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Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo arrested on burglary charge

Supervisor Efren Carrillo covers his face as he is driven from the Sonoma County Jail early Saturday afternoon. (Alvin Jornada / For The Press Democrat)

Supervisor Efren Carrillo covers his face as he is driven from the Sonoma County Jail early Saturday afternoon. (Alvin Jornada / For The Press Democrat)

By BRETT WILKISON & KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo was arrested early Saturday morning wearing nothing but his socks and underwear after a woman in his west Santa Rosa neighborhood reported that he tried to break into her home through a bedroom window, police said.

Although Santa Rosa police arrested him on suspicion of burglary and prowling, they believe his intent was to commit some type of sexual assault, according to Sgt. Terry Anderson.

Carrillo, 32, was arrested after a 3:40 a.m. 911 call in the area of Stony Point Road at West Third Street, within a block of his rented Brockhurst Drive apartment. He was booked at Sonoma County Jail at 10:10 a.m. and was released on $40,000 bail within two hours, according to a jail watch commander. He has a court appearance scheduled for Thursday.

In the six hours that elapsed between the emergency call and Carrillo’s jailing, Santa Rosa police determined he had been drinking and decided his explanation was not plausible.

“To us it looked like it had the potential to be a sexual assault of some type,” Anderson said.

Both Carrillo and his close advisers sought Saturday to connect his behavior to what they said was a drinking problem.

“I realize that my behavior was embarrassing. It involved alcohol and I’m taking immediate steps to seek professional help,” Carrillo said in an emailed statement. He did not respond to calls, text messages or follow-up emails requesting an interview or further comment.

Plans were being made today to get Carrillo checked into rehab, said Eric Koenigshofer, a political supporter and former west county supervisor.

It was the second arrest in less than a year for Carrillo, a Santa Rosa native whose life story as the son of Mexican immigrants and reputation as a dedicated public official have garnered him attention from California’s Democratic Party as a promising young Latino candidate.

Ten months ago, Carrillo was arrested in another early morning police call. Charges from that incident — a fight outside a downtown San Diego nightclub on Labor Day that left a man unconscious — were later dropped by prosecutors.

The arrest Saturday could jeopardize his elected county post and puts up an immediate obstacle to his ambitions for higher office. Carrillo was widely expected this summer to announce a run for state legislative office.

Police said a woman awakened by the sound of moving blinds in her bedroom called to report that someone had attempted to enter through the window. She then called a second time to say that the person had knocked on her front door and identified himself as a neighbor before running away, police said.

Police found the woman’s bedroom window screen had been torn enough to allow someone to reach through the screen and partially open the window.

Officers arriving at the scene saw a man carrying a cellphone and walking toward them while wearing only underwear and socks, Anderson said.

Carrillo attempted to explain his behavior to detectives, but it didn’t add up, Anderson said. He declined to say what Carrillo’s explanation was.

“He did have an explanation, but obviously to us, coupled with the evidence that we found at the crime scene, it wasn’t a good enough explanation,” Anderson said. “Had he been able to explain it away to the extent that we were comfortable that it was just a mistake, then he wouldn’t have gone to jail.”

The woman, who was not identified by police, told a detective from the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigations Team that she knew Carrillo from “informal neighborhood contact” on several occasions more than a month ago.

The two have never had a physical relationship but had spoken two or three times, Anderson said.

Police Saturday morning interviewed many of the residents in the 14-unit apartment complex where Carrillo has lived for five years, according to Vickie Lima, the on-site manager.

They asked general questions to see if anyone had witnessed the reported early morning incident, Lima said, adding that she had not heard or seen anything herself.

Anderson said the totality of the circumstances led police to arrest Carrillo on suspicion of the more serious charge of burglary in addition to prowling.

“Based on our investigation and the way he was dressed and comments he made, we felt it supported that increase from the prowling charge to burglary,” Anderson said.

Burglary involves entering a home or structure with the intent to commit a crime, and in this case detectives said it appeared Carrillo intended to commit a sexual assault, Anderson said.

Carrillo’s state of undress, the evidence of a broken screen, and the fact that he identified himself as a neighbor all contributed to the arrest decision, Anderson said.

