William “Tom” Carey, a former captain of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the former head of the department’s Internal Criminal
Infestations Investigations Bureau*—ICIB—has just entered into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that was filed in federal court Thursday morning, August 13, 2015.
Both Carey and former undersheriff Paul Tanaka were federally indicted on May 14 of this year on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, having to do with the matter of FBI informant Anthony Brown, whom members of the LASD allegedly hid from his FBI handlers, while also attempting to—allegedly—obstruct a federal investigation into corruption and brutality by deputies inside the county’s large and long- troubled jail system. Carey was also indicted on perjury charges for things he said when testifying the trials of seven other former department members who were convicted of obstruction of justice last year.
The deal is interesting in that, in return for Carey’s plea, the feds will drop the multiple charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy, leaving only the single count of perjury. (He could still get five years in prison for even the perjury conviction, but he will likely get far, far less.) The other part of the deal, obviously, is that Carey must cooperate with the feds completely and provide testimony in front of a grand jury or in any relevant trials, if he is asked to do so.
Certainly we can expect to see Carey as a witness at the November trial of Paul Tanaka. But we also think it is quite possible—based on past strategies used by the feds—for Carey to be called in front of a grand jury sometime soon, at which time he would perhaps be asked about the unidicted elephant in the room, so to speak–namely former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.
There is already strong speculation from people like Paul Tanaka’s attorney, and others familiar with the LASD obstruction of justice investigation, that Baca is indeed the next target for federal prosecutors.
This presumption would seem to be bolstered, purely on a logical basis, by a quick perusal of parts of the plea deal.
For example, if one reads Attachment A at the end of the document, one finds that one of the falsehoods that Carey admitted to had to do with the following: “At the time of this testimony, and during the relevant time frame, defendant knew the orders of co-defendant Tanaka and others were in part to interfere with the federal investigation.
The italics are ours. In reading that sentence, one wonders what “others” there might be, in addition to Paul Tanaka, in a position to give orders to Tom Carey on this issue?
You’ll find the plea agreement below. Scroll down to Attachment A. We think you’ll find it an intriguing read.
*UPDATE: Autocorrect produced an unusually bizarre mistake in this story’s first paragraph that none of us caught for more than a week. If you look, you can see the correct word and the word that Autocorrect clearly preferred.