FBI LA County Jail LASD U.S. Attorney

LASD Visiting Center Convictions: What the Jury Didn’t Know


As most readers are aware, a seven-woman five-man jury deliberated for just about four hours last Wednesday before finding former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sergeant Eric Gonzalez, and LASD deputies Sussie Ayala and Fernando Luviano guilty of a string of civil rights abuses for delivering a vicious beating to jail visitor Gabriel Carrillo, then conspiring to falsify criminal charges against Carrillo in order to cover up the abuse.

In order to arrive at their verdict, the jury was appropriately only exposed to the facts and testimony having directly to do, or leading up to, that beating and phony report writing.

As a consequence, when defense attorney Joseph Avrahamy said multiple times in his closing arguments, “This has never happened before!”— meaning, one assumed, that the beating of someone for no reason in the jail or its visiting center, and the falsifying of charges to cover for such a beating, was all quite anomalous—the jury had no way of knowing that the statement was extravagantly untrue.

“Someone just mouthing off would never cause [these deputies] to use excessive force,” continued attorney Avrahamy. “Why would these deputies and their sergeant risk their careers and criminal charges by beating up a suspect and falsifying reports?”

Why, indeed? Well, perhaps it was because the defendants felt, quite rightly, that they were not risking much of anything—which would almost surely have been the case had the feds not stepped in. The truth was, in February 2011, when the beating of Gabriel Carrillo occurred, jail personal who engaged in such behavior were very, very unlikely to be held even the tiniest bit accountable for their actions.

This sad fact was documented in detail in such quarters as the department’s own internal reports, by testimony of department supervisors at the public hearings held by the Citizens Commission for Jail Violence, in the CCJV’s scathing final report– and in WitnessLA’s own reporting.

In answer to the spurious claim that “this has never happened before,” there are myriad accounts of similarly senseless beatings having taken place in the county’s jail system, often accompanied by the fabrication of charges against the beating victims to cover the brutality.

The ACLU’s massive class action suit, Rosas v. Baca, featured 70 signed declarations by victims of—or witnesses to—such incidents. The abuse described in the declarations was deemed credible enough that it forced a landmark settlement that was approved by the LA County board of supervisors last December, and then given final approval in April 2015 by U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson. (The settlement, just to remind you, was not for money, but to force a system of jail oversight that is intended to help prevent such incidents from happening in the future.)

Moreover, the name of Fernando Luviano, one of the just-convicted defendants, is featured prominently in several of the Rosas declarations, plus in the accounts of still other former inmates who were not part of the lawsuit.


At WLA we have read declarations by eight different former jail inmates, some of them also witnesses, who described beatings, pepper spraying, outsized threats of retaliation, and similar actions in which Luviano allegedly took part. In the majority of cases, he was the main player, or at least one of them.

This spring I spoke to one of the Rosas victims, a 35-year-old named Michael Hoguin, who works for a car auction company. Holguin explained how he was badly beaten in 2009 by several deputies, Luviano prominently among them.

Holguin was, at the time, in jail on a charge of possessing an illegal weapon—-namely a cop baton, which was inside the compartment on his motorcycle, where he’d reportedly stashed it, then forgotten about it.

According to Holguin’s civil complaint, in October of 2009, he and the other inmates of the 3500 unit of Men’s Central Jail, where Holguin was housed, had not been allowed showers for more than two weeks. “We had to bird-bath out of the sinks in our cells,” Holguin told me.

On October 18, however, along with others in his unit, he was finally let out of his cell for a shower. “It was odd cells one day, even cells the next day,” he said. But, after he was moved toward the shower area, at the last minute, Holguin was informed that he would not be allowed a shower after all. When Holguin asked why and protested that we wanted his scheduled shower, Luviano reportedly replied, “Turn around and I’ll tell you why.” At this point Holguin was handcuffed with his hands behind his back, then moved to a “nearby area,” where he was allegedly beaten severely, kicked, slammed repeatedly in the head and body with a hard object, presumably a flashlight, while the deputy chanted the requisite “stop resisting,” over and over, even long after inmate Holguin had been knocked—still handcuffed—to the ground.

“But I wasn’t struggling, except to kind of brace myself for the blows,” he said. “I was mostly trying to curl myself into a fetal position.”

At some point two other deputies reportedly joined in, spraying Holguin with a long stream of pepper spray. Then Luviano allegedly rubbed the spray in Holguin’s closed eyes, a description that now sounds creepily similar to Luviano’s close range and entirely punitive and gratuitous spraying of the handcuffed Gabriel Carrillo, who by then had open wounds on his face.

Although he declines to disclose the dollar amount, Holguin has already won what is thought to be a decent sized sum of money in the settlement of a civil suit against the county that concluded in the fall of 2013.

