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Sheriff’s officials taped threat to arrest FBI agent, prosecutor says

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Inmates’ hands outside of cells in L.A. County Men’s Central Jail.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeants accused of lying to federal investigators about  threatening to arrest an FBI agent secretly recorded the confrontation outside the agent’s home, a federal prosecutor said in court Monday.

Asst. U.S. Atty. Brandon Fox said sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Craig also left a voice mail for the agent’s supervisor, saying the agent was named in a criminal complaint. Craig and Sgt. Maricella Long then went to the agent’s home and told her she was going to be arrested as a result of the complaint, Fox said.

The recording is one of a dozen that prosecutors plan to turn over to the defense as part of their obstruction of justice case against seven sheriff’s officials, Fox told U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson.

An indictment accuses the sheriff’s officials of trying to stymie the FBI’s probe into allegations of civil rights abuses and public corruption inside the county’s jail system.

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Fox said prosecutors intend to call about 30 witnesses at trial, including about 25 who testified before the grand jury during the obstruction investigation.

FULL COVERAGE: Jails under scrutiny

Six defendants who are out of custody appeared in court Monday. All face conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges. The indictment also accuses Craig and Long of making false statements to the FBI.

Craig and Long pleaded not guilty. So too did Deputy Gerard Smith and former Lt. Gregory Thompson. Deputy Mickey Manzo and Lt. Stephen Leavins entered not guilty pleas last week.

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Deputy James Sexton is expected to appear in court Monday afternoon to enter a plea. 

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jack.leonard@latimes.com

Twitter: @jackfleonard

robert.faturechi@latimes.com

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Twitter: @robertfaturechi


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