An additional Law enforcement Officer Sentenced in the Wake of Rampart Corruption Scandal

By Michael Webster: Investigative Reporter Might seven, 2008 twelve:00 PM PDT
U.S. Justice Office studies that previous Long Beach law enforcement officer Joseph Ferguson was sentenced in federal court docket in Los Angeles, Calif., for his position in a sequence of house invasion robberies above a two-year interval which were linked to the LAPD in the wake of the 1999 Rampart corruption scandal. Ferguson was sentenced to 97 months in prison and 4 years of supervised launch.
On Jan. thirty, 2008, a Los Angeles jury convicted the defendant of conspiring to violate civil rights, conspiring to possess narcotics with intent to distribute, and possession of narcotics with intent to distribute. The defendant’s brother and co-defendant, previous Los Angeles law enforcement officer William Ferguson, was also convicted of deprivation of rights less than colour of law and a number of firearms offenses and is scheduled to be sentenced on Might 19, 2008.
As beforehand claimed by this reporter the proof at trial confirmed that the defendant and his co-defendants were associates of a huge-ranging prison conspiracy, led by previous Los Angeles law enforcement officer Ruben Palomares and including other law enforcement officers and drug sellers. Collectively, they fully commited additional than forty burglaries and robberies throughout the Los Angeles place amongst early 1999 and June of 2001. The robberies commonly were fully commited after the team acquired facts that a individual spot was involved in illegal drug-trafficking. The robbery teams usually consisted of a number of sworn law enforcement officers in uniform or exhibiting a formal law enforcement badge, who would achieve entry to the residence by falsely telling any occupants that they were law enforcement officers and that they were conducting a genuine look for for medicines or drug sellers. Victims normally were violently restrained, threatened or assaulted all through the look for. These brutal assaults bundled firing stage blank stun gun at a sufferer, putting victims with law enforcement batons and putting a gun in the mouth of victims. Just after these on and off obligation law enforcement officers stole the medicines, they would use co-conspirators to provide the medicines and they would break up the earnings among the team.
In all, seventeen defendants, including law enforcement officers from the Los Angeles Law enforcement Office, the Long Beach Law enforcement Office, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, and the California Office of Corrections have been convicted or have beforehand pleaded responsible to federal crimes in link with the conspiracies.
 “This previous law enforcement officer violated his oath as a general public servant when he, alongside with his co-defendants, began partaking in violent prison conduct,” stated Grace Chung Becker, Performing Assistant Lawyer Normal for the Civil Legal rights Division. “Although the vast majority of law enforcement officers have out their difficult duties in a specialist method, the Office of Justice will not be reluctant to prosecute all those who cross that line.”
During the class of the conspiracy, Palomares provided associates with formal LAPD badges, uniforms, radios, firearms and other products. Some of the robberies were fully commited after the intruders drove to the spot in formal LAPD law enforcement black and white squad vehicles. The robbers utilised the LAPD products to make victims imagine they were the subject matter of genuine law enforcement functions and to decrease the defendants’ possibility of remaining questioned if confronted by law enforcement officers.
The indictment alleged a sequence of incidents in which the robbery crew broke into residences and commercial establishments with the goal of getting narcotics, dollars, guns and other valuables. Palomares was involved in all of the incidents, with the Fergusons and Loaiza taking part in lots of of them. In a single theft, associates of the gang allegedly stole 600 lbs . of cannabis. In one more incident, a number of co-conspirators allegedly stole television sets from an eighteen-wheel truck in Montebello. And, in one more robbery outside the house a Fontana marketplace, Palomares and one more man dressed as a law enforcement officers robbed a man of $45,000 really worth of pseudoephedrine supplements, which are the vital precursor chemical in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
The other a few defendants named in the indictment are fugitives at this time. They are:

– Michelle Barajas, 38, of Paramount
– Armando Contreras-Lopez, 35, of Paramount and
– Oscar Loaiza, 35, of Montebello, who is a cousin of Palomares.