Ultimately, whether there is sufficient evidence to support the burglary charge will be up to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office, he said.

Carrillo’s colleagues on the Board of Supervisors were notified of his arrest through a round of mid-morning calls and emails from Chris Thomas, the assistant county administrator, and County Administrator Veronica Ferguson.

Supervisor Shirlee Zane, first elected to the county board along with Carrillo in 2008, called the arrest “incredibly troubling.”

Supervisor Susan Gorin said she was “stunned” and “disappointed” by the news.

“From just the circumstances I’ve heard about, I take this latest incident very seriously,” Gorin said.

Carrillo was re-elected last year with a wide margin over his rival and now holds various regional posts representing the area. He was elected this year to a governing seat for a statewide organization of counties, a body he is set to lead within two years.

But Saturday’s incident and the prospect of another, possibly more serious legal case could put a darker cloud over his reputation.

Friends said the incident is a clear sign that Carrillo has a drinking problem for which he needs professional treatment.

“It’s a tragic thing because he’s a tremendous guy and a great friend and great community figure, but he has a problem with alcohol,” said Koenigshofer, the former county supervisor and Carrillo adviser.

Lima, the apartment complex manager, said Carrillo had been an “excellent tenant” and had never been the subject of any complaint by neighbors.

“I’m just so shocked,” Lima said after learning of the arrest.

How much Carrillo had been drinking, where and with whom remain unclear.

He attended a fundraiser Friday evening for the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation, according to Zane.

Beer and wine were served at the event, held from 5 to 10 p.m. on a playing field at Sonoma Academy. Zane said she did not see Carrillo drinking.

Koenigshofer said he didn’t know details about how much Carrillo had been drinking, but only learned that alcohol was involved from Susan Upchurch, Carrillo’s district director.

Officers did not arrest him on suspicion of public intoxication.

“The officers at the scene characterized him as ‘had been drinking,’ but not sloppy drunk or anything like that,” Anderson said.

Detectives who interviewed him later, around 8a.m., did not consider him to be drunk, Anderson said.

Carrillo missed at least two scheduled events Saturday.

He was set to speak at a 10 a.m. event for Amigos de La Biblioteca, a library support group, at the central Sonoma County branch in Santa Rosa.

Upchurch was there waiting for him.

“When he didn’t show and I couldn’t reach him, I started calling around,” Upchurch said.

She said she found out about his arrest an hour later in a telephone call with a family member of the supervisor.

She declined to answer other questions Saturday or offer further comment, calling it a “personal matter.”

Fourth District Supervisor Mike McGuire said little about his colleague’s latest legal woes.

“I’m concerned for all involved and I’m going to wait to see additional information before I comment further,” McGuire said.

Supervisor David Rabbitt, the board chairman, was on a family vacation in the Sierra Nevada east of Sonora and could not be reached. His aide, Andrea Krout, said she could not confirm that he was aware of the arrest.

Carrillo was on what he called a “mini-vacation” with friends to San Diego last year when he was involved in the street brawl, police said. He was booked on suspicion of battery causing a serious injury, a felony, and disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor.

Prosecutors subsequently declined to file charges because there were “conflicting accounts of what occurred and insufficient evidence” to prove a case, according to the San Diego City Attorney’s Office.

Carrillo remained tight-lipped about the matter for more than a month, offering only two written statements.

In an interview, he finally said he was “pleased with the decision” and thanked San Diego police and prosecutors for a “thorough” investigation.

Carrillo’s second written statement said he had come to the aid of female friends he claimed were being verbally and physically harassed by a stranger.

But Koenigshofer suggested the San Diego incident may have involved alcohol, as well. Asked why he believed Carrillo had a drinking problem, Koenigshofer said he was aware of “two incidents where the common thread is alcohol has been involved,” adding that the other incident was San Diego.

“I know the guy really well and he’s a delightful guy, and the only time it seems that he winds up with any behavioral issues is when he’s been drinking,” Koenigshofer said.

(Staff Writer Guy Kovner and News Researcher Janet Balicki contributed to this story. You can reach Staff Writer Brett Wilkison at 521-5295 or brett.wilkison@pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com.)





