Rogues’ Gallery: L.A. Sheriff’s Deputies Accused of Heroin Smuggling, Rape, Grand Theft

By Paul Gaita 01/10/14

Amidst the stunning revelations revealing massive criminality in the department, Sheriff Lee Baca abruptly resigned his post after 48 years on the job.

Sheriff Lee Baca Photo via

A recent report into misconduct by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has uncovered an astonishing array of criminal behavior by sheriff’s deputies in recent years. The cases investigated by the Office of Independent Review (OIR), a civilian oversight body formed by the county Board of Supervisors, reveal just how egregious their crimes were:

- In a case that made national headlines, former sheriff’s deputy Henry Marin was accused of smuggling heroin into a courthouse lockup via a burrito. Marin was later sentenced to two years in jail.

- A sergeant and station clerk pleaded no contest to stealing money from the proceeds of narcotics investigations.

- A single deputy earned 11 felony counts ranging from bribery to rape, including sexual assault of a woman at a traffic stop in exchange for not placing her under arrest for driving with a suspended license.

- Deputies accused of having sexual relations with inmates and prostitutes and using the closed circuit monitoring system to inappropriately view female court house visitors.

- Deputies accused of felony spousal assault, cruelty to children, kidnapping, and false imprisonment of girlfriends and their children.

- Seven department members were fired in early 2013 for participating in a violent clique known as the “Jump Out Boys,” which prided itself on violent policing against mostly Latino and African-American suspects and convicts.

"When these matters are brought to our attention, we make every effort to investigate them as promptly as possible and take the most appropriate correction action," said Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers in a response to the report. "This can include retraining, written reprimands, suspensions, demotions, and even discharge."

The report, which provided summaries of discipline cases resolved through September 30, 2013, is among the latest in a series of damning reports filed against the L.A. Sheriff’s Department, which has been under siege by federal prosecutors, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Justice for corruption and widespread abuse by deputies, including charges of unlawful searches of homes, improper detentions, and use of unreasonable force.

Meanwhile, on January 7, 2014, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced that he would resign his position after 48 years of service, though he denied that the possibility of federal charges against him was a factor in his decision.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.