According to the diagrammatic record made by LASD’s Medical Services (see above), Holguin suffered extensive cuts and bruising requiring seven staples in the center of his scalp, plus four stitches over his right eyebrow. His knee was deeply lacerated, his tibia was broken in two places requiring a “short leg cast.”

But, again, Holguin’s report is only one of eight we read. There are also declarations by Robert Dragusica (2009), Antonio Candelario (2010), William Littlejohn (2011), Jonathan Goodwin (2011), Alex Rosas (2011), Jabaar Thomas (2011), and Arturo Fernandez (2011)—all naming Luviano.

And, yet, despite these reports, at least two of which have resulted in high ticket civil settlements, when Luviano was convicted by the jury last week, incredibly he was still employed by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (albeit relieved of duty, as was required once he had been indicted).


Part of the reason that department members like Gonzalez, Luviano, and Ayala were so rarely disciplined for excessive uses of force in Men’s Central Jail can be laid at the feet of Dan Cruz, the man who was the captain of Men’s Central jail from April 2008 until December of 2010—in other words, during the years immediately before Gonzalez, Luviano, Ayala and three other deputies pounded and pepper sprayed Carrillo on February 26, 2011.

During his tenure as captain, Cruz—and those below him—okayed questionable uses of force after only the most cursory review. As a consequence, during the first year of Cruz’s watch, force jumped from 273 to 330 incidents. Concerned about the spiking numbers, Cruz’s direct supervisor, then-commander Robert Olmsted, asked one of his lieutenants, Steven Smith, to randomly pull 30 force reports and then to start looking for some commonality.

When a stunned Smith came back, he told Olmsted that, out of the 30 randomly yanked force reports, all of which had been approved by higher-ups as essentially fine, he found that 18 were clearly out of policy. In other words, nearly two-thirds of the sampling of force reports that had been approved by supervisors—in some cases as high up as Cruz—had something obviously wrong with them.

What Olmsted didn’t know at the time was the fact that the bad approvals were not the worst of the matter. It turned out that, even more alarmingly, in many instances neither Cruz nor anyone else ever reviewed the force cases at all. Instead, he buried the force reports in drawers or on shelves until the year-long statue of limitations expired, and the reports were useless.

This report burying finally became very public when now-captain, then-lieutenant Michael Bornman testified before the Citizen’s Commission for Jail Violence and described what he found when he was transferred into MCJ to work under Cruz.

Here’s a relevant excerpt from the CCJV’s report:

The most disturbing examples of a systemic breakdown occurred at MCJ in 2010 when LASD Lieutenant Michael Bornman analyzed approximately 100 unprocessed and incomplete use of force reports spanning several years that had not been entered into the Department’s data tracking systems. As Bornman acknowledged in testimony before the Commission (discussed in greater detail in the Discipline Chapter), dozens of use of force cases were deemed unfounded years after the fact to simply close cases that had missing files, no witness statements, missing video tapes, and incomplete information upon which to assess deputy performance.

When Bornman tried to question all the deep-sixed reports, he said he was told to back off, that then-assistant sheriff Paul Tanaka, who was the man who had put Cruz in as captain, had no problem with what his protege was doing.

Here a clip from WLA’s 2012 story by Matt Fleischer regarding what Bornman told the CCJV:

Bornman testified that despite having three immediate supervisors in the chain of command between Cruz and Paul Tanaka—Commander Olmsted, Chief Dennis Burns and the assistant sheriff in charge of custody, Marvin Cavanaugh—bizarrely Cruz felt he needed to be accountable only to Tanaka who, as the assistant sheriff in charge of patrol, technically had no control over the jails at all.

In fact, in one instance, when Bornman suggested Cruz’s supervisor Bob Olmsted needed to be briefed on the massive backlog of administrative investigations at CJ that had been allowed to slide, Cruz told him: “Fuck Bob Olmsted. I don’t work for him. Lee Baca is my sheriff, but I work for Paul Tanaka.”

Cruz’s contempt for the chain of command went so far that, incredibly, he had a side access door to CJ alarmed so that Olmsted couldn’t make a surprise inspection. If Olmsted wanted to visit the facility, he had to check in through the front entrance.

And yet when Olmsted or anyone else tried to go over Tanaka’s head to Lee Baca about the use of force problem, they were roundly ignored.

For more on the Cruz-Tanaka era at Men’s Central Jail see WLA’s reports here and here and here and here.


Another document that the jury didn’t see was the original indictment, which got trimmed down after two of the five indicted department members—former deputies Noel Womack and Pantamitr Zunggeemoge—made deals with the feds.