42 Responses to “Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo arrested on burglary charge”

  1. Told ya says:

    No apologies, no mea culpas, NOTHING except that “he has a problem.” Yes he does. I wish him the best in combating this disease, but the work of the board needs to continue with someone who can focus on it and not bring any more embarrassment to the people of Sonoma County. Godspeed, Efren. Do the right thing and step down now.

    And the rest of us, let’s not vote for another Bosco candidate. It’ll only be more of the same. Trust me.

    Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2

  2. Concerned Citizen says:

    PETITION AND LETETERS ASKING FOR SUPERVISOR CRRILLO’S REMOVAL

    All petitions and letters to remove Supervisor Carrillo should also be addressed to the Governor and Attorney General. The Government Code allows a Governor to remove a Board Member from their duty.

    Thumb up 27 Thumb down 4

  3. Joan McMillan says:

    Efferaloff is the name !! A combination of Efferan and Gavriloff ,a proven predatory lender and n.r.a. member who contributes to Efferens’ scams like his own. No wonder Efferen lied to me about helping us about a predatory /real estate scam which Martin Gavriloff sold our family farm illegally in Freestone,leaving my children and I homeless and loss of our childcare business. Still seeking justice in a court which will not be bias and ignorant,and mis -handling the truth-

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 4

  4. GAJ says:

    If the DA doesn’t bring charges I hope the poor victim brings a massive civil suit against this predator.

    Put him on the stand, don’t settle behind the scenes which is what I’m sure is happening right this very moment at the behest of his supporters mentioned in the articles.

    To the victim, for other women in the County, including my wife and daughter, do not bow to pressure and keep his feet to the fire even if it means you’re involved in testifying in criminal and civil court. What he did to you needs severe punishment.

    The women of Sonoma County need to expose this predator for what he is.

    Thumb up 33 Thumb down 1

  5. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Surprisingly I’m not surprised. His reputation proceeds him and his anger is legendary. I’ve seen that flash of anger when he doesn’t want to answer a question. You can ask the hispanics in his district if they think he actually represents them because he doesn’t.

    And furthermore he treats the county workers with disdain especially when they talk to him directly regarding their contracts or at the BOS meetings.

    As far as I’m concerned I hope this IS the end for him. He is obviously a predator and he isn’t the god’s gift to women he thinks he is.

    Thumb up 30 Thumb down 3

  6. RESIGN NOW says:

    Please leave now! Please……. this is what we want to lead us! Lets see how the Press Democrat reports this with Doug Bosco being Efern’s “camp”. They are already soft selling this!

    Thumb up 61 Thumb down 6

  7. James Bennett says:

    He shoulda just asked her to do lunch or something.

    Now she might think he’s weird.

    Thumb up 54 Thumb down 3

  8. BigDogatPlay says:

    While this should spell the end of Supervisor Carillo’s political career, I suspect it will not. Look at the sterling, and recent, examples such as Anthony Weiner and Elliot Spitzer in New York.

    He is a messiah to the local Democrats…. he will almost certainly soldier on and be elected to higher office.

    All the more is the pity.

    Thumb up 43 Thumb down 9

  9. Paul I says:

    This is a no political brainier. The man needs help and we need a different Supervisor. Very sad human tale, but if it were me at a private or public company it would be time to clean your desk and go home.

    Thumb up 60 Thumb down 1

  10. Buddy Bear says:

    Koenigshofer is disturbing person. I get defending your guy, BUT CARRILLO WAS TRYING TO BREAK INTO A WOMAN’S BEDROOM AT 3 AM WEARING NOTHING BUT UNDERWEAR. Not OK, Koenigshofer.

    Thank God he didn’t get in, who knows what sort of situation Koenigshofer would be defending then.

    Resign now, Efren.

    Thumb up 64 Thumb down 5

  11. John Pendergast says:

    There’s already a weirdness built into the psyche of anyone who wants to be a politician. So a political machine can take a guy like this, who fits the right demographic, photogenic enough, probably affable when he needs to be, and put him in a suit. They can do a Henry Higgins like transformation on someone like this, and yet, this person carries all of the emotional weirdness, moral bankruptcy and generally self destructive behavior, and it catches up with him.

