Approximately 11 years ago, then undersheriff Carlos Bolanos was detained as part of an FBI investigation into a prostitution ring in Clark County, Nevada. Also detained was then sheriff Greg Munks. Although an initial news report located Bolanos in the brothel with Munks, later reports indicated he was outside the entire time.

Munks maintained that he made a mistake and that he thought it was a legitimate business that provided massage and apologized publicly for his lack of judgment. Bolanos said he was never inside the building.

Every description of the location reveals a horrid situation. It was clearly a brothel, in decrepit condition, and had prostitutes there from other countries. An FBI report on the investigation provided to the Daily Journal reveals there was likely a juvenile involved.

Clearly, there was a significant lapse of judgment in both Bolanos and Munks being at the location, with Munks inside during the raid. This was a big mistake.

Munks is not running for election. Bolanos is. Anyone who believes that the decision to be at the location, albeit outside, is reason enough to not vote for Bolanos is justified. If anyone chooses not to believe Bolanos, they too are justified.

Bolanos said he was never inside the building. We believe him. We also believe there was a lapse of judgment in agreeing to go with Munks to that location. However, voters face a choice in this election as to who they want to run the Sheriff’s Office and we must weigh all the facts and qualifications to determine our recommendation as to who would do that most effectively.

Running against Bolanos is Mark Melville, a deputy within the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office who has had a long, varied and itinerant career in both law enforcement and city management. He has been city manager of two tiny Central Valley cities — Gustine and Livingston, the latter of which has a current population of 13,000. While Melville has strong positions on what is wrong with the Sheriff’s Office — too much overtime, poor morale — he has very few solid suggestions aside from a full review of every division and to redefine the training and hiring process. While both can yield some positive results, it does not seem to be enough of a solid plan. Melville said he decided to run because he felt voters deserved a choice, and that is to be commended. He also has the requisite experience on paper, but has not managed an organization even close to the size of the Sheriff’s Office. Bolanos currently oversees 800 employees and a $250 million budget — the approximate equivalent of a 100,000 population city.

Bolanos has also proved to be adept at contending with the budget, though the office is currently contending with an understaffing issue similar to many other organizations in this high-cost area. Bolanos is currently mandating one weekly shift of overtime per worker deputy, which is not a long-term solution but reasonable in the short term, while also keeping under budget. This is a skill learned over time managing a large organization both in the Sheriff’s Office as appointed sheriff and undersheriff and as Redwood City police chief before that.

Bolanos has also emphasized the need for crisis intervention training for patrol, rebuilt the firing range at no cost to the county, and expanded the Sheriff’s Activities League. SAL has proven to be effective in not only keeping youth out of trouble after school but also establishing a connection between them and the deputies serving the communities. It has been particularly effective in the North Fair Oaks community, known for its working class Latino families.

Bolanos has also been a strong advocate for maintaining strong ties to the Latino community in light of concern about the current presidential administration’s policy shift when it comes to immigration and California’s Senate Bill 54. Not only has the Sheriff’s Office provided bridge outreach for immigrants to services but Bolanos has spent countless hours since the 2016 presidential election ameliorating concerns about the office’s policy on how it contends with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests. Bolanos said he maintains the policy that the Sheriff’s Office will not hold inmates after release for ICE agents and actually supported SB 54 as modifications were made in the legislation’s later stages to define the violent and dangerous felonies that would call for ICE contact. Bolanos also uses public safety as a guiding principal and believes the more comfort the populace feels in reporting crimes, the better the overall community is in being safe.

While an organization such as the Sheriff’s Office can always use improvement, we do not believe it would benefit from Melville taking the reins. We do think Melville has brought up some interesting points and Bolanos would benefit from heeding them as he begins his first official term.

And while the incident in Nevada will forever be a mark against the office, Bolanos has proven to be a serious, stable and effective manager when it comes to its primary mission — ensuring the safety of the community. Of the two candidates running, he deserves your vote.

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(42) comments

Super Chicana

Smart San Mateo county voters have no trust in Bolanos (Basura) the human trafficker. Think about it. So either he knew the shady unmarked building by invite only was a brothel which makes him a sexist piece of work, human traffic participant and violator of human rights or he did not know which makes him too stupid to be top cop if he can’t do a job that requires reading all the signs of illegallity. So which is it? Human rights violator or too stupid to spot a crime under his nose? We know the truth and it’s not staying in Vegas. Such scuzziness should not be in law enforcement. He must think voters are as corrupt or stupid as him. Like pro cop forces alway say “He must have been doing something wrong to be stopped by police!!”

