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Crime

Officer Involved in Costco Shooting Faces Felony Charge

LAS VEGAS -- District Attorney David Roger says 23-year-old Thomas Mendiola is in a lot of trouble.

Last summer, Mendiola, a Metro Police officer, allegedly gave a .22 Ruger to his mechanic Robert Justice. Justice already had a criminal record in another state. On September 14, 2010, Justice sold the Ruger and a .357 handgun to an undercover police officer for $500.

According to the criminal complaint, Justice told Mendiola about his criminal convictions and Mendiola admitted to knowing about them. According to the complaint, Mendiola allegedly told Justice, "Dude, you're not supposed to have that, but you already know that." Investigators also say Mendiola stated the gun "was rusted, it had no sights. It didn't fire. Course, I never tried it. It just didn't look like it even fired to me at all."

If convicted, Mendiola could trade his badge for a prison ID.

Police Battle Marijuana Grow House Problem

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas police are investigating a marijuana grow site where a mother and her two sons were arrested over the weekend. Two small children were also in the in the house.

The incident happened at a house on Rancho Palms Drive in northwest Las Vegas. Police say they have responded to the home at least five times in the last 60 days. But they say the valley's marijuana problem is much bigger than one house.

"The problem with marijuana grows has eclipsed that of methamphetamine labs. In 2010, we only had six methamphetamine labs as compared to 118 marijuana grows," said Metro Lt. Laz Chavez.

Since 2007, Metro says the valley has seen more than a 100 percent increase of marijuana grows and plants, a 43 percent increase of people arrested and the investigations have cost the department more than $500,000 since 2007.

Metro Makes Large Marijuana Bust Early Sunday Morning

LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department made a large drug bust early Sunday morning in the area of Charleston Blvd and Fort Apache.

Around 3AM Sunday Metro officers responded to a house in the 9500 block of Rancho Palms for a report of a domestic disturbance between two brothers.

Shortly after arriving on scene officers discovered a 100 plant Hydroponic Marijuana Grow. Officers also found two children, a nine-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl, sleeping in a bedroom on a bed surrounded by dozen of plants and chemicals.

The approximate street value of the marijuana plants was $150,000.

The brothers, 23-year-old Daniel Ballard and 22-year-old William Ballard, were both arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to sell and domestic violence.

Vandals Destroy Cars at Opportunity Village Campus

LAS VEGAS -- Opportunity Village has suffered another blow. Six months after a fire destroyed the Opportunity Village Thrift Store, vandals have broken into cars and damaged property at their main campus.

When staff arrived at work Wednesday, they saw shards of tinted glass all over the parking lot. Seven vans were broken into and rummaged through. There were even tools stolen out of one of them.

"Can we not catch a break at all? It's very, very frustrating. The staff just can't comprehend why anyone would want to do this to Opportunity Village," said Linda Smith, Associate Executive Director of Opportunity Village.

She says thieves have stolen Santa suits, cables, Christmas lights and props from the Magical Forest over the last month.

Congresswoman Berkley Holds Public Meeting Amid Tighter Security

LAS VEGAS -- The Tucson shooting created questions about how safe public Congressional meetings are. Las Vegas Congresswoman Shelley Berkley held her own public event Friday morning with people looking for help. This time there was extra security.

Nevada's delegation regularly sets aside time to meet with constituents and hear their problems. Those meetings continue despite the Tucson shooting. But now, there is an extra level of security even Congresswoman Berkley felt challenged getting used to.

"When I saw the officers outside, and there are a number of them, I thanked them of course for being here, but I also said, 'I hope this isn't the future. This should not be the way we have to do business in this country,'" she said.

Murder Investigation Uncovers Illegal Brothel in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS - A high-end home turned brothel is the talk of Red Scott Circle.

"They had a red light on in the back, pretty much at late hours," said neighbor Partap Khalsa. "It was definitely, ‘We're in business.'"

That business, and the money it generated, may have led to the murder of Young Shil Park. Last month, hikers found the 39-year-old's charred body in Arizona near Hoover Dam.

Metro Police say 30-year-old Min Soon Chang and 19-year-old Keon Kyun Park confessed to Young Shil Park's murder. Police say the men beat her to death, then burned and dumped her body. Keon Kyun Park is not related to the victim.

Police say Park ran an escort service out of the home on Red Scott Circle near South Tenaya Way and West Desert Inn Road. Both men worked for her. Court documents reveal Park owed the men $9,000.

Missing Dancer, Boyfriend Involved in Domestic Violence

LAS VEGAS -- According to court filings, missing Las Vegas dancer Debbie Flores-Narvaez has been a victim of violence in the past.

In a police report, Jason Griffith, also known as Blu, was arrested for beating her up in October of 2010. Griffith and Flores-Narvaez were dating at the time. She was reportedly going to his house when she vanished on December 12.

Read the arrest report for Jason "Blu" Griffith

According to the police report, Griffith allegedly stole Flores-Narvaez's iPhone during a dispute. She chased after him and the two started arguing. Griffith then threw her phone. When Flores-Narvaez went to retrieve it, he ran toward her, pushed her down, pulled her hair and kicked her. Police say Debbie had bruises on both legs and found a chunk of her hair.