    This is why I hate political machines of any kind.

    Thumb up 55 Thumb down 2

  12. Not A Chance says:

    Maybe his political comeback can be centered around prison reform. He’s the foremost expert in Sonoma County.

    Thumb up 51 Thumb down 3

  13. Reality Check says:

    A mistake? That’s how Bosco and other Carrillo supporters characterize this incident. A mistake is passing gas at the dinner table. This was a criminal act, a serious one.

    As to blaming it on alcohol, when will a politician ever accept personal responsibility for his or her egregious behavior?

    Thumb up 64 Thumb down 2

  14. HenryBernard says:

    The petition asking the BOS to oust Efren Carrillo has been posted online. Link:

    https://www.change.org/petitions/sonoma-county-board-of-supervisors-oust-supervisor-efren-carrillo

    One more straw on the camels back. Enough of them and this guy will be gone.

    Thumb up 49 Thumb down 2

  15. Harry Moynihan says:

    What if Obama, Bush or Governor Brown got caught breaking into a women’s house in skivvies? They’d be ousted by the end of the day. Just because this is lil ol po dunk Sonoma does not mean we should stand for psychopath pervs making decisions for us. This one, and his many, most unreported and covered up, freakish indiscretions disqualifies him from being able to make decisions on our behalf. How many of you would break into a women’s house in your underwear and socks, drunk or not? He is not fit to serve the public. He has got to go!

    Thumb up 53 Thumb down 1

  16. Where's his Ef'rin' pants? says:

    His handlers are working this one really hard. Koenigshofer and Bosco really wanted their bread buttered with this guy, and they still won’t own up to their misjudgment of his character. They want to “rehabilitate” him.

    They really don’t care about the woman involved, how bad this guy acts, or the complete inability of this guy to serve in public office.

    Who wants him now?
    Bosco and Koenighoffer: they’ve invested a bunch of money and time into him, and they want to make sure their investment isn’t wasted.

    Their p.r. lines are ridiculous – a big alcohol problem is their starting point. Time for them to get real, and find another puppet.

    Will the PD – partially owned by these guys – stay on the real news, or start running with the press releases?

    Thumb up 52 Thumb down 1

  17. j galt says:

    he is a democrat nothing to see here move on

    Thumb up 25 Thumb down 11

  18. Ricardo Sorentino says:

    Gee, the latest Press Democrat update states that Carrillo has admitted to a treatment facility in the wake of his arrest, for possibly up to 30 days. Nice to see the good old boys of Sonoma County circled the wagons so quickly to protect Carrillo… that surely will look good in the DA’s and defense reports so he’ll only warrant a slap on the wrist and gets to keep his job. The County will probably even give him a nice, long ‘paid vacation’ under the guise of the employee assistance program.

    Of course the rest of us, well, as Donald Trump likes to say, ‘You’re Fired!’

    Thumb up 50 Thumb down 1

  19. HenryBernard says:

    So Bosco’s got Efren’s back. Then all is well for Creepy Carrillo. Who better than Mr. ‘Rubbergate’ himself to help the wayward lad bounce back?

    From the LA Times

    Northern Californian Now State ‘Rubbergate’ Leader
    March 20, 1992

    Former Rep. Douglas Bosco (D-Sebastopol) so far leads the list of current and former California congressmen caught up in the House bank scandal with 124 checks totaling $537,985 in overdrafts, according to a list of Democrats leaked to the Washington Times this week.

    Thumb up 46 Thumb down 1

  20. Sally Doyle says:

    Hey, Hey, ho, ho, this guy has got to go. How many times can he blame that old devil drink for his disgraceful behavior.

    This guy has a problem. He does not deserve to be a high ranking elected official in this county. All the apologies and all of the explanations will not cover up the truth, he has a problem and needs to go. Let him face the criminal court and answer for his actions.

    Thumb up 50 Thumb down 0

  21. skeptical says:

    Isn’t Efren the one who led the parade to get a former agricultural commissioner fired because of a DUI??

