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Monday, March 15, 2010


It seems that the Department has more Get Out of Jail Free cards than a Monopoly game, to wit:

REGION: Details released on two other Gardner traffic violations

Pot possession while on parole detailed

By CHRIS NICHOLS - | Posted: March 15, 2010 6:30 pm
Three months before John Albert Gardner III's parole ended in September 2008, he pleaded guilty to a marijuana possession charge stemming from an Escondido traffic stop.

A parole review was triggered, but it did not land Gardner, a registered sex offender, back in prison, as some drug crimes can.

Gardner was cited for having less than an ounce of pot. State prison officials have said Gardner's violations were minor compared to other parolee offenses.

Reincarcerating parolees for possessing a small amount of pot and similar crimes would overwhelm the system, they have said.

Gardner paid $550 in fines to resolve the misdemeanor pot possession.

San Diego Superior Court released details Monday about the Escondido traffic stop from June 25, 2008, and a speeding ticket Gardner received in 2007.

Gardner, who spent six years in prison for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in Rancho Bernardo in 2000, is charged with the rape and murder of Poway teen Chelsea King.

He is a suspect in the death of Amber Dubois, an Escondido teen.

The remains of both North County girls were found early this month in separate graves.

Over the past three years, Gardner was stopped at least seven times in San Diego and Riverside counties for traffic violations.

He drove at least four separate cars, including one matching a vehicle involved in a 2009 Lake Elsinore attempted child abduction, according to officials and court records.

Below is a list of Gardner's known traffic violations, including details of the violations that were released Monday:

-- Jan. 30, 2010: cited for expired registration and no proof of insurance in Lake Elsinore during a DUI checkpoint. He was driving a black 2002 Nissan Sentra at Corydon and Cereal streets.

-- June 11, 2009: cited for driving without insurance north of Escondido on Interstate 15 near West Lilac Road. Gardner was driving a gold 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix north of Escondido. That car matches the description of a vehicle used in an attempted child abduction reported Oct. 28, 2009, in Lake Elsinore. A car of similar make and model was seized Thursday from an Escondido junk yard and taken to a city holding facility.

-- April 2, 2009: cited for having an open container of alcohol, driving without a license and without a front license plate in Escondido on El Norte Parkway at North Iris Lane. Gardner was driving a gray, four-door Ford Focus at the time. The year of the car was not noted on the citation.

-- Nov. 19, 2008: cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession while driving in Oceanside near Buccaneer Park. Gardner was driving a white 2004 Chevrolet Silverado truck at the time.

-- June 25, 2008: cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession while driving on North Rock Springs Road in Escondido. Gardner was driving a 2005 Hyundai Elantra, registered to his stepfather, Kevin O'Reilly.

-- Jan. 11, 2007: cited for speeding in excess of 70 mph on northbound Interstate 15 north of Old Highway 395. Gardner was driving a white 2004 Chevrolet pickup.

Gardner faced hundreds of dollars in fines in each case. Three of his cases have been forwarded to collections because the fines were unpaid, a court spokeswoman said.

She did not specify which cases were outstanding.

Gardner is listed as an Escondido resident, living at a Rock Springs East apartment complex, on the citations from November 2008 and June and April 2009.

The complex is less than two miles from Escondido High School. Amber Dubois vanished Feb. 13, 2009, while walking to the school. She was 14 and a freshman.

Gardner's residence on the June 25, 2008, citation is listed as 17559 Matinal Road in Rancho Bernardo. That was his parents' address until they recently moved.

His address on the Jan. 11, 2007, citation was 10460 Maya Linda Road, San Diego, across from Miramar College.

After a parole review in September 2007, Gardner was ordered to move from that address because living there violated Jessica's Law, which requires sex offenders to live at least 2,000 feet from schools and parks.
Police and prosecutors have refused to comment about anything related to Gardner over the past week, citing a recent court-issued gag order.

Gardner remains in custody without bail.

Call staff writer Chris Nichols at 760-740-5426.

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