August 4, 2016

Back to School Safety
& 88-CRIME

As summer comes to an end, back-to-school fever is in full swing. While you prepare your children to return to school this year you may be asking yourself several questions:  Will they have the proper supplies?  Will they make good choices? And, most important, will they be safe?

August is School Safety Month.  It’s important to teach children about crime, bullying, drugs, weapons, and other threats they may face. Parents want to believe their children aren’t exposed to these horrible realities, but the truth is they are. If not at home or at school, children learn about them via the news and social media.

In a 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System monitoring project conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it was found that 5.2% of students carried weapons on school property within 30 days preceding the survey; 7.1% of students did not attend school because of safety concerns; 19.6% of students had been bullied on school property in the 12 months preceding the survey; 8.6% of students tried marijuana before the age of 13; and 8.9% of the students had used inhalants to get high. These shocking statistics indicate that Arizona’s youth are exposed to much more than we are aware. It is fundamental to teach them not only the difference between right and wrong, but also how to stay safe.

It’s important to teach our children to make informed and positive decisions in regards to crime, bullying, drugs, violence, weapons, and other harmful behaviors. It may seem like a daunting task, but parents are not alone. Law enforcement, teachers, and Pima County Attorney’s 88-CRIME Safe-Schools Program can help spread the message about safety at home and in school.

The Pima County Attorney’s Office and 88-CRIME, Inc. have expanded their Safe-Schools Program to encourage crime reporting among K-12 students. This collaborative effort encourages school-aged children to report crimes to a trusted adult, call 911, or make a tip anonymously through 88-CRIME.  With 88-CRIME's new volunteer program, the Pima County Attorney’s Office and 88-CRIME are able to reach more students to promote a safe environment at home and at school.

Pima County Attorney's Office Employees and volunteers are available to visit local schools or attend community events to teach children what types of things are dangerous, whom to contact about what they saw and heard, and how to contact the appropriate person or agency. McGruff the Crime Dog® accompanies presenters to help make crime-stopping fun!

Volunteer for 88-CRIME's Safe-Schools Program

The Pima County Attorney’s Office 88-CRIME Program is seeking highly motivated volunteers to make presentations about reporting crime to Pima County schools. The presentations include films produced by local film makers, including Scruff’s Birthday Party and Trouble At Hand.

These films aim to guide children in the right direction when they are conflicted about what do to when they learn of a crime that happens or could happen at home or school.  

Following the film, a group discussion led by the 88-CRIME Volunteer, provides information and facilitates discussion about the use of an anonymous tip line for students.

The  88-CRIME anonymous tip line has been in operation since 1980 and works closely with local law enforcement, the community, and the media to help make Pima County a safer place to live.  To date, there have been 5,788 felony arrests and an estimated 6,257 cases cleared by law enforcement due to anonymous tips made to 88-CRIME.  More than $90,312,626 worth of narcotics has been removed from the streets and over $19,850,350 worth of property has been recovered.  There has also been an amazing $1,070,650 paid out by 88-CRIME, Inc. in rewards to anonymous callers.

To learn more about becoming a volunteer with the 88-CRIME Safe Schools Program, please attend an information session on August 18, 2016, at 3:00 p.m., at the Tucson Police Department located at 1310 W. Miracle Mile.

After completing a background check, applicants will receive training with 88-CRIME at the Pima County Attorney’s Office and are required to volunteer a minimum of 16 hours a year.   

PCAO Profiles

Leo Quesada

Leo Quesada is the 88-CRIME, Inc. board president. He has served on the board for 27 years, taking over its presidency in 2015. Leo also serves as a Victim Services volunteer with the Pima County Attorney’s Office, and has done so for more than 25 years. 

Leo has worked hundreds of crisis calls since he became a Volunteer Victim Advocate, and after all this time still finds great satisfaction in knowing he and his fellow volunteers are able to assist crime victims and people in crisis as they confront some of life’s most jarring and painful experiences. 

Apart from his busy volunteering schedule, Leo has been employed by Southwest Gas for over four decades, as a Specialist in Risk Management and Safety.  When not working, spending time with his family, volunteering for Victim Services, or serving on the Board of Directors for 88-CRIME Inc., Leo enjoys golfing, fishing, and vacationing in the White Mountains. 

McGruff the Crime Dog®

McGruff the Crime Dog®, is the icon for the National Crime Prevention Council. On July 1, 2016, he celebrated his 36th birthday and is known for his phrase, “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®.” McGruff enjoys teaching children tips on how to be safe at home and school.