    Thumb up 48 Thumb down 0

  22. Karen Jaynes says:

    Boy Scouts “Man of the Year” really…
    Give it back, you don’t deserve the honor.

    Thumb up 41 Thumb down 0

  23. Grapevines says:

    This is no “Damsels in Distress” situation like we had fed to us in San Diego. This is a creep, plain and simple. And he represents our current Board Of Supervisors.

    And if you lined them all up end to end, you would not see very much difference there.

    Greed, avarice, disdain for the general public. They all feel that they know better, are better, and will always be that way. Jerks one and all.

    Think about it when your considering if your going to fill out your opt out form for Sonoma “Greed” Power.

    Thumb up 35 Thumb down 4

  24. Pack of Strays says:

    I have read so many comments that everyone is worried about Efren. From a woman’s perspective, I am throughly disgusted. This man, a drunk attempted to break into a single woman’s window.

    She was the VICTIM! Not this drunk. Does anyone realize how traumatic that incident was to her? The actual victim? Having some freak trying to break into your window?

    This woman was the Victim, not Efren, the drunk. Can we all remember that. Just remember how terrified she must have been when he did that to her. What kind of trauma has this self-absorbed drunk caused this woman. Not that he cared. His statement was very self serving.

    I’m saying it one more time. She was the victim!

    Thumb up 50 Thumb down 0

  25. Snarky says:

    Message to the hypocrites of the Press Democrat:

    You publish the mug shots of everyone else but not this government clown.

    How about equality in your reporting?

    How about doing your jobs?

    PUBLISH THE MUG SHOT LIKE YOU DO WITH EVERY OTHER PERSON ARRESTED AND DISCUSSED IN YOUR PAPER.

    Thumb up 51 Thumb down 1

  26. Steveguy says:

    The Police said that he wasn’t that drunk, and it took them 7 hours to ‘book him’.

    There are other drugs that cause this kind of behavior. I hope they searched his apartment for those type of drugs that can result in these acts.

    Women shouldn’t feel safe coming near him.

    Thumb up 42 Thumb down 1

  27. Doodles says:

    OK, so if his “problem with alcohol” is the problem, do we need to worry about him out doing county business under the influence? what if he hits someone while driving going to a meeting? does the county get sued now because they know about it and allowed him to come to work that way? his attorneys no doubt want to distract us all from the burglary issue—played the rehab card to give the appearance of taking responsibility and to get sympathy. if he had judgment and was responsible, we wouldn’t be talking about this. he needs to go. too much liability for the county in many ways.

    Thumb up 43 Thumb down 0

  28. Please join this campaign: http://chn.ge/1aFQnOG

    Efren needs to hear from those in his district that he needs to focus on healing for his own health, the safety of others, and to restore dignity to the office he holds. We want him to get better and it’s apparent he is unable to to do so without compromising his role as one of 5 Supervisors governing our county.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  29. Emerson Burkett says:

    Really sorry to say that I voted for the man twice; had I only known the real “man behind the curtain”. Ouch! Efren, you need to resign now and slink off to some far corner of the planet; absolutely unacceptable behavior from an ordinary citizen, let alone a member of the BOS.

    Thumb up 35 Thumb down 0

  30. Greg Karraker says:

    I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere, but I suspect Carillo’s rehab will be paid for by his taxpayer-supported healthcare benefit, and his time off will be with pay. The fools in this county will give him a third chance, and within a year, he’ll be failing upward like Anthony Weiner.

    Thumb up 33 Thumb down 1

  31. Santa Rosa Club Scene says:

    I’ve been told that on the SR club scene Efren fancies himself quite the ladies man, but the ladies don’t quite see it the same way. Some have tagged him with the nickname “E-yard”. He has quite the creeper reputation. I also question whether there were more mind altering substances than alcohol ingested prior to the boxer break in.

