More than one dozen current and former officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are facing arrest after allegations of misconduct and abuse inside the county’s jails have surfaced. So far, the FBI placed at least three people into custody as part of a federal probe.
The arrests followed grand jury hearings into whether sheriff’s officials hid inmate Anthony Brown from his FBI handlers. At least one witness testified that sheriff’s officials moved the inmate and changed his name in an attempt to hide him from federal agents, and that top officials in the department played a role in the plan, according to another source familiar with the grand jury testimony.
It is unclear whether Monday’s arrests included deputies accused of using excessive force against inmates.
During an interview with The Times last year, the informant stated that he used his phone to capture photos and document excessive force inside Men’s Central Jail. Brown was regularly visited by FBI agents in court and jail, where he provided names of corrupt and abusive deputies.
Officials in the jail discovered his identity after deputies found his phone during a cell search in August 2011. FBI agents rushed into the jail after learning his cover had been blown, but sheriff’s officials cut the visit short and changed the informant’s name several times.
Brown is serving 423 years to life in prison for armed robbery. The U.S. attorney’s office is expected to announce “criminal corruption and civil rights” charges against members of the agency this afternoon.
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