Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Khajana Jones was one of six people arrested in connection with a string of burglaries in upscale neighborhoods stretching from Ventura County to Orange and Los Angeles Counties and possibly as far away as Las Vegas.
Deputy Jones is not accused of participating in the burglaries, however she was living with Dennis Coleman, who is allegedly part of a burglary ring believed to have robbed 15 homes since December 1, 2011. Investigators believe that Jones had to have known her boyfriend was engaged in extra legal activity since large amounts of cash and other likely stolen items were found in the house they shared.
Moreover, although Coleman was without a job, he and another unemployed member of the alleged burglary ring reportedly “owned or rented BMW’s, Mercedes, and Jaguars,” went on “…extravagant shopping sprees and spent thousands of dollars at high-end nightclubs,” according to a statement from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.
Based on what investigators know right now, the group was responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stolen jewelry, cash and the like —perhaps more.[The Ventura Star has more on the burglary ring’s thieving methodology.]
THE DEPUTY AND THE BURGLAR
Jones, who has been with the department six years, according to LASD spokesman Steve Whitmore, was assigned as a custody deputy to the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood.
She has been relieved of duty pending further investigation.
Upon hearing the news of Jones’ arrest in connection to the alleged burglary ring, some LASD insiders pointed out that, given her time in the department, Jones would have likely been part of the 2005-2008 classes of recruits that came out of a massive LASD hiring push in which the department was trying raise its ranks of sworn deputies from 8,500 to 10,000—which meant putting 2500 recruits through the academy training in a short order.
The result, say some critics, was a lowering of recruiting standards, and in the taking of shortcuts in the 18-month academy training.
LASD officials have repeatedly disputed the idea of lowered standards, but in the summer of 2007, the state Commission on Peace Officers Standards & Training—POST—which certifies law enforcement academies, issued a report that found among other things, that some instructors gave cadets answers to test questions and allowed others to retake driving tests multiple times in order to pass. [More here.]
Some of the Deputies who have been arrested or relieved of duty because of pending cases—like Deputy Henry Marin, who is charged with smuggling a heroin-crammed burrito into a courthouse jail—were found to come from that same recruiting period.