If they had seen the lengthier indictment, the jury would have been aware of three additional incidents of alleged abuse against people who came to the jail to see friends or loved ones, including the beating of a jail visitor who was slammed around by deputies to the point that his arm was fractured, all reportedly because he asked to see a supervisor when his combat veteran brother repeatedly couldn’t be located in the jail. (And, yes, that incident has resulted in potentially high dollar a civil lawsuit.)

Knowledge of the original indictment would also have informed jurors of additional charges against Sussie Ayala for allegedly helping to falsify records against the victims of some of these other visitors center beatings, in addition to reportedly engaging in aggressive behavior herself.

Plus they would have seen the allegation by the feds that former Sergeant Gonzalez would “maintain, perpetuate and foster an atmosphere and environment” in the visiting area “that encouraged and tolerated abuses of the law, including the use of unjustified force….” among other abuses.

According to the indictment, Gonzalez “would reprimand deputy sheriffs he supervised for not using force on visitors to the MCJ if the visitors had supposedly ‘disrespected’ these deputy sheriffs through the visitors’ words or conduct.” He allegedly would “praise overly-aggressive behavior by deputy sheriffs and criticize” deputy behavior “that was not aggressive” and would “encourage deputy sheriffs under his command to make unlawful arrests, conduct unreasonable searches and seizures, and engage in excessive force,” according to information the FBI and the prosecutors gathered.


The jury did hear that Robert Carrillo, the younger brother whom Gabriel Carrillo had come to visit in MCJ on the day of his beating, had also been beaten a few days at the time that he was arrested.

Then the jury heard that, the day after Gabriel’s beating, there had been an exchange of texts between defendant Eric Gonzalez and a deputy out in the field named Julio Martinez, who was the primary officer who had arrested Robert Carrillo.

In a screen shot taken of Gonzalez’ cell phone, the jury and the rest of the trial watchers, saw that Martinez—whom Gonzalez had known since the days when the two worked together at Century station—had texted Gonzalez a photo of Robert Carrillo’s bruised and swollen post-arrest face. In return, Gonzalez texted to Martinez a booking photo of Gabriel Carrillo’s grotesquely swollen, lacerated and elaborately discolored face, with the following message: LOOKS LIKE WE DID A BETTER JOB. WHERE’S MY BEER BIG HOMIE.

Gonzalez’ lawyer, Avrahamy, tried to dismiss the text exchange, first as a joke, then as a legitimate search for information by Gonzalez from his colleague, Martinez, who was a member of the department’s gang detail, Operation Safe Streets, or OSS.

The jury bought neither explanation for the gleeful exchange of images of the brothers’ damaged faces.

What the jury did not know is that, Martinez is a member of the deputy gang called The Jump Out Boys, and that, together with his OSS partner, Anthony Paz, also a Jump Out Boy, in April of this year, Martinez was charged with conspiracy, perjury and altering evidence, in relation to the alleged planting of guns at a marijuana dispensary in order to make an arrest. (For the details see the LA Weekly story by Gene Maddaus and this LA Times story by Kate Mather).

Martinez and Paz are involved in another case where there are allegations of a planted gun to justify a fatal shooting by Paz of an unarmed 22-year old, killed at his South LA home. In June 2014, the 22-year-old’s family was awarded $1.2 million in a settlement with LA County.

Yet, despite all the information the jury did not have, they still arrived with a cross-the-board guilty verdict—reportedly without any doubts or dispute whatsoever.


  • Great read Celeste, excellent investigative report that connects the dots, again, between Tanaka, Cruz and a handful of Tanaka loyalists and coin holders who worked for Cruz at MCJ. Virtually all of them have been rewarded by promotions and/or coveted job assignments none of them deserved. They are all still in leadership positions, unscathed by a change of Sheriffs. Things are pretty much the same because McDonnell is being told what he wants to hear.

    The question is, will the Feds be handing down additional indictments to Tanaka, Cavanaugh, Cruz and his Operations staff and Watch Commanders who were all involved in the culture of corruption and coverup at MCJ? Will Tanaka or others roll over on ALL of the non-MCJ, corruption related allegations the FBI have been investigating over the last few years?


    “Will Tanaka or others roll over on ALL of the non-MCJ, corruption related allegations the FBI have been investigating over the last few years”

    We sure hope somebody will. And we have a story or two upcoming this summer and fall that we hope will help move the process along.

  • This reportage highlights why “Freedom of the Press” is a U.S. Constitutional guarantee (1st Amendment)–the public really must have a way of finding out what is going on out of immediate view–and I hope to God THAT never changes.

    Thanks, Celeste

  • “The chickens are coming home to roost” All sworn deputies within the department know that this is only the tip of the iceberg.
    The money paid out by the County to cover the costs of “Dirty Deputies” is more than 25 million dollars (for 2013 & 2014) which can be verified that through public records. Mind you that these are not deputies that were absorbed through the “Takeover” of the Los Angeles County “Office of Public Safety”.
    The LASD is a myriad of malfeasance and an embarrassment to Law Enforcement. To Celeste and other readers of WLA…….The Association Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff (ALADS) mirrors this and condones it through selective legal representation and cover ups.