Michael Stogner

"He is a liar" Mark Melville about Carlos Bolanos. Mr. Bolanos refused to be interviewed by KQED. He also has refused to answer the only question I have asked him. How many minutes were you detained April 21, 2007 Operation Dollhouse FBI Sting Human Trafficked Slaves including a child?
https://www.kqed.org/news/11670851/hes-not-being-truthful-san-mateo-sheriffs-deputy-running-against-his-boss

JackHickey

Quote from Almanac endorsement of Bolanos:
' "Why were there no better choices in this race? Some of the blame must be placed on the trio of county supervisors – Don Horsley, Warren Slocum and Adrienne Tissier – who in 2016 appointed Bolanos, then undersheriff, to replace Munks after his mid-term retirement, refusing to allow others to apply for the job and ensuring that Bolanos would have an incumbent's advantage in this race.
The slim board majority pushed through Bolanos' appointment despite the urging of community members – including former county supervisors and now congressional representatives Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier – to conduct an open process and invite applicants for the position.
The two congresswomen wrote at the time: "We do know that there are members of law enforcement who would be willing to compete for an appointment but who feel severely disadvantaged to compete in an election under the present circumstances." '

Suggestion: Elect Mark Melville in the Primary. That will give him an extra 5 months to prepare for the job. After 6 months on the job, a vote of confidence could be taken. If called for, this could lead up to the open appointment process sought by the two congresswomen and MANY others. If not, Mark might go on to be the best Sheriff ever!

Sabrina Brennan

View this Channel 5 news segment from 2007, which shows the trafficked girls and women found at the brothel where Carlos Bolanos and Greg Munks were found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FloTPLO7kY&t=2s

For more info contact Terri Miller, head of SESAME, which educates the public on sexual assault of children, who was at the jail when the trafficked girls were brought in from the brothel where Carlos Bolanos and Greg Munks were found. The 15 year old trafficked minor was "terrified."

Terri Miller's contact information: https://www.sesamenet.org/terri-miller

Sea Breeze

SMDJ, Please tell us whether Bolanos and Munks were detained longer than the other men and [if so] why would that be?

Michael Stogner

Here is something to think about, Our top 2 Sheriff's are Both Inside 3474 Eldon Street Las Vegas Nevada, and Caught and detained at 9:30 PM
Our top 2 Law Prosecutors Jim Fox and Steve Wagstaffe send e-mails of support and blame the media for making a story out of a none story. Date 4/25/07 Time sent was 10:20 & 10:47 AM several hours before any west coast media even published the story.
Here is what Wagstaffe said.

Greg and Carlos.
Just a quick word of support from me as you go through a difficult time. To Those Who Matter, your decades of out standing work in law enforcement are all that count and your integrity is not in the slightest marked by the modern media's efforts to make a story out a non story. Hard as it is to think know, remember it will be yesterdays news and irrelevant by tomorrow
My positive thoughts are out there for both of you

Steve Wagstaffe

Michael Stogner

SMDJ When and by Who?
"Although an initial news report located Bolanos in the brothel with Munks, later reports indicated he was outside the entire time."
Several News agencies and papers had Quotes from LVMPD Spokesperson Bill Cassell and Lt. Karen Hughes of Vice placed Carlos Bolanos Inside the residence.
Do you have any reports that these two law enforcement officers every changed their statements? Bolanos was Inside. If so you should publish them.

Sabrina Brennan

I'm calling BS on this endorsment.

On April 24, 2007, the Daily Journal published a story titled ‘Sheriff apologizes for detainment during prostitution sting.’ The article states the following: “Las Vegas police spokesman Bill Cassell said officers did come into contact with both Munks and Bolanos inside one of the residences at the brothel.”

Sad State of Affairs

In your endorsement of Carlos Bolanos, you cite, in regards to Operation Doll House, "Bolanos said he was never inside the building," and you stated you believe him. Yet, in an article that appeared in the Daily Journal on April 24, 2007, Sheriff apologizes for detainment during prostitution sting - Las Vegas Police spokesperson Bill Cassell stated that officers did come in contact with "both" Munks and Bolanos inside one of the residences at the brothel. So the question begs, how is it you believe Bolanos is telling you the truth, when you have a police spokesperson tell you, no they were both found in a residence at the brothel? All you had to do is look at your own article posted 11 years ago to find the answer. So who is lying here, Bolanos or Las Vegas police? I'm going with Bolanos. I'm sorry to read that you believe Carlos Bolanos. Your endorsement doesn't hold much weight and should be taken with a grain of salt..

I thought it was the mission of the Daily Journal to be the most accurate, fair, and relevant local news source for those who live, work and play on the mid-peninsula???

