Why the US Justice Department let Lee Baca get away with slap on wrist

By Alex A. Alonso instagram Feb. 28, 2016 | 11:46 p.m.

LOS ANGELES – This month former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca plead guilty to only one charge of obstruction linked to a 2011 investigation into the Los Angeles County jails by the FBI. His deal agreement with the United States Justice Department will prevent him from losing his pension or receiving a long prison sentence. He is only facing 6-months on his felony conviction, and if the judge approves the deal, he will probably escape doing no prison time.

Baca’s fall from grace began back in 2009 when Agent Leah Marx, recruited Los Angeles County jail inmate, Anthony Brown, to work as an informant to expose corruption that was occurring in the county jails, specifically the beating of inmates. For years inmates complained about beatings but the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office ignored the pleas from inmates and their families and never charged one single deputy. Jackie Lacy’s office never even investigated the corruption in the County Jail. Many of the beatings were unprovoked and the excessive force went as far as deputies beating visitors.

After Brown’s cell phone was discovered by deputies, they were able to figure out that he was working with the FBI. When Agent Marx attempted to visit Brown at the LA County Jail, deputies stonewalled, and prevented her from making physical contact with her informant. According to Brown, deputies moved him to other parts of the jail, and the FBI later learned that Brown’s information in the jail computer was altered to prevent anyone from contacting him and knowing his location.

When the LASD realized that Agent Marx was inmate Brown’s handler, they attempted to intimidate and threaten her for her contact with inmate Brown. The two deputies, even visited Agent Marx outside her home and confronted her about her actions with inmate Brown. They went as far as claiming that a warrant for her arrest was being prepared even though that statement by the Sheriff deputy was completely untrue. The LASD even conducted surveillance on the FBI agent, while the FBI was trying to uncover corruption in the jails.

On September 26, 2011 Sgt. Scott Craig and Sgt. Maricela Long were tasked with intimidating Agent Marx and were ordered to do everything to her except “put cuffs on her.” Their intimidation attempt failed, and their own surveillance was used as evidence against the two sergeants. After being found guilty of making false statements, Craig, a 26-year veteran, was sentenced to 33 months in prison and Long was sentenced to 24 months.

Retired deputy Greg Thompson was found guilty and sentenced to 37 months for his role as the organizer and leader of the plan to hide inmate Brown from the FBI. Deputy Mickey Manzo was sentenced to 24 months in prison for helping hide inmate Brown and Deputy Gerard Smith was sentenced to 21 months in prison. Retired Lieutenant Steve Leavins received the longest sentence, 41 months in prison.

All these illegal actions were said to have occurred by orders of then Sheriff Lee Baca and Undersheriff Paul Tanaka. According to Los Angeles US attorney, Eileen Decker, “This case illustrates that leaders who foster and then try to hide a corrupt culture will be held accountable.” A total of 21 sheriff’s officials were charged in this case and thus far, 17 have been convicted. Ten are currently in prison serving nearly a combined 40 years.

Deputies Joey Aguiar and Mariano Ramirez were found guilty in January for falsifying records documenting the 2009 beating of a handcuffed inmate and they await sentencing. They are expected to serve between 21 and 27 months.

Tanaka is expected to start trial later this year and if found guilty is expected to receive the longest sentence.

Posted by on Feb 28 2016. Filed under Features, Videos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Comments for “Why the US Justice Department let Lee Baca get away with slap on wrist”

  1. ignorant

    I hope some dude splits Pauls blank down the middle like a Hanzo sword

  2. Bill Yoyer

    Lee Baca turned out to be a fraud.

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