  • I understand their were (are) still major problems within LALSD, however it’s said that a “few bad apples” brought about such broad stroke and sweeping changes that supposedly address non-existant problems in other facilities/parts of the department. I’m sure many of the hard working, law abiding, policy following and ethical members of LASD are inspired eveyday to do their best for the taxpayes of LA County when they feel themselves being scrutinized and “typcast” for the mistakes of a few. LASD has been in the business of housing inmates, running jails and performaning law enforcement for well over 100 years. It’s sad that none of the executives took a stand and made a case for what LASD has done right. Not all the jails needed an overhaul and not all the staff is “shadey”. The remaining staff is left to suffer. Those left behind in the wake of the mis-deeds of a few. I guess if you are retired, living the good life off a fat LA County pension and it was “all about you” and your promotions in the first place and your political aspirations what can you expect.

  • I’ll give it the year 2020 (5 years) before the department is on even ground.

    Any process takes time. The pile of dirty laundry is huge.

  • The New Age Progressive Sheriff wanted to leave a lasting legacy. He has definitely succeeded. The old adage about “Minding the store” will be remembered by every sheriff for the next 30 years because of the New Age Progressive One. They will all be reminded that when you don’t tend to the business of doing the job you were elected to do, bad caca happens. They will be reminded of his globe trotting and playing sheriff to the world, while his own house was burning. They will be reminded how the media supported him. They will be reminded of how the LA media wrote off his insanity and absenteeism and attributed it to him being “Quirky”. How the media was willing to look the other way when it was completely obvious he was shady and unethical. How the media endorsed him, how they loved him. How in the end, the media turned on him and how he is remembered as a dillusional, crooked, wanna be intellectual that was such a dullard he didn’t ‘t even realize he was laughed at within his own kingdom.They’ll remember how the media described him as “warm and caring”. How the LA media was hoodwinked by him for 14 years. How after the house burned down, some of the that very same media who trumpeted his accolades for so long were now playing the role of the heroes. How they were taking credit for sounding the alarm after the house was fully engulfed. Congratulations to the LA media. You finally figured it out. You were right on time. A job well done by you journalistic watchdogs in the media.

  • Celeste, great review with ” The Dan Cruz Factor”. Please review what I posted way back in January of 2012. The below information was taken from pages 2-4 of that posting. This is a reminder that Dan Cruz, Kevin Hebert, and Chris Nee, laid the foundation for Tanaka and for what occurred in the following years at MCJ. Hopefully, these characters are also being held responsible and investigated by the feds. Many postings came out after this discussing that approximately 150-160 force cases were never investigated and adjudicated properly.

    “What the above behavior and environment does is create situations where inexperienced and unethical supervisors are placed in positions of supervision and control and they are only there for a short period of time before they are moved again and again, and then replaced by more Tanaka loyalists. This creates an environment where they do not remain long enough to be held accountable and responsible for their actions and supervision. Case in point, please check how many Sergeants and Lieutenants in recent years have been transferred in to the Men’s Central Jail and how long they stayed and how soon they were promoted or received prime job assignments. For example, in April of 2006, then Sergeants Kevin Hebert and Christopher Nee were promoted to Lieutenant and sent to the Men’s Central Jail with specific instructions from then Assistant Sheriff Paul Tanaka to “clean up Central Jail”. As they worked under the Operations Lieutenant at that time, Daniel Cruz, they delayed, lost, and or destroyed numerous administrative use of force investigations that were never completed and mysteriously were lost from the files. One female Sergeant (Kristy Criner-Cruz) had 11 force investigations disappear and she was never able to complete them. She was recently questioned about this and she refused to answer and has been off stress ever since. She now stays home with her relieved of duty husband, Captain Cruz, who ironically still has his silver Crown Victoria County take home car parked in his driveway at his residence. As has been recently written, a review of the incredible decline of the use of force incidents starting in 2006 and 2007 at the Men’s Central Jail resulted from this criminal destruction of force packages. It should be noted that there are rumored to currently be at least a whopping 164 force incident investigations missing from the Men’s Central Jail. Lieutenant Hebert was then transferred in 2007 to Century Station and immediately appointed as the Operation’s Lieutenant, which is very uncommon. After a short stint there Hebert was transferred back to Personnel Administration as the Operation’s Lieutenant, where he had worked under Assistant Sheriff Tanaka as a Sergeant, and was shortly thereafter promoted to Captain and remained in Personnel Administration, again very uncommon. He was able to continue his control of all personnel transfers, assignments, promotions, promotional exams etc. for then Assistant Sheriff Tanaka. Lieutenant Hebert, with minimal experience, minimal time in grade, and lack of any advanced education, etc., was able to quickly promote in 2010 to Captain due to his allegiance to Tanaka. Lieutenant Christopher Nee, was just recently promoted to Captain of Temple Station.
    This same cycle of brief assignment of a select group of individuals has occurred at Lennox, Century, and Compton Stations, as well as Operation Safe Streets Bureau, to name a few. This is called getting their “tickets punched” so these select individuals appear to have vast experience and assignments. Some very ethical and outstanding Lieutenants, with more than 10 years of experience as Lieutenants, and with outstanding performance, well rounded experience, and advanced education, have been constantly passed over for promotion to Captain and or assignment to prime positions. A review of Sergeant and Lieutenant transfers and promotions for the last 10-12 years with Personnel Administration Bureau records will reveal this trend. Additionally, some other key positions to review are Tanaka’s Sergeant/Lieutenant aide positions while he was Chief, Assistant Sheriff, and now Undersheriff, and other top Executive aides positions, Operations Sergeant and Operations Lieutenant positions mostly in Field Operations Region II , COPS Bureau assignments, OSS/GET (Operation Safe Streets / Gang Enforcement Team), and Special Enforcement Bureau, to name a few. Sheriff Baca allows this type of behavior from Undersheriff Tanaka and he continues to promote him with this knowledge, knowing that morale is adversely affected and most personnel disdain this type of inferior treatment.”