Evensong

The San Mateo Daily Journal believed Bolanos was inside the brothel back in 2007 when it publised a story under it's banner about the Dollhouse incident. Look up: April 24,2007 "Sheriff apologizes for detainment during prostitution sting". Why is the daily journal changing their story now and saying they don't believe he was inside when they reported during the incident that he was inside?

Quote from the article: Cassell said officers did come into contact with both Munks and Bolanos inside one of the residences at the brothel..

Michael Stogner

April 24, 2007 The Daily Journal published a story quoting Bill Cassell.
Cassell said officers did come into contact with both Munks and Bolanos inside one of the residences at the brothel. "All of the customers were simply identified and released," Cassell said.
Now they Believe Carlos Bolanos,
I believe LVMPD Spokesperson Bill Cassell.

A Concerned Voter

Thank you for admitting that you are supporting Bolanos because you believe him. I don’t. Two Las Vegas cops placed Bolanos in the house, where at least one underage human trafficking victim was being prostituted. This scandal was swept under the rug for years – but not any longer. The #TimesUp and the #MeToo movements have at long last focused attention on sexual harassment and abuse. We need a Sheriff at the highest level of honesty and integrity, and Carolos Bolanos is not that person. My vote is going to Mark Melville.

Sea Breeze

We need a fresh start. Bring in an honest new Sheriff without a nagging history of scandal, one you can trust to safely protect all children. One elected by the citizens and free from the usual cronyism that has plagued this Country for too long.

Elect Mark Melville and put the Munks/Bolanos trafficking scandal behind us. Enough is enough.

MJD

Let's see if our 2 Congresswomen Speier & Eshoo will endorse Mark D. Melville, they are both very vocal about women and children safety, why are they quiet about this issue in their backyard?
https://www.change.org/p/endorse-mark-melville-the-metoo-timesup-candidate-for-san-mateo-county-sheriff

Concerned Voter

What's happened with the sheriff in this county is just not normal at all. I'm not happy with how Bolanos operates the organization or does not listen to public concern. Time for new blood to bring back accountability instead of a culture where we justify bad behavior and look the other way.

Michael Stogner

Jordan G, “I’ll let your sheriff and undersheriff answer to questions about how they were found in one of our city’s brothels,” said Lt. Karen Hughes of the Las Vegas Police Department’s vice section.
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2008/04/18/lawmakers-demand-probe-of-sheriffs-las-vegas-brothel-visit/

Michael Stogner

Jordan G, 2nd source: Bill Cassell "They were in one of the brothels"
https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/women-facing-deportation/

Michael Stogner

Jordan G,
https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2007/04/24/sheriff-detained-in-las-vegas-brothel-raid
LVMPD Spokesperson Bill Cassell "Officers did come into contact with both Munks and Bolanos inside the residence."

Michael Stogner

The line up was mentioned in the first articles by neighbors who were watching. Also very easy to confirm just ask Carlos Bolanos were you handcuffed and placed in a lineup yes or no? How hard is that question to answer?

How long were you detained? less than 2 hours? More than 2 hours?

More than 1 child at 3474 Eldon Street.

All of this could has been answered 11 years ago, Residents can thank the Supervisors for this coverup.

John The Baptist

The residential home that was located in a residential neighborhood smelled like feces, urine, and tobacco according to the social worker who was at the raid. She also pointed out that the rooms were furnished with mattresses, boxes of condoms, and gallons of lubricant. Munks went in. Even if Bolanos did not, he covered for the perverted actions of his buddy, Sheriff Munks.

Think about that for a moment. Then compare Bolanos to all the East Bay cops who KNEW that fellow officers were sexually exploiting the trouble child of ONE OF THEIR OWN and said......nothing. Some have even been promoted.

A few weeks prior to the bust, Munks made Bolanos his Undersheriff. Then they end up getting busted in a residential home located in a residential neighborhood being used as bordello. Bolanos, at best, just covered up the perversions of Sheriff Munks.

The SMDJ seems to think that experience is all that counts and that character counts not so much. They want voters to reward Bolanos for his loyalty to a sexual pervert.

Does anybody wonder why powerful men routinely abuse women without fear of consequences? Read the editorial endorsement. Look at the excuses. Notice the shallow reasoning.

Then ask yourself, what if Bolanos covered up the actions of a pervert who exploited somebody you care about. Would you then vote for Bolanos? Bolanos claims he loves his family. The women who were enslaved and then used by perverts like Sheriff Munks are somebody's daughter. Bolanos when confronted with a choice between doing the right thing for victimized women or being a good old boy, chose to be a good old boy. And the SMDJ is OK with that.

