18 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies were arrested by the FBI early on Monday morning amid suspicion of prisoner abuse and corruption within the Los Angeles’ jail system, reports The Los Angeles Times.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Most of the Arrested are Active Sheriff’s Deputies
The arrests are part of a two-year investigation into the department by the Feds. Most of those arrested are active in the sheriff’s department, some are retired. None of those arrested hold roles higher than lieutenant in the department. All were arrested or handed themselves over to agents without incident.
2. There’s a Mountain of Charges on the Table
All have charges that include corruption, civil rights violations and obstruction of justice.
3. This Won’t be the End of the Arrests
The investigation is still ongoing according to federal authorities.
4. One FBI Informer Was Allegedly Singled Out by Deputies
This probe was aided, in part, by an FBI informant who was deep cover in the jail system. Using a cell phone, he was able to record several instances of abuse by deputies. When his identity as an informer was revealed, deputies went to lengths to hide him in the system. He told The LA Times that officers changed him name and interrogated him regularly about what he had told FBI agents about what went on in the jail.
5. The Los Angeles Sheriff Says He Respects the Arrests
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca gave press conference where he declared that he “respects” the FBI’s arrests and investigation. He added however that his “jails are safe and dept is effective in public safety.”