  • Oh Well. If venting through WLA is therapy for you, by all means vent on. Other than that, stay on point or let it go. Baca is old news and will not be indicted.

    How about some info on Tanaka. Maybe that’s too close to home for you.

    Enjoy your retirement. Take a cruise or invest that LACERA dough to charity or single mothers. (BTW 5 dollar bills will get you a little more attention)

    Hey Bud……..LET IT GO!

  • Sounds to me like “Oh well” is right on topic and makes some excellent points. Baca had the office and the responsibility, I certinally wouldn’t call that “old news”. Oh well’s comments on media bias are also a bullseye, if Baca had been a tough talking law and order type no doubt the media would have treated him differently.

  • #1.. i agree with you and your position 100%. But did not Cavanaugh, Burns, Cruz etc pre date PANDORA . If there are criminal bones buried, then you can only hope some more courageous or survivalist men/women come fwd with new info and can support it with provable facts. Not a witch hunt (. You have all seen enough of that. The writing is on the wall. The Feds are deep into LASD and will continue to dig… Easy pickin’s for them now. Not unlike patrol. You find, develop and work a spot . If its good , you just keep picking at it.

    Good luck to all of you and again, also thanks to WLA. Like it’s politics or not , WLA is ON THE MONEY and relentless. So be patient , the cleansing has begun. The remaining honest, ethical and strong supervisors, managers, deputies will restore the Dept to a place where it richly deserves to be.

  • Moving forward……no rhetoric or reminiscing in the retirement corner (or sworn for that matter)will change anything unless it is relevant and on the stand in a court of law

    The points made by Oh Well may be true, however it is only good for coffee conversation and pissing in the air. Focus on who’s left and what’s valid.

  • #11 Déjà Vu,
    Nice try with the implication I’m a Tanaka fan. You’re obviously rather new in the game or you’d know I’ve made countless comments about Tanaka in the past. If you weren’t too lazy to do some research before shooting from the lip you’d feel silly. Or not. Why do my comments about Baca prompt a response from you suggesting I stop? Why do you not want to hear them?
    You want me to comment on Tanaka? You think it’s too close to home? Lol. Here you go.
    How did Tanaka, who’s career had stalled at rank of Lt., ever get to be the Undersheriiff? That’s easy. Baca kept promoting him. Why did Baca keep promoting him? That’s also easy. Because in his first couple of years Baca was so irresponsible he spent money like a drunk sailor and went way over his budget. That pissed off the BOS. Now Baca was on the hot seat with them. Now he needed an accountant to fix it. Now Baca and Tanaka are real chummy.
    Here’s the BIG question. How did Paul Tanaka ever seize complete control of the LASD and do whatever he wanted to do without Baca stopping it? Look at that, the questions just keep getting easier. Because Baca was never around. He wasn’t “Minding the store”. Why wasn’t Baca minding the store? (And you thought the questions couldn’t possibly get any easier, but they do!!!).
    Simple, Baca’s time was occupied with everything other than paying attention to the LASD.
    Globetrotting the world preaching tolerance for Muslims. Hobnobbing with the big shots. Playing buddy-buddy with Ted Sexton and campaigning for Sheriff of The Year. Having meetings with Scientology friends. Making commercials for vitamins. Giving speeches at college campuses.
    In short ( and I’m sure you’ll be happy it’s in closing too) the ONLY way Tanaka was able to do what he did was for three simple reasons:
    1. Baca couldn’t balance his checkbook, so he needed Tanaka.
    2. Baca trusted Tanaka. (there’s where the insanity plays a big role, get it?)
    3. Baca was an absentee sheriff.
    You want to talk about root causes? Well there you go. If you have no Baca as Sheriff, with his mental instability and his irresponsibility, you have no Tanaka as the Undersheriff.
    Pretty simple really. Sorry if it bores you. I find it fascinating how everybody loves to lambast Tanaka (and rightfully so), but they want to completely ignore and not discuss how it happened. It’s like people continually blaming the Vice Presiident for ruining the country, and forgetting that it’s the President who’s supposed to be in charge.
    Don’t worry. I’ll remind them (and you) of how it can’t happen without a completely incompetent man as the supposed “leader”.
    It’s a lesson that needs to be remembered if it’s going to be avoided in the future.