JackHickey

This should have been a guest editorial by Carlos Bolanos, with answers to the questions which have been posed. Instead, we have Jon Mays saying "I believe him".
That's not enough.

John The Baptist

This from the story published by the SMDJ back in 2007:

"Cassell said officers did come into contact with both Munks and Bolanos inside one of the residences at the brothel. "All of the customers were simply identified and released," Cassell said.""

Got the Mr. Editor? Your own reporters quoted Las Vegas Police stating that Bolanos was in the house that smelled of poop, pee, and cigarettes. Here is the link that was part of the editorial endorsement: https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/bay_area/sheriff-apologizes-for-detainment-during-prostitution-sting/article_1d219367-3c38-5c0e-afd1-5715cc572ec8.html

Who do you believe Mr. Editor? Your own reporters quoting the police or Bolanos who refuses to say anything?

San Mateo Voter

I would like to know where the SMDJ got that quote from Cassell. This article claims the Las Vegas stated Bolanos was outside of the residence at the time.

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2008/04/18/lawmakers-demand-probe-of-sheriffs-las-vegas-brothel-visit/

Grinstead

The issue of whether he was inside the brothel or not is not relevant. IT's a red herring perpetuated by Mr. Bolanos and his enablers. Charles Manson was not present at the house where Sharon Tate was murdered and did not participate in the actual killing, but nonetheless he was convicted for murder. Accomplices in crimes are routinely charged. Why is everyone in a position to do something about Bolanos- the Supervisors; former County manager Maltbie, Jim Fox and Wagstaffe - burying their head in the sand? The only one who comes out looking good in all this is Jackie Speier who has been a consistent voice against Bolanos and Munks. She has NOT endorsed Bolanos, by the way.

Citizen

I agree with you! 100%. I dont think Mr. bolanos liked what was written in here, someone on Twitter got blocked by the Bolanos campaign for quoting word for word the text of this specific editorial to him.

Sea Breeze

There's the long arm of the law for you, and not in a good way.

SMC citizen

It's such a thin straw to stand on, implying that Bolanos was not inside, what's the difference? all the cops from different agencies and locations were out in their limos like it was Bachelor night and it was going to be a wild, misbehaving type of night. What happened in Vegas, resulted in sexual/human trafficking underage victims being rescued in Vegas. the fact that everyone has kept their mouths shut except for one statement of apology for lapse of judgement is a sure sign of guilt. Vegas cops stated that Mandalay Bay(taxpayers paid?) provides a myriad of spa/massage services. Munks excuse was he was ignorant that the rundown residential home,without signage was not an official massage business. Pretty sad when your number 1 and number 2 Sheriffs are flat out liars and don't have the cahones to fess up, or do something in retribution to their delinquent actions. They make half a million a year, why not donate to causes against human trafficking,or publicly announce your "lapse of judgement" to the community and beg forgiveness. making excuses and squirming out of the truth is not a good example for our highest law enforcement officials. My vote will be for Melville, easy decision.

Grinstead

Excellent comment. SMC citizen. Thank you

mseanbrowne

Your endorsment of Bolanos is so weak. You believe him, why? Multiple people put them both inside or he was inside but stepped out, maybe for a smoek. Right on. I play poker when at Mandalay for the Adobe Summit and you run a guantlet of eager masseuses in the casinos. No one takes a limo from the Mandaly to some barred window single family dwelling with mattresses on the floor. How do two senior law officers not take immediate action on seeing the situation much less plea ignorance, it is insulting to a reasonable person's intelligence. I hope that those concerned about how Melville will handle the imigrant situation don't see someone with this kind of morals as the logical endorsement. I have confidence Mark will serve all our residents equally. I am pro wall and stopping illegal immigration, but am all for helping people here, our neighbors, people making a good law abiding life in our County. Mark will be their protector.

Michael Stogner

" No mention of Mark Melville Quote that after watching Concerned Citizen Mark De Paula's 3 minute presentation to the BOS on March 13, 2018. It proves that Munks and Bolanos are Liars, they were both Inside the house.
This is a better picture of the "incident in Nevada.

San Mateo Voter

The only thing the video proved was that Mr. DePaula has a few screws loose. The Vegas PD claimed that Bolanos was not in the house.

