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9th Circuit Grants Bail Pending Appeal for LA Sheriff’s Dept. 7 Convicted by Feds — And Why We Care

On Friday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted bond to the seven former members
of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department convicted last year of obstruction of justice for their part in hiding FBI informant Anthony Brown from his federal handlers, and related actions.

The 9th first granted bond to former LASD deputy James Sexton, who was tried separately from the other six. (Actually, he was tried twice. Although he was convicted in September, 2014, his first trial, in the spring of last year, resulted in a six-six hung jury.) Then attorneys for the others were notified.

Sexton and the six were scheduled to surrender early this year to begin their various prison sentences—ranging from 18 to 41 months—but, although they were denied bail by Judge Percy Anderson, the original presiding judge in their respective trials, before their surrender dates arrived, the 9th granted all seven a stay—meaning their lock-up dates were put off while the appeals court figured out whether or not it was going to hear the cases.


The grant of bond—or bail as it is more commonly known—is significant, because, according to a source knowledgeable about the matter, this means that the three judge panel that issued the bond order thought, as the source put it, “there is a significant issue likely to result in reversal on appeal.”

The source cautioned, however, that the panel that granted the motion most likely won’t be the same three judges who will hear the case, so views of these three may not hold sway.

Yet, there is a possibility that the panel will stay the same, said our source. “I’m pretty sure the panel will shift, but sometimes on an expedited appeal (which this is) they may keep it.”


As we noted earlier, various members of the LA County Sheriff’s Department—present and former—were subpoenaed to testify in front of a federal grand jury in December of last year, and at the beginning of 2015. According to sources, those questioned were asked almost solely about the obstruction of justice issues for which the seven former LASD members just granted bond were convicted, in particular the actions of former sheriff Lee Baca, former undersheriff Paul Tanaka, and Captain Tom Carey who was relieved of duty in December of last year, pending an unnamed investigation.

One presumes that all this grand jury testifying has been in pursuit of some kind of additional indictments, although there is, of course, no guarantee.

Several we spoke to speculated, therefore, that the feds might be waiting to see the outcomes of the above appeals before moving forward with any new, high profile charges—if there are to be any such charges.

There has been, and continues to be, much criticism that, in indicting the seven convicted of obstruction—three of whom were deputies at the time, two were sergeants, and two were lieutenants—the feds were picking low-hanging fruit, so to speak, while leaving those who actually gave the orders that reportedly set the obstruction in motion, completely untouched.

In any case, this story is far from over, so…stay tuned.


  • There are indeed significant issues with this case, and the three panel judge are correct to have doubts. Yes,the FBI did pick out the foot soldiers after foolishly blowing their investigation by trying to sneak an easily traced cell phone into the jail. No, it was not proven definitively that the sergeant and deputy level got the word that the FBI had an approved investigation, just assumption. No,the feds have not yet proven inmate abuse beyond a reasonable doubt which was the point of the investigation, and the convictions so far have nothing to do with inmate abuse. The seven will thankfully never see the inside of prison.

  • I hope the defense attorneys home in on this. It was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that all seven got the word from management that the FBI had a legitimate, approved investigation. If that had actually happened, the chances of the seven challenging the FBI drops to zero. If that had actually happened and the feds could prove it, they would have what they need to go after the higher ups.

  • Celeste, great coverage on the matter and it was fair to the people involved! All of the media mediums other than you gave them 30 seconds for their victory after baraging them with an entire news cycle for the fall from grace.

    So now for the fun part… The government labels these people blind followers of a corrupt regime and essentially labels them as racist. A lot of folks here spit on them as kool-aide drinkers, but fail to acknowledge this was a full blown collaboration between 3 divisions and 120 people of various rank, races and gender. Yet we indict and convict 7 of the ones who most look like cops we can hate.

    Then there is our beef with Mr. Sexton… Deputy silverspoon, Mr. Richie Rich, Daddy’s Boy…. He is suing Baca and Tanaka before it was cool see April 2013. He sued ALADS immediantly after his indictment because there was a malicious effort to provide him an insufficient defense. After sticking it out, what happened boys? What’s his record in federal court compared to the alads group? Who was forced to file for his appeal yet got ruled on first and thus sprung the other six as well? Are you reading this dick Shinee?

    True Grit folks. Never underestimate it. So let’s take some questions and see how this pot gets stirred!

    Oh yea, Roll Tide Kid!

  • Finally a break for “low-hanging fruit”. Brandon Fox, Maggie Carter, Liz Rhodes, and Judge Anderson should be ashamed. Bad news: nobody knows if they will actually go for the uppers (who should have been their priority in the first place) Good news: “High-hanging” fruit have farther to fall

  • I have no dog in this fight, but some of you folks are delusional. The evidence presented in trial and GJ proceedings was pretty clear. But If the bulk emphasis on the appeal is simply jury instructions or some procedure issue versus suppressing “exculpatory evidence,” then what I’m reading here is a bunch of misguided loyalty (understandable) and wishful thinking. The best they will get is a retrial and using the “I was only following orders,” defense didn’t work then and won’t work now. I think it has been clearly established, those involved knew at a particular point, they were crossing the line and did so with open eyes. But, I wish them luck, let the chips fall where they may.