  • Then there’s the Readers Digest version:,
    It happened because Baca is nuts and he kept promoting Tanaka.

    I’m betting you like this version better, being as how you don’t like to read all that much. If you did, you wouldn’t be implying I’m a Tanaka fan. Or maybe it’s simply a reading comprehension problem on your part. In either case, the Readers Digest version should alleviate your angst.


  • Deja Vu,
    Re: #19,
    Oh, I get it now. You want me to ease up on the shop talk. Lol. And here I was thinking that’s what’s been going on since the first comment. WTF was I thinking? All those comments about McDonnel still having T’s people at the upper ranks, how there are so many dirty LASD personell, how a few bad apples shouldn’t be seen as the norm, etc etc. I’m not the sharpest tool in the drawer, in fact I’m probably the dumbest person commenting, but I thought that’s what we were doing here. Talking shop.
    Ok. Got it. I need to focus on the now. Forget how we got here, and definitely not comment on it or remind people of it. Move forward.
    I’ve heard something similar to that before. Something concerning the LASD even. Something to the effect of: “I didn’t know, but now I know. I’ll fix it. I believe in moving forward”.
    Sound familiar? Where have we heard that before?

  • As a matter of comparison, New York corrections just suspended eleven officials, including the prison warden where the two murderers escaped from. Based on Pandora’s Box and the continued effort at concealing activity to this day, what is stopping Sheriff McDonnell from relieving of duty the Chiefs, commanders, captains, and lieutenants who participated in or facilitated the felonious actions of those convicted by looking the other way?

    We routinely relieve deputies of duty for next to nothing in comparison. Is McDonnell waiting for a formal invitation?

  • Bernice Abram lets look under that rock. How she got away with what she did is a joke?


  • Bernice Abrams kept getting promoted because of Stonich, what she was to him, I don’t know, but he was her ace in the hole. Where is he is all this mess, why is Stonich never mentioned for that matter or that great paragon of virtue Waldie? Talk about skating off free, those two are part and parcel of this whole mess.

  • Déjà Vu,
    What good would it do? You’ve already stated Baca isn’t going to be indicted. I assume you’re in the loop with what’s going on re: pending indictments, otherwise you wouldn’t be saying that, correct? Why is it that Baca isn’t going to be on the hook? He already incriminated himself with previous statements. Now T is most likely going to testify that Baca ordered the caper. Why wouldn’t the feds be interested in indicting Baca? After all, it’s not only impossible that he was unaware of what was happening, he’s the biggest scalp on the totem pole.
    Why are they not going to indict him? Please clue us in. What do you know that we don’t?

  • Oh Well,

    I generally cross swords with you, but keep it up!

    Brandon Fox and Sheriff McD just want to say they held something accountable. Anything higher up the food chain would destabilize too much. All those task forces and mutual aide investigations actually do need people in them from time to time.

    If EPC was actually held accountable, we would not have a functional Department. Instead you are allowed to lie by example after Captain with impunity.

  • @Oh Well, I have no inside baseball info, just a couple of years or so in DB. To build their case against Tanaka and Carey, they need a smoking gun. If Tanaka made inculpatory statements against himself in his FBI interview, then he screwed himself. But unless he fell on the sword, which I doubt , they need someone to connect the dots. Baca was obviously in the throne room, a co-conspirator. He can point the finger right at Tanaka and Carey and explain what he (Baca) was initially told about the cellphone, the inmate and the FBI being inside of MCJ. I have always felt Tanaka jacked up Baca behind this, stirred the pot with an electric mixer. But as others have stated in prior postings, Tanaka went into an absolute panic about the phone and inmate informant because he, little Paul, was absolutely convinced he was the target of the FBI investigation. I think Tanaka pushed buttons to get Baca to buy off on the “initial” plans of Pandora’s Box so he could find out what and who the Feds were targeting. Fast forward a little, Tanaka was calling ALL the shots with PB while Carey was shining Paul’s shoes and lighting his cigars. There is an update meeting and all the principal players are present and the stupid plan was hatched to jam Agent Marx at her home, Baca was present and bought off on that phase of the operation. Baca’s fate was sealed.

