convicted. Mr. Drummond was able to get his teaching position back after the trial, and is in the process of getting back pay for what he lost. Frank Carson defended Frank Drummond during this trial.


Frank Carson has been a thorn in the side of the district attorney for many years. He is now facing the trial of his life. The district attorney is trying to build a case of murder against him based on the testimony of convicted felons and drug addicts that have been given special treatment in exchange for their cooperation. The district attorney is willing to ruin the lives of many fine people in order to take Frank Carson out. I have attended most days of testimony during this preliminary trial. I have not heard anything during this testimony that would make me think that Frank Carson, or any of the other defendants, is guilty of anything.

The burden of proof is very low during a preliminary trial. I hope that Judge Zuniga finds that the prosecution has not met the level of proof necessary for this trial to continue in front of a jury. I think this is probably wishful thinking. This trial has gone on far too long already.

It is time for the Board of Supervisors to do the right thing and stop these political prosecutions from happening ever again. By allowing this type of injustice to occur in Stanislaus County, they have become part of the injustice. Our tax dollars are being wasted trying to destroy people who have become unpopular with powerful individuals in our community. We need to root out the corruption that exists within our local law enforcement, and allow the vast majority of good officials to do their job.

Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)


  1. Thank you for all your time and your honesty in reporting this case to those of us who cannot attend. And who are quite frankly, rather fearful of any recrimination from the DA’s office and their investigators. I truly have lost all faith in our judicial system and I hereby state that they do NOT represent me in their statement “We the People.”

    I still have some respect for judicial officers such as the Judge George Abdallah, Jr, from San Joaquin County who did not approve the wiretap request on this case initially. He is THE most honorable judge I have ever had the pleasure to observe in the courtroom. He does not place himself ABOVE the people…I commended him on his courtroom and he hand wrote me a personal response that I will never forget. He treated every person who came before him with respect unlike any I have ever observed in any other court. He truly deserves the title “your Honor,” however, I have observed others who do not in Merced County and Stanislaus County.

    Anyway….I really appreciated this blog and the updates! and BTW…although


  2. trailed off on the BTW because I decided to change my email, etc. so as not to bring any attention to my business that isn’t operating at present

    1. dawg417 – I am the guy people love because I am so honest, But then they get pissy when I do the same with them.
      dawg417 says:

      don’t worry no one sees it but me
      And I am familiar with Judge Abdallah from my bailiff days and I agree.

  3. you forgot some others that have been attacked by the DA.

    The DA was after me for 4 years. 1998 to 2002. Illegal politically motivated investigation that yielded nothing. Yet they issued a Brady Determination on their Confidential Investigation saying I was dishonest during their investigation. . (Refused to disclose any information.) Refused to disclose the fact I passed their polygraph. Law suit dismissed by their corrupt judge.

    Alfie Alvarez. He was charged with false imprisonment, terminated from the Sheriffs Office and then shot and killed at a SO substation. According to the record he argued with his ex girlfriend, a Sheriffs deputy, grabbed a secured shot gun and killed himself. I had received information, the DA and the Sheriff were trying to force him to retire and he refused.

    Bob Holloway. The DA refused to accept the recommendations of the Sheriffs Detectives when he was involved in a Shooting at his business. Deemed justified and accidental the DA took him to preliminary hearing 2 times and it was dismissed by 2 judges. DA took it to appeals process and then to trial. He was acquitted. Later on they prosecuted him for Racketeering,

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. Prosecution in Stanislaus County is based on personal friendships and or vendettas.

    1. Thanks for bringing up “Rod Dog”. It just shows if you cannot get a person on one charge, you just stay on them and eventually you can drum up something. People in the motor cycle business associate with motor cycle clubs. If they didn’t Holloway’s business would not have survived. Glad to see Road Dog’s business back up and running. People tend to associate motor cycle club members with criminals without any knowledge of the individuals.

  4. That what we all have been saying is going on and its needs to stop. This is no way for law enforcement to conduct business. Makes them all bad names and makes of county really look bad.

  5. People are afraid of the DA and the police. I am afraid if the DA and the police. But this blog has helped me to have the courage to say something about the obvious corruption an abuse of power that these agencies have perpetrated. If people don’t start demanding our elected leaders do something about it the abuse and corruption will only get worse. It is time for courageous men and women to speak out. If not us, then who? Who will be their next victim? Your spouse ? Your children ? For the sake of our community, and our families. We need to demand that our government help us put an end to this evil abuse. I refuse to live in terror and fear anymore.

    1. dawg417 – I am the guy people love because I am so honest, But then they get pissy when I do the same with them.
      dawg417 says:

      Thank you Bob, And your response is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I do not fear anything that can come out of this by way of retribution, if anyone it really sat down and listen to my life story there’s nothing they could do to me this been worse than some of the things that happen in my life. But I actually have a bigger fear of what can happen if we do not step up and call out on some of these things.

      I am not anti-law enforcement I feel there is a large number of good hard-working men and women out there carrying a gun in a badge. But sometimes absolute power corrupts absolutely that’s part of the human element in the frailties we have. I truly hope that our many others that are educated by this so we can move forward and cleanup some of these messes and start being true to ourselves again, and not living in fear.
      You don’t really know how many people I have been contacted by since this is started, there are some really sad stories and some real fears out there. The question is what we do about.

      We can continue to live in fear or we can step up and take control of our lives.

      1. I have learned so much following the blogs and the information you all post. I have been lately watching court cases on YouTube. One that stood out was Johnny Cochran’s closing arguments in OJ’s trial. It is a five hour or so closing argument, but I get so enthralled with his presentation that I watched it for all 5 hours in one sitting. At one point, he argued to your point above. Speaking directly to the jury he tells them something to the effect of if you do not protect people from abuses who will? He laid it on the jury. OJ, innocent or guilty, actually innocent, Cochran put forth what you are saying- only you the jury can protect people from corrupt gov’t abuses of power.

  6. “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

    -Lord Acton

    He has a lot of other great quotes too, that are true to this day, and relate directly to the DA’s office.

    “Bureaucracy is undoubtedly the weapon and sign of a despotic government, inasmuch as it gives whatever government it serves, despotic power.”

    -Lord Acton

  7. dawg417 – I am the guy people love because I am so honest, But then they get pissy when I do the same with them.
    dawg417 says:

    Thank you for continuing to view my site, your support is appreciated

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