These a few defendants are accused, alongside with the a few law enforcement defendants, of conspiring to violate civil rights and conspiring to possess both equally cannabis and cocaine with the intent to distribute the narcotics.
“The depth of corruption and audacity among these law enforcement officers is nothing at all much less than stunning,” stated United States Lawyer Debra Wong Yang. “Although obtaining a badge imparts some diploma of energy to an officer of the law, it also imparts a wonderful offer of obligation. In addition to rejecting their obligations to the law, these officers rejected their sacred obligations to their communities and their departments.”
“These defendants, who were sworn to serve and shield the people today of Los Angeles, went from imposing the law to breaking the law,” stated Grace Chung Becker, Performing Assistant Lawyer Normal for the Civil Legal rights Division.  “Although the vast majority of law enforcement officers have out their difficult duties in a specialist method, the Office of Justice will not be reluctant to prosecute all those who cross that line.”
“This case exposed a darkish entire world of corrupt law enforcement officers who defiled their badges and compromised the very good work of their colleagues,” stated U.S. Lawyer Thomas P. O’Brien.  “The house invasion robberies fully commited by these previous officers shocks the conscience and will direct to prolonged prison sentences that they so richly ought to have.”
“The fact is, no law enforcement office is immune from poor cops,” said Los Angeles Law enforcement Main William J. Bratton. “I have no tolerance for intentional misconduct and will offer with it forcefully and aggressively. Supervision, safeguards and civilian oversight are utilised to keep an eye on workers and assure quality law enforcement company. No very good cop would like to work with a poor cop. No very good cop would like a poor cop in their Office. Today’s announcement proves we are fully commited to receiving rid of all those who would tarnish the LAPD badge.”

Long Beach Law enforcement Main Anthony Batts said: “When a law enforcement officer violates the legal guidelines that he has sworn to uphold, it erodes the general public trust that we in law enforcement work so tough to establish. The guys and gals of the Long Beach Law enforcement Office get wonderful delight in their work and are fully fully commited to the basic safety of our local community. Reckless actions by people that undermine the integrity of this office and problems the general public trust will not be tolerated.”
An indictment has allegations that a defendant has fully commited a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent right until and unless of course verified responsible in court docket.

– Ruben Palomares, 36 of Diamond Bar, who was arrested on federal narcotics fees in 2001 and was terminated by the LAPD in 2003
– Gabriel Loaiza, thirty, of Montebello, who acquired law enforcement coaching and unsuccessfully utilized to be a non-sworn personnel of the Long Beach Law enforcement Office in 2000, was arrested with Palomares in 2001
– Jesse Moya, 29, of Whittier, who was a Los Angeles Law enforcement Officer right until late 2004
– Manuel Hernandez, 25, of Pico Rivera, who is a cousin of Palomares
– Alvin Moon, thirty, of San Gabriel, who also acquired law enforcement coaching and unsuccessfully utilized to the Los Angeles Law enforcement Office, was arrested alongside with Palomares and Gabriel Loaiza in 2001
– Manny Martinez-Godinez, 25
– Jessica Address, 31, of Whittier
– Steve Quintero, thirty, of Montebello, a custodial law enforcement officer with the Garden Grove Law enforcement Office
– Geronimo Sevilla, 32, of Whittier, who met Palomares although he was a LAPD explorer scout and who unsuccessfully utilized to the office in 2000
– Jesus Estrada Dominguez, forty
– Pablo Estrada, 29, of La Puente, a good friend of Gabriel Loaiza
– Juan Pablo Mendoza, 29, of Muscoy, who is a cousin of Palomares and
– David Barajas, 32, of Paramount, a longtime good friend of Palomares who is presently in custody on unrelated narcotics fees.

“The FBI counts general public corruption as its prime prison application priority, and this case illustrates that determination.  Investigators and detectives tirelessly pursued a modest amount of law enforcement officers who, in betrayal of their sworn obligation to serve the general public, utilised their badges and guns as instruments of terror and personal achieve,” stated Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles.  “The FBI, alongside with its law enforcement associates, will go on to root out the modest share of sworn staff that act outside the house the law.”           
This case was investigated by Special Agent Phil Carson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of Steve Sambar, Roger Mora and Mark Bigel of the Los Angeles and Long Beach Law enforcement Departments.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Lawyer Douglas M. Miller of Los Angeles and Office of Justice Demo Attorneys Jeffrey S. Blumberg and Joshua D. Mahan.

The Civil Legal rights Division is fully commited to the vigorous enforcement of the federal prison civil rights statutes, these kinds of as legal guidelines that prohibit willful acts of misconduct by law enforcement officials.  In Fiscal Calendar year 2007, the Felony Segment convicted the optimum amount of defendants in its history, surpassing the file beforehand set in Fiscal Calendar year 2006.

The Office of Justice has compiled a substantial file on prison civil rights law enforcement misconduct prosecutions in the final seven years.  During the final seven years, the Felony Segment received convictions of fifty three per cