Saturday, 15 June 2024

County, feds agree to postpone Oliver dumping arraignment

LAKE COUNTY – Federal and county officials have agreed to wait until early next year to transport a local murder suspect to a Southern California arraignment for federal dumping charges.

Ivan Garcia Oliver, 29, who is charged with the Nov. 20 murder of 67-year-old Lakeport resident Michael Dodele, has been indicted on federal charges of dumping hazardous materials in San Diego County, as Lake County News reported Monday.

Court documents filed last week by the US Attorney's Office's Southern District showed that federal officials intended to have Oliver brought to San Diego for a Dec. 21 arraignment on the charges.

However, on Monday Assistant US Attorney Melanie K. Pierson said the plans have changed.

A writ of habeas corpus that Pierson had filed to have Oliver transported was returned unexecuted, said Pierson. Instead, Pierson said a new writ for a different date is being filed.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, who is prosecuting Oliver for Dodele's murder, said District Attorney Jon Hopkins asked the US Attorney's Office to put off the Dec. 21 arraignment so that it wouldn't interfere with the murder case's proceedings. “They've agreed to try to work with us.”

Hinchcliff said Oliver will be in Lake County Superior Court on Jan. 7, 2008, at which time he expects a preliminary hearing to be set in the murder case.

Oliver is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in San Diego County on Jan. 30, said Hinchcliff.

In federal court Oliver is facing charges of conspiracy and aiding and abetting his half-brother and co-defendant, Guillermo Garcia of El Cajon, in dumping hazardous wastes in and around Slaugherhouse Canyon Creek in San Diego County in March 2005, according to court records.

Pierson said the two men worked for a company called Wagner Construction when they allegedly agreed to dump five 55-gallon drums of acrylic paint containing the highly toxic solvent toluene. The men allegedly dumped the paint at night in order to save the time and expense of properly disposing of the materials.

Court documents allege that Garcia subsequently lied to authorities about the materials, allegedly saying they had been spilled accidentally.

The month before the alleged dumping incident, Oliver was released on parole after serving time in state prison on a charge of assault with force causing great bodily injury, according to state parole records.

Asked if these federal charges could constitute a violation of Oliver's parole, Pierson said that will be a matter for the state to investigate.

The US Marshal's office agreed to transport Oliver to and from the San Diego appearances, said Hinchcliff, which will save local taxpayers the expense of sending the Lake County Sheriff's Office down to pick Oliver up.

Pierson confirmed that the US Attorney's Office will work with Lake County to coordinate Oliver's court appearances both locally and in San Diego.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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