FBI bribed deputy to smuggle phone to jail inmate

Sep 27th, 2011 | By | Category: Cell phones, Security, Spotlight

The FBI will go to great lengths to target allegedly brutal jailers, including bribery and conspiring with incarcerated criminals.

FBI paid deputy to smuggle cellphone in jail sting

The officer allegedly accepted about $1,500 to smuggle a cellphone to an inmate who was an FBI informant, sources say. Sheriff asks whether the FBI is capable of investigating alleged jail abuses.

By Robert Faturechi | Los Angeles Times
FBI agents probing misconduct allegations in the L.A. County Jail orchestrated an undercover sting in which they paid about $1,500 to a sheriff’s deputy to smuggle a cellphone to an inmate, sources said.

The revelation is the first public indication that the FBI’s investigations into allegations of inmate beatings and other deputy misconduct in the jails have uncovered possible criminal wrongdoing.

The FBI conducted the cellphone sting without notifying top Sheriff’s Department brass, enraging Sheriff Lee Baca and causing a rift between the two law enforcement agencies…Baca suggested that the FBI committed a crime by doing so.

“It’s illegal,” he said. “It’s a misdemeanor and then there’s a conspiracy law that goes along with it…”

Sources said Monday that the deputy allegedly caught in the sting accepted the money to smuggle the cellphone to the inmate, who was locked up at the Men’s Central Jail. Unbeknownst to the deputy, the inmate was working as an informant for the FBI…A source said the deputy, who has not been charged with a crime, is now the subject of a Sheriff’s Department criminal investigation…

Federal officials have declined to comment on their investigations and the Sheriff Department’s criticisms of their undercover operation…

The sheriff also questioned whether the FBI had the know-how to investigate his jails. “What kind of experience do you have in dealing with all this? And to what extent do you know the policies, the procedures and even the law?” Baca asked of the FBI.

He also criticized the FBI’s use of an inmate informant, identifying him as a man facing 400 years in prison for armed robbery. “Jailhouse informants quite frankly are problematic,” the sheriff said…(Full text at Los Angeles Times)


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4 Comments to “FBI bribed deputy to smuggle phone to jail inmate”

  1. Brandon says:

    Give the infallible FBI some slack. It’s just a phone. I mean really, how many hits, hookups, and favors can the inmate really call in before the battery goes dead? It was needed just like operation “fast and furious” (where the US gave hundreds of assault rifles to the cartels who then killed Americans with them.) Someone is looking to make a name for themselves and move up. The truth is merely a casualty… the cost of politics.

    As for the rules and laws- well we all know that they only apply to the little person (or powerful person who has run afoul of the “code.”)

  2. bulldogger says:

    The FBI went way overboard on this one but poor sheriff baca he can’t even run his jails and he wanted to run parole?