For more than 30 years, McGruff has made thousands of appearances at community and school events.

In recent years, he has focused on emerging trends including bullying, cyberbullying, internet safety, senior safety, intellectual property, and identity theft.

Currently, McGruff is assisting the folks at 88-CRIME to help students understand the importance of crime prevention and encourage their community support.

For more information about McGruff, please visit


Julia Kaiserman

Julia Kaiserman is a Deputy County Attorney in the Pima County Attorney’s Office and the Education Program Manager for 88-CRIME’s Safe Schools Program. Julia attended The University of Arizona where, in 2004, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Art History. Julia later attended Case Western Reserve University School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctorate in 2009.

After graduating from law school, Julia was employed by the Pima County Attorney’s Office as a Deputy County Attorney.  In her felony crimes practice, she focused on prosecuting property crimes and driving under the influence cases.

In 2016, 88-CRIME expanded its Safe Schools Program to include volunteer presenters. Julia recruits, trains, and manages volunteers to deliver the importance of 88-CRIME’s message to students at schools throughout Pima County.  As a native Tucsonan, Julia is familiar with several school districts within Pima County, and appreciates the opportunity to communicate a positive message to youth in Tucson.


From the Courtroom

State v. Eric Alvarez
On July 28, 2016, a jury found Eric Alvarez guilty of one count of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Minor, three counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor Under Fifteen, and three counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Under Fifteen.

A nationwide child pornography investigation detected someone in Pima County was trading child pornography. Alvarez was discovered when his computer was linked to the trades. During the forensic analysis of his computer hard drives, agents discovered a collection of over one hundred videos of child pornography.

For a period of seven years Alvarez serially molested a young female family member. During the time he was molesting the child, Alvarez began filming and photographing the abuse. Evidence of the filming was found on his computer hard drive and photograph of a sexual act was also found on the SD card of his cellphone. This case was prosecuted by Deputy County Attorney Michelle Araneta.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 12, 2016, in Pima County Superior Court.


State v. Stephen Malone

On May 13, 2016, a jury convicted Stephen Malone of First Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Endangerment.

After Malone and the victim broke up, she stopped by Malone’s home to return a gift. The victim was accompanied by her sister and two children. As the victim tried to leave, Malone chased her car down, and shot her through the windshield, killing her. The victim’s sister, who was sitting in the passenger seat of the car, was struck by one of the bullets, and the victim’s children, in the back seat of the car, were uninjured. This case was prosecuted by Deputy County Attorneys Lewis Brandes and Ellen Brown.

On July 11, 2016, Superior Court Judge Richard Nichols sentenced Malone to Natural Life in the Arizona Department of Corrections plus an additional 13.5 years.

State v. Gilberto Lopez Fimbres

On May 6, 2016, a jury found Gilberto Lopez Fimbres guilty of Sexual Conduct with a Minor Under Fifteen, Sexual Abuse of a Minor Under Fifteen, Sexual Indecency to a Minor, and Indecent Exposure to a Minor.

Fimbres, though not biologically related to her, would have his 6-year-old granddaughter stay with him frequently. During her stays, over the course of about six months, Fimbres would sexually abuse her. This case was prosecuted by Deputy County Attorney Lauren Pylipow.

On July 11, 2016, Superior Court Judge Kenneth Lee sentenced Fimbres to 117.5 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections. Part of this sentence includes three life sentences without parole until 35 years. All the counts are to be served consecutive to each other.

State v. Jeremy Koons

In May 2016, a jury convicted Jeremy Lee Koons of Theft, Criminal Damage, and nine counts of Burglary.

Between April and September of 2014, Koons and his accomplice burglarized nine local businesses by drilling holes through roofs or walls of the businesses and cutting and prying open doors. After Koons gained access inside the businesses he drilled into safes and removed the money inside.

DNA left at one of the burglary scenes matched Koons. Based on this match, police were able to track Koons and catch him while he was committing his ninth burglary. Cell phone tower evidence connected him to most of the other burglaries. This case was prosecuted by Deputy County Attorneys Benjamin Mendola and Jennifer Dent.

On July 8, 2016, Koons was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Scott Rash to 19.5 Years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

In this Issue:
National Crime Prevention Counsel 
Safety Tips for Kids

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Tucson, Arizona 85701
(520) 724-5600
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