Monday, August 9, 2010

LA Times-Sheriff's Dept. Faces Growing Corruption Problem In LA Jails

Former LA County Sheriff Peter Felix taken into custody: Al Seib LA Times
(Story reported by Jack Leonard and Robert Faturechi for the Los Angeles Times)

The inmate's request seemed fairly benign inside the teeming, violent Los Angeles County jail. He wanted Sheriff's Deputy Peter Paul Felix to smuggle him in some decent food.

The deputy knew he was breaking the rules, but he obliged. What started with hamburgers and pizza led to steadily more requests until the inmate asked Felix to perform another favor: smuggle in a marijuana package in exchange for about $600.

That delivery into the Castaic jail would be the first in a months-long series of drug carries the deputy made, netting thousands of dollars in the process. Inmates goaded Felix to bring them more, telling the young deputy that he wasn't the only officer smuggling drugs, and that they respected him because he was from the "hood."

The case underscores the Sheriff's Department's struggles to keep drugs out of the nation's largest county jail system. Deputies confiscate drugs from inmates on a regular basis — and have done so for years. But Felix's crime and other recent cases reviewed by The Times offer a window into the elaborate schemes used to breach jailhouse security for major profit.

(click here to read the full story on the Los Angeles Times website)

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