  • Jack Dawson……More proof to show how lying and deceitful ALADS is. Two of the current ALADS Board of Directors (the two most tenured)are directly involved with “screwing over Sexton”
    Dick Shinee is laughing all the way to the bank. I.R.S. would definitely be interested in ALADS financial records. Get your popcorn and fasten your seat belt because this ride has more road to go. You just verified it Jack

    I’m glad that you see through them.They(Deputies) should know that there are some facts and not all information on this blog is hearsay. Thanks for the update. Official word (unofficially) is that “It ain’t over”.

  • Way to go!!! Hope they overturn it all!!! These prosecutors are such a disgrace and I hope they all get humiliated!!! Roll Sexton Roll!!!! I know there are bad people in all professions but the prosecution and Judge Anderson take the cake. You don’t get the top honor of being voted worst Judge in the USA for no reason.

  • Ironic that Sexton’s attorney is putting in work and being the “Front Runner” setting the pace. No thanks to crooked’ass Alads. Many underestimated Sexton, and he actually was kicked out of the car and left for dead with “Brass” knifes in his back. (Do your research / homework). Roll Sexton Roll!

  • Unfortunately however, is the fact that convicted felon Lt. Thompson was the “Yes Man” for Tanaka. He was also instrumental in “setting up” Sexton when Sexton conversed with the FBI.

    Let’s not lose sight of the truth.

    Personally I say that they let the bottom three deputies free and give them their jobs back

  • The straight and skinny is, even though the feds case was weak, it was exacerbated by attempting to punk the them. (A valuable lesson was learned)

    The trial is over and won’t be tried again LASD was their own worst enemy.

    Whether you agree or not, LASD needed the shake-up and the change. Moving forward….. I have no doubt that we will regain the title of “Premier Law Enforcement Agency” in due time.

  • I think you are wrong about the appeals especially for Sexton.LASD may one day be a powerhouse but that will be many years down the road. They are tarnished and not only were so arrogant they destroyed themselves, they also ruined the careers and lives of the few that were trying to fix it. This case is far from over and has already spun more lawsuits that haven’t been settled. The LASD needed change but the FBI only wanted to make a name for a few greedy of their own! Now there is a agency that needs to be investigated.

  • Pandora’s Box was wrong, wrong, wrong on so many levels. No matter how some individuals try to white wash it and say that the personnel were only following orders are not being realistic. I do have a serious concern in that the FBI has not indicted those who gave the orders and we all know who those individual are. It appears that the FBI is doing what is expediant for themselves to look good politically and don’t want to take the chance that they will not be able to indicte those concerned.

  • Meanwhile Sheriff Baca does this:

    Waiting on somebody to do something over at spring st other than pick low hanging fruit and then not be able to eat it properly!! You guys are laughable over there, but you are still the only people “qualified” to bring Lee up on charges. If you had done this the first time, you would have had support.

  • Take this to the bank folks, the Feds are warming up in the bullpen and are prepping to bust a move. The names on the booking slips will bring a smile to your face, justice. I’m out of patience like most, but just hang in a little while longer. And do not underestimate Celeste’s network of information, she understandably is journalistic cautious as to what she prints, but what she knows is another thing. Have patience. A few folks should be sleeping with at least, one eye open.

  • Jack Dawson, you need to relax a little bit. Have Larry take you out for a drink and a massage. Did you think the Armenian power players would disown me after I was gone? No way. I bought their friendships fair and square. They donated to my campaign, big time, and in return I………well, nevermind what I did for them. We’ll just say that LA County was well protected against a terrorist attack when the Civillian Homeland Security Unit (or whatever the Tire Guy called it) was up and running. They had badges, guns, ID Cards, the whole shebang. That’s how it’s done Jack. Am I supposed to just fade away? Are you going to blow a gasket when I show up on the links with Mike Yamaki? Sorry pal. I’m going to enjoy life. You should enjoy life a little more Mr. Dawson. You’re obviously under a lot of stress. I’ve got a close friend who can hook you up with some herbal remedies for your stress if it gets to be too much for you. Just say the word and I’ll have Bishop T hook you up.
    Toodle loo.

  • The redemption of Sexton has started, I know for a fact that those who “BURNED” him are already regretting it. Baca,Tanaka (& crew), ALADS are defendants in lawsuits (public records).

    Funny how they attempt to keep that under the radar. You won’t read that in the “Star News” or ALADS “Dispatcher”. I guarantee you that you’ll see it on the 6:00 news and on your morning drive to work. Karma 247

  • Hey “Joe”. Will those future indictments include any past IAB Captains? I want to plan my vacation around the trial so I can offer my support!

  • Re:#19,
    Joe, please forgive me if I don’t share your optimism that Baca and/or Tanaka will be indicted. We’ve heard it before re: “we just need to be patient”. They’ve got Baca and Tanaka snitching each other off on news interviews during the 2014 campaign , prior to Baca’s “retirement”. What other “evidence” can they gather that hasn’t been given to them already?
    I hope you’re right. I hope you will be able to say “I told you so” somewhere down the line. I just don’t see it happening. They’ve got all they’re going to get re: Pandora’s Box, and they haven’t indicted yet. Now their “case” against the underlings is imploding.
    They caused Baca to retire in disgrace. They caused Tanaka to lose ANY chance he ever had of being sheriff. They ruined the careers and lives of seven LASD personnel who decided to play games with them. But now the courts are balking at actually sending any one of the seven to prison.
    I’m thinking the feds. are going to call it good, instead of risking being embarrassed in court.

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