Ex-cop sentenced for robbery ring

A former Long Beach police officer who participated in a home invasion robbery ring involving several other officers was sentenced to eight years in federal prison Monday by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess.

Joseph Ferguson was also ordered to undergo four years of supervised release after his prison stint, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ferguson was among more than a dozen defendants -- five of them law enforcement officers -- who either pleaded guilty or were found guilty of involvement in the ring headed by former LAPD Officer Ruben Palomares. Palomares and his cohorts targeted drug dealers for rip-offs, which they staged to look like legitimate police raids.

The gang committed more than 40 robberies and burglaries between 1999 and 2001, prosecutors said. Ferguson's brother, William Ferguson, a former Los Angeles police officer, is scheduled to be sentenced May 19.

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-- Scott Glover

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