Judge sentences 6 to prison in Sheriff’s Department corruption probe

Men's Central Jail, the center of an investigation into the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.
Men’s Central Jail, the center of an investigation into the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

Saying he wanted to send the message that “blind obedience to a corrupt culture has serious consequences,” a federal judge Tuesday sentenced six current and former members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to years-long sentences in federal prison.

The sentences for the five men and one woman convicted of obstructing an FBI investigation into the county jails ranged from 21 months for one deputy to as much as 41 months for a veteran lieutenant.

“You broke the vow ‎you made to protect the public and serve the community,” U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson said, adding the six had acted to “shield the dirty deputies…. Perhaps it is a symptom of the corrupt culture within the Sheriff’s Department.”


“None of you have shown even the slightest remorse,” Anderson added.

The defendants -- two lieutenants, two sergeants and two deputies -- were each ordered to surrender‎ in January.

Each of their attorneys had asked the judge for home confinement or probation, asking the court to take into account their histories of serving the public as law enforcement officers. Anderson said he did take into account their personal histories to adjust sentences downward.

The six officials were convicted earlier this year for their roles in what prosecutors said was a conspiracy to impede a grand jury investigation into the jails by hiding an inmate working with the FBI and attempting to dissuade witnesses from cooperating. Prosecutors alleged that three of the defendants attempted to intimidate federal authorities by going to an FBI agent’s house and threatening her arrest.

Former Lt. Gregory Thompson was sentenced to 37 months; Lt. Stephen Leavins to 41 months; Sgt. Scott Craig to 33 months; Sgt. Maricela Long to 24 months; Deputy Gerard Smith to 21 months; and Deputy Mickey Manzo to 24 months.

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