SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A retired San Diego police detective pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal conspiracy charge for helping a Mexican millionaire illegally funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars into San Diego political campaigns.
Ernesto Encinas, the 57-year-old owner of a San Diego-based private security and consulting business, also pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return.
He faces several years in prison when he is sentenced June 9 by U.S. District Judge Michael Anello.
Defense attorney Jeremy Warren said he hoped to save his client from jail.
"He took responsibility for what he did," Warren said outside court after the hearing.
Encinas, Ravneet Singh, a self-styled campaign guru who owned a Washington, D.C.-based campaign services company, local lobbyist Marco Polo Cortes were charged in January, accused of trying to hide the source of the large donations to federal and local campaigns, including the 2012 mayoral campaigns of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Bob Filner.
Court papers indicated Encinas wanted the next mayor to fire the chief of police and replace him with a person of Encinas' choosing in exchange for financial help supplied by Mexican millionaire Jose Azano Matsura, who faces a charge of campaign contributions by a foreign national.
You know the kids are excited about the return of their favorite LEGOLAND Water Park attractions. But, they'll be even more thrilled to learn there are some brand new elements, too.
A transient was behind bars Tuesday on suspicion of fatally stabbing two other homeless men last week at an Otay Mesa strip mall.
San Diego County emergency and fire officials are urging residents to protect homes against devastating wildfires as fire season kicks into full gear.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Tuesday to celebrate the opening of a joint-use park at McKinley Elementary.
A vote is expected Tuesday as the Del Mar Fair Board considers transforming the Surf Side Race Place into a new indoor entertainment venue.
The San Diego City Council Tuesday formally approved a $225,000 settlement in litigation brought by a deputy city attorney, who alleged sexual harassment by her former supervisor.
The Gate Fire, which has burned about 2,056 acres northwest of Dulzura, was 95 percent contained Monday. Cal Fire also reported that all evacuation orders and warnings were lifted in the fire area.
The Gate Fire northwest of Dulzura has been fully contained. Cal Fire says its crews will remain on scene Tuesday mopping up and guarding against flareups.