Bad Cops: Los Angeles County Deputies Charged With Planting Guns to Make Arrests
Two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies, Julio Cesar Martinez and Anthony Manuel Paez, are in hot water after they were charged with planting guns at a medical marijuana dispensary in 2011 in order to make arrests.
According to reports, both deputies left the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office in early 2013. Their leaving was described the office as “separation” following an administrative investigation.
According to the LA Times, the pair not only are alleged to have planted two firearms at the scene, but also to have disabled security and surveillance equipment,
In court documents filed last week, prosecutors said that on Aug. 24, 2011, the pair shut off electricity and a video surveillance system inside the dispensary, then planted the weapons. Martinez and Paez were patrolling West 87th Place that day when Martinez said he saw a man with a gun in his shorts pocket take part in a drug deal, the felony complaint states.
Martinez said he followed the man to the dispensary and watched him discard the gun near a trash can, the complaint says. The deputies said they found a second gun sitting on a desk near some Ecstasy pills.
But prosecutors said that Martinez had kicked a wall outlet to shut off the electricity, and that Paez then opened a drawer, pulled out a gun and put it on a chair.
Prosecutors said Paez planted another gun on top of the desk, which he had crawled under to disable the security system.
The deputies then arrested two men: one on suspicion of having an unregistered firearm, another for possessing Ecstasy in the presence of a firearm.
The pair each face multiple felonies and could face up to seven years in prison each if convicted. The attorney of the suspect who was arrested by the pair has been contacted by court officials.