Ex-Cop Bobby Carillo Is Sad in Jail, So Judge Orders His Release
December 21, 2016 (fault Lines) — It might not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things: A cop and his crew throw a significant amount of tow jobs to a local towing company and the proprietor gives them a few cars in exchange. But when you take a closer look and find a conspiracy involving top and former brass in a police department, and the victims were all targeted because of their ethnicity and economic status, it becomes a big deal.
Now a judge has released the already lightly punished mastermind of this scheme from jail because he’s depressed and has lost a significant amount of weight according to his attorney.
King City, California is home to about 13,000 residents, 90 percent of which are Hispanic. It’s an agricultural center for tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, dairy, pistachios, walnuts and almonds. It’s been called the “Salad Bowl of the World.”
People there are hard working and generally low-income, and apparently ripe for picking by King City police Sgt. Bobby Carrillo and his crew. Carrillo alone had more than 200 vehicles towed and impounded, of which 95 percent or more were handled by Brian Millers’ tow yard. Miller is the brother of then acting-Chief Bruce Miller, who was charged with accepting one of the towed cars as a bribe.
Carrillo was having the cars towed and impounded over minor infractions such as inoperative tail lamps, or even towed from their spot in front of the owner’s home over an expired registration tag. Then, when the owner was unable to bail his or her car out, Carrillo and Miller sold it and split the profits.
People were afraid to speak out because many of these agricultural workers are undocumented.
That was until the FBI came to town on a murder investigation and found no one willing to say anything except “we don’t trust cops, they take our cars and property and we can’t do anything about it.” Complaints like this prompted an investigation, and since Carrillo and cohorts weren’t even trying hard to hide their scheme, it wasn’t long before they found themselves impounded.
Judge Julie R. Culver, a former prosecutor and corporate attorney, was appointed to the bench in 2010 by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Carrillo was a veteran cop and, judging by his surname, he should be acutely aware of the hardships faced by poor Hispanic agricultural workers. Carrillo made the decision to become a predator, to seek out vulnerable people, to take their property and wreak havoc on their lives.
And now, Judge Culver gives him a break. After serving about two months of his already paltry sentence of one year in jail, the judge has granted a defense motion and he will be allowed to serve the remainder at home. Monterey County Deputy District Attorney Steve Somers doesn’t agree with the judge:
There are a lot of people who can make that same claim in the jail. And I don’t know how many of those would be released for the same reasons. When he was committing the crimes, he knew that if he was caught he would be put in jail and it would be very uncomfortable wherever he went because every officer knows that.
Jail is a horrible place. It’s easy to lose weight there because the food is barely nutritionally adequate, and tastes like crap. It’s prepared by fellow inmates who may or may not have had their training in an establishment sporting a Michelin star, or even a Zagat rating. (Mostly not.) The food is part of the punishment. Carrillo was in solitary confinement, likely for his own protection, because being a dirt bag with a badge who preys on his own community would make him quite unpopular with the non-badge-holding dirt bags that prey on their community and share the facility.
Yes, you would lose weight. Yes, you would become depressed. When your drinking water comes from an orifice on top of the exposed toilet in your cell, it’s depressing. You want to go home.
It’s a disgrace that this judge overlooked this former cop’s predatory nature and let him go home. Hopefully every criminal attorney with an inmate facing a year in Monterey County will now file a similar motion on behalf of their client so everyone can go home early.