The FBI has arrested at least three Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officers in a case involving prisoners that were mistreated in the county’s jails as well as the obstruction of justice regarding one particular inmate, in a nearly two-year case that was spearheaded by an undercover investigation involving federal agents.
The FBI charged 18 “current and former members” of the law enforcement agency with “excessive use of force and obstruction of justice, according to the New York Times.
Although the majority of charges stem from general abuse towards and mistreatment of inmates, one of the central issues of the case involves a particular inmate that the Sheriff’s Department attempted to hide from federal agents. The inmate, Anthony Brown, is currently “serving 423 years to life in prison for armed robbery,” according to the LA Times.
Brown himself commented on the arrest of the officers, claiming that he was unaware of his involvement with the case.
“I didn’t know it then, but they were hiding me from the feds,” Brown said.
The reason for which the charged officers were hiding Brown from federal agents currently remains unclear. The Sheriff’s office also maintains that the FBI’s accusations are false and that they would have allowed access to Brown had the federal agents requested it from them. The Sheriff’s Department has not yet responded to the allegations stemming from the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s statement regarding the “criminal corruption and civil rights” charges that are reported to be inflicted upon the county. According to the New York Times, however, the L.A. county jails are riddled with corruption and abuse.