Grinstead

Um, sport? No, they didn't. Both Bill Cassell of the Las Vegas PD and detective Karen Hughes said they were. But whether his feet were inside the brothel or not is NOT germane to this point. Bolanos was detained and put into a lineup, along with all the other men there. Clearly the FBI thought there was reasonable cause to detain him. Two cops who are supposed to be savvy about crimes, show up at a brothel that even the neighbors knew bad stuff was happening-at a brothel that had already been raided once before, according to some documents from the FBI that were recently given to a citizen... Bolanos is a grown man. He needs to man up and give a blow by blow account of how they came to go to that place, why they thought it was a legitimate place of business *cough* and why he has refused to answer a single question about it for years.

JordanG

Um, sport? Yes, they did. I have not been able to find a single source to corroborate your claim that he was in the building. "Now it was 9:30 p.m. and he and Bolanos — who hadn’t run in the race and was outside the building at the time of the SWAT raid, according to Las Vegas police..."

(https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2008/04/18/lawmakers-demand-probe-of-sheriffs-las-vegas-brothel-visit/)

You keep saying that whether he was inside or not was irrelevant but that just is not true. It would be far more damning if he was found inside the brothel with an underage prostitute, but he was not. You keep talking about him being detained as if that matters but you fail to mention that neither man was arrested. There are other plausible scenarios than the ones you keep putting forth.

Super Chicana

Does all your petty commentary matter? Okay let’s say your right. He was innocent. Too naive to understand unmarked buildings in a shady residential was a legit commercial enterprise in a non commercial zone (look up zoning for the Vegas address). Then I say he is way too stupid to be top cop if he can not spot and analyze the signs of a crime site under his own nose. You win. You are right. He is innocent. Which means he is too naive and ignorant to be sheriff.

Michael Stogner

Why would the Advertising Business The San Mateo Daily Journal say this.
"Bolanos said he was never inside the building. We believe him."
Las Vegas Metro Police Department Spokesperson Bill Cassell and Lt. Karen Hughes of Vice both said Bolanos was inside. They both were working that night of April 21, 2007. Bolanos was one of the Perps. Why would you believe him.
Sheriff Candidate Mark Melville said Concerned Citizen Mark De Paula's presentation to the BOS on March 13, 2018 "proved both Munks and Bolanos were liars."
Again I would ask Why would you believe Bolanos?

Concerned Voter

Utterly disappointing they've endorsed him, but they also endorsed Horsley. Funny how they cited that Melville and Stegink have critical points Bolanos and Horsley need to pay attention to and adopt in their management. I think the whole reason that people are running against Horsley and Bolanos is because they've failed to address these big issues.

Christopher Conway

Time for a change in the Sheriffs Dept. The Munks/Balanos tenure is over.

Grinstead

This editorial says,"Anyone who believes that the decision to be at the location, albeit outside, is reason enough to not vote for Bolanos is justified. If anyone chooses not to believe Bolanos, they too are justified."

There are many citizens and #metoo activists who choose NOT to believe Mr. Bolanos. To that end, they have started a petition to ask Rep. Jackie Speier- who has not endorsed Bolanos- to endorse Mark Melville.


https://www.change.org/p/endorse-mark-melville-the-metoo-timesup-candidate-for-san-mateo-county-sheriff?recruiter=867166786&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=share_twitter_responsive

Grinstead

Citizens who want Rep Jackie Speier to endorse Mark Melville have started a petition. Speier was the most vocal critic of Munks and Bolanos for being at brothel with trafficked minors but has remained strangely silent for this election. https://www.change.org/p/endorse-mark-melville-the-metoo-timesup-candidate-for-san-mateo-county-sheriff?recruiter=103860610&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition

Grinstead

This "opinion" piece fails to mention that a report named "Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking- Las Vegas" which cites Bolanos and Munks being at the brothel, states that there were MINOR trafficked girls at this place and that the media (like San Mateo Daily Journal for example) failed to mention this. Whether or not Bolanos was in the building is NOT RELEVANT. The FBI found sufficient cause to detain him and place him in a lineup with all the other Johns.

San Mateo Voter

Did you actually read that report Mr. Grinstead? The part pertaining to this issue is only a short paragraph and it literally does not say that there were minors there. It mentions that underage trafficked girls were found at one of the bordellos but it does not specify that it was the one Mr. Munks was in. There was also no mention of a lineup of any kind anywhere. Stop making things up.

Super Chicana

Does all your petty commentary matter? Okay let’s say your right. He was innocent. Too naive to understand unmarked buildings in a shady residential was a legit commercial enterprise in a non commercial zone (look up zoning for the Vegas address). Then I say he is way too stupid to be top cop if he can not spot and analyze the signs of a crime site under his own nose. You win. You are right. He is innocent. Which means he is too naive and ignorant to be sheriff. Melville would be the intelligent choice.

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