    Thumb up 38 Thumb down 0

  32. Tom says:

    He should be thankful he didn’t get killed. When a rapist breaks into your home, shoot first and ask questions later

    Thumb up 36 Thumb down 1

  33. John Claeys says:

    Really, we characterize this as a “mistake?” Wow, do we have our
    socks mismatched. A math error is
    a mistake, a “lapse” in judgement, is
    a mistake, only if it lasts a second.
    This took some serious preplanning….
    be concerned folks…it probably says
    a little about who we “put in charge”
    of the DECISION MAKING PROCESS.
    “Pay no attention to the MAN behind the
    curtain?”….it matters.

    Thumb up 37 Thumb down 0

  34. HenryBernard says:

    Efren’s actions are alarming. Putting it into perspective, his arrest is not “embarrassing” as he would have us accept. It’s serious. Neither the arresting officers, nor the interviewing detectives found him intoxicated to the point of impairment. This suggests that his thought processes were cogent, focused and that he acted with conscious intent. More than serious; this is frightening. Who is the man behind the curtain?

    Given this it’s reasonable, though admittedly harsh, to ask, were his actions those of a drunkard or a rapist? In either case, having to ask disqualifies him from a seat on the board, especially at this time when so many crucial decisions must be addressed concerning the county’s current dilemmas.

    Hot Prowl Burglary (Wikipedia)

    A hot prowl burglary is law enforcement jargon for a burglary in which the offender enters a building or residence while occupants are inside the location. The intent of a hot prowl burglary includes robbery, sexual assault, kidnapping and murder.
    Hot prowl burglaries are considered especially dangerous by law enforcement because of the potential for a violent altercation to erupt between the occupant and the offender.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 107 Thumb down 1

  35. Follower says:

    Marion Barry, Ray Nagin… Politicians have done worse & still managed to get re-elected.
    I’m just saying.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 61

  36. Tom says:

    Efren ” the Night Stalker” Carrillo. Given the seriousness of these crimes, you must have some major issues to defend this guy. Amazing how politics can make people justify some things. Also, this is not an alcohol problem. When most people get drunk they dont try to emulate Richard Ramires

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 100 Thumb down 1

  37. Step Down Now Efren says:

    Please do the right thing Efren. Step down now and either seek help, or continue your creepy escapades without tarnishing the office you are most certainly unfit to fill. The fact that this is the second time proves you are unable to get better while continuing as a Supervisor. The time is now to resign and save what little decency and respect you may still have. However, I suspect you won’t and will simply blame alcohol and talk again about how you will seek treatment. The problem is that you’ve done nothing to demonstrate your ability to recover while remaining as Supervisor. Do we really need to wait for one more incident? I say two strikes and your out.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 99 Thumb down 4

  38. Elephant says:

    To all of those that managed to get Carillo out of his New Year’s Eve debacle, I hope that you are proud of yourselves. I don’t think that you and he have enough Teflon to slip past this one.

    The guy has some serious problems. He needs to get them taken care of and the only way to do so is by NOT being on the BoS. If Carillo has any trace of decency in him, he will do the right thing and resign from the BoS IMMEDIATELY. Does he really want to be removed from office for “conduct unbecoming”?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 108 Thumb down 3

  39. Illegal is Legal says:

    We all have made mistakes but this one does not look good.

    Maybe his defense will be; I was locked out of my apartment or another persons apartment? Maybe thrown out, without his clothes? I think my ex did this to me a time or two, not a very pleasant thing to have happen.

    I hope it’s something simple cuz if it’s not, then it looks like we will have a vacancy on the BOS. Good luck Efren

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 44

  40. GAJ says:

    “Police found the woman’s bedroom window screen had been torn enough to allow someone to reach through the screen and partially open the window.”

    The guy is a creep.

    We deserve better.

    Hopefully the young lady has the sense to press charges and end this train wreck of a career because, no question, Efren will not willingly resign.

    A creep wouldn’t resign, an honorable man would.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 103 Thumb down 2

  41. Paul says:

    Carrillo needs to RESIGN. There are plenty of fine people willing to serve honorably. This is a disgrace to Sonoma County and the voters; and in the heart of “wine country”?? RESIGN NOW, EFFREN. Show a little class for once.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 102 Thumb down 4

  42. Steveguy says:

    He is seeking ” professional help”.

    Campaign managers and consultants ?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 103 Thumb down 5

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