    Fast forward a bit more, Baca has his meeting with the Feds at their office on Wilshire Blvd, we have already heard some of the excerpts and read some of the transcripts. In my opinion, Tanaka was manipulating Baca for his own personal gain in this PB caper all the while busting Thompson’s chops to do everything he could to find out what inmate Brown knew and what he told. Keep in mind, Tanaka was the puppet master at MCJ, he controlled Dan Cruz and controlled the reign of terror that was going on. Tanaka was scared shitless, the Feds were onto “him,” and he knew it. He was banking the Feds would not embarrass Baca, after all, everyone thought Baca was connected and therefore, Tanaka thought he was untouchable, wrong.

    Fast forward a bit more, Baca has a come to Jesus meeting with the FBI and the AUSA, and his ass is handed to him and a deal was cut. Tanaka is fired and Baca suddenly steps down, a deal was cut in one fashion or another. Baca was either secretly indicted and cut a deal to roll or he cut a deal to roll and not get indicted. This remains to be seen, but I am most certain that Baca is going to be a witness for the prosecution and at that time, the curtain will be opened to what deal was cut. Don’t be surprised if Thompson, Leavins and others convicted may be on that list as well. My guess is the Feds figured out Baca’s crime was being a goof of a Sheriff, a detached and aloof regarding the daily operations of LASD. The Feds knew the puppet master was pure evil in every sense and a deal was cut. My theory may not be 100% accurate, but I’m well inside the ballpark.

  • Not saying Leroy was clueless in the Pandora Box Caper, however we all know that Mr.T was trusted by Baca, who assured Baca, that it will be handled. The exact details (like most operations,since Baca was globe-trotting and making cameo appeareances and the like) were not privy to Baca…..only the bottom line. The obvious (to some and unknown to others) is the deal breaker of the millions of dollars due to the department from the assets and forfeiture recovery. Mr.T. (aka C.P.A) has the knowledge and whereabouts of the moolah. Word is that this money has NOT been divied to the the Sheriff’s Department. Baca acknowledged this and agreed to step down in lieu of being indicted and humiliated. Baca did leave too much trust in Paul. Hence the loophole to exit.

  • I might also add that Baca was open to allowing the ACLU and other organizations to inspect and moniter the jails.

    You have to admit that Baca was in the social justice arena, whereas Paul wanted to run the the department like the “Terror Dome” ran by his hand picked henchmen.
    At least, Baca was smart enough to step down with some dignity left.

    Do you really think Paul would have been at the Hall of Justice rededication?

  • There you have it “Oh Well” …… from more than 1 source with similar knowledge. You can’t pull pull this crap outta your culo.

  • They Say, Déjà Vu,
    I have no doubt T was the point man. I have no doubt, (does anybody have any doubt lol) that Baca was manipulated by T? That’s why I go off on my rants about how this bullshit happened! The extent to which Baca had his head up his ass (or purposefully buried it in the sand) should meet the threshold of criminal negligence. That’s why I think you are both not only in the ballpark, but pretty much up to bat with your take on PB.
    Here’s where I take issue, and here’s why I do what I do, raking Baca over the coals! I know it gets old to some of you. I can understand that. But shit, every scalp they’ve taken was manipulated by T too! No deals for them! Hell, they even went after Sexton with a vengeance after he had cooperated with them to a significant degree. Now Baca is going to walk away with his scalp intact, simply because everybody knows he wasn’t quarterbacking PB? He WAS the head coach. That leaves a real, real, shitty taste in my mouth. I’m guessing you guys don’t like it either. Couple that with the fact that Baca was told to back the fuck off in that meeting with the feds, and he refused to call off his dog T. How far are the feds willing to let that bullshit “I didn’t know what he was doing” go?
    So there you have it. Nine people will be convicted of a felony, and Baca will walk away because they let him cut a deal. That’s just beautiful. THAT’S justice?????
    Yes, previously I’ve only been raking the New Age Progressive One over the coals for his sustained detachment from what was going on in the LASD. I was waiting for this to come up. As dumb as I am, I have been, as they say, “waiting for my pitch”.
    Here is my swing: It looks like Baca’s irresponsibility, absenteeism, detachment and mental instability is going to pay off for him in the end, because it’s in large part why the feds. let him cut him a deal and weren’t too gung-ho about getting his scalp. The “I didn’t know” defense has been taken to a whole new level. The feds seem willing to be able to stomach letting him walk away without being indicted.
    I think he should under indictment.
    So please forgive me if I occasionally remind people of WHY it all happened. I think it bears reminding. Opinions vary.

