ANOTHER HEARING TO GET SEIZED PROPERTY RETURNED
By Marty Carlson
This morning in department seven of the Stanislaus Superior Court begin had a hearing regarding AJ Pontillo efforts to have property returned to him after the was seized in the search warrant on December 23, 2008. They have had several hearings in this matter and his property is slowly being return but not all at once.
Also of note for some reason the District Attorney’s Office was represented by a DDA by the name of Lugero, there was an attorney from the state Atty. Gen.’s office present. It is not known exactly why he was there and he did not contribute anything to the hearing, but was sitting next to the district attorney in the courtroom.
The issue today before judge Steffens, and represented by Frank Carson, 11 surveillance hard drives for seized during the search warrant and only four have been returned, and they have been made unusable. The hard drives had been forcibly opened by the screws that were covered by warranty stickers. They are unable to get any previous videos or use them at this time as it will not function. Frank Carson presented to the court one of the hard drive to been returned in the evidence sticker on the hard drive stated it’d been originally marked by evidence by Steve Jacobson of the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.
The second issue was regarding some bond tracking software that tissue through the Department of Insurance to bail bondsman. This tracking software has confidential information concerning people who are in the bail system. In addition, Frank Carson argued to the court that this bond tracking system was access by district attorney investigator Steve Jacobson in sometime around 2014. Frank Carson’s contention was that Steve Jacobson has admitted on the stand in the past of accessing the bail tracking system during his investigation of the Korey Kauffman alleged homicide.
The DAs office is claiming that all property had been returned. In addition, he said that there were some pharmaceuticals that were withheld and destroyed by the Federal Bureau of investigations. Frank Carson then requested a declaration of facts of the inventory and destruction of all the assets seized by the Jacobson. His contention is that has not been put out to be destroyed or possibly not even turned over to the FBI.
The district attorneys responded with the FBI says drugs were destroyed, and federal warrants were obtained for search warrants to destroy the property. He stated the FBI is in contact with the US attorney’s office which means this court may not have jurisdiction because is now a federal matter.
Frank Carson reiterated that the District Attorney’s Office has been in total control of this whole situation from the start that is there investigators, who also double badge is federal investigators at times for additional resources. Those same investigators have the authority to return the property.
Judge Steffens stated he’s not sure if he actually has authority to tell the FBI what to do.
Frank Carson again requested the district attorney’s office to the order to completely comply with the request as AJ has been totally acquitted on all charges. See article HERE
Again, the District Attorney’s Office stated that items were returned other than the expired medicines, and the bond tracking system program was used by the District Attorney’s Office it would be the providing companies complaint as they were the ones accessed. Again, he stated the program has been returned. It also stated that it is a Department of Justice issue. Shortly thereafter Mr. Lugero stated he wasn’t exactly sure if the District Attorney’s Office still has a bond tracking program.
Frank Carson stated that Steve Jacobson has stated on the stand he had used AJ Pontillo’s bond tracking program and logins during his investigation of the Korey Kauffman case, and then they past hearings of this issue has preferred to stay outside so it appears he does not want to be forced to make a formal declaration in court.
Again, the district attorney stated that he’s not sure that the court has authority in some of these matters.
Judge Steffens at this time read from a transcript of Steve Jacobson’s testimony in February 11, 2015, and he stated that he had used AJ’s bond tracking program in the Frank Carson case.
Again, the district attorney stated he’s unsure if it was actually done, even though the judge just read him a transcript of Jacobson’s previous testimony.
Frank Carson also stated at this time that his client AJ Pontillo is willing to take the stand under oath the state he has not received the bond tracking program back from investigators.
The District Attorney’s Office stated they will try to track down and locate the property.
Frank Carson at this time the requested an additional hearing be set so Steve Jacobson could be put under oath and answer questions about property returned and use of the bond tracking program under AJ’s name.
So, this judge at this time schedule December 4, 2017 at 830 in department for further hearing on this.