  • @Oh Well, we don’t know what deal has been cut. Remember, the last defendant sentenced in the Sheriff Corona case was his Assistant Sheriff, Don Hydal. When the Feds knocked on his door, unbeknownst to him, his ass had already been indicted. He wore a wire and flipped like a pancake. Baca may be in the same boat, indicted and will eventually stand before the court as a co-conspirator who took a deal, rolled and took a plea. Yes, my friend, Baca was an absolute, unmitigated idiot and failure. He was truly “The King” in the King’s New Clothing. Stonich, Waldie and Tanaka pacified Baca the Clown and his mental illness to have their way. This will all come full circle before I retire. I truly sense PB is the least of Tanaka’s worry. I think the Feds have a laundry list of indictments for a laundry list of allegations. Remember, the FBI has been investigating the Tanaka crime family for years. PB was just an add charge that fell into their lap. Political corruption within LASD, Gardena and elsewhere has been on their radar screen from day one. The Jail Commission gave them a ton of info and leads regarding Cruz, his Operations Staff and Watch Commanders in addition to what they learned in the course of their lengthy investigation. They are not walking away with PB and say, they are done. Baca will get what he has coming, but it may not be what you expect. The others are shitting bricks for a good reason. And I do wonder what became of disgraced Abrahams and others. Maybe deals were cut as well. Do tell.

  • They Say,
    It’s quite obvious I lack the virtuous character trait of patience. I hope you’re right. I hope Baca is held accountable in the PB caper. He’s skated away unscathed too many times before. Somebody please remind me again of what it was that his so called Field Commander Bishop Turner was paid an outrageous salary to do. Wasn’t there an investigation squashed concerning this individual somewhere way back when? Something about a narco crew trailing a package with $84,000 in cash. What happened with that? Am I remembering that correctly? If so, who squashed it and why?

  • There were several people the sheriff hired along with Bishop Turner to go out and get the votes. Some worked on the fourth floor and another was waldie’s driver. They actually got paid very well and were given county cars. I believe there were about 7 special friends of the sheriff. Narco during an investigation came across the 80k which was linked to Bishop Turner. They were ordered to not go any further with the investigation. I believe Bishop Turners driver was a Lieutenant that made band IV when he took the LT’s test and was bumped into band II. Subsequently he promoted corrupt process and he isn’t the only one.

  • We all knew that Baca was crazy……..like a fox.

    Under estimation costs much more in the end. I’m sure that Baca has read “The Art of War”. I’m also sure that his personal new age slogan is “Prison Free & Pension Full”

    I equate Baca to Kaiser Permanente…..You either hate’em or love’em. LMAO!

  • The price that Abrams and Cruz shame to their name.

    Unfortunately the price to pay is not monetary or jail time.

    They will never show their face at any Police/Sheriff function and forever be a highly paid hermit until death

  • @36,
    Baca isn’t crazy like fox. He’s crazy like delusional. The Art of War? Had he read it, and more importantly absorbed it, do you think he would of lost complete control of his department in the end? Do you think that was his plan all along? To be laughed at among the people in his inner circle? The people he thought saw him as holding the reins of power? To have everybody on the LASD laugh out loud if somebody said: “Baca’s running the show, not Tanaka” Was that the New Age Progressive One’s plan all along? To be forced out in the end and leave in disgrace? For you to make these statements is laughable.
    Speaking of underestimation, you have pulled off the damn near impossible feat of underestimating me. Kudos. That’s not easy to do. You obviously let your emotions dictate your statements, because anybody with a double digit IQ realizes you’re full of shit and simply trying to clean him up because you’re one of a handful who still love the guy. Hence your statement: “You either love him or hate him” and my statement that you’re letting your emotions override your brain. You either don’t care or don’t realize that #36 is completely laughable and anybody who has an ounce of critical thinking skills is laughing their ass off at you. That’s ironic isn’t it? After all. that’s Baca’s MO to a tee. No wonder you love the guy.
    Have a happy 4th of July. I’m betting you have it off due to your obviously being assigned to a detective spot.

  • @ Oh Well……re: Bishop Turner/ Narco caper of $84,000.00 was one of the factors Baca resigned from office. Feds know about it and other capers that happened in the unit. Just curious who leaked that info in the first place…..I would love to know the answer to that question.

  • I had no dog in the fight. Guys like you are pisssed off and your rants are futile. Bottom line is that he has his pension and no threat of prison. Regardless of what you think……Baca gets the last laugh. That’s why I’m still laughing.

  • @ Investigative Mind: The implosion of the department in of its self is based upon numerous snitchuations and backstabbing. We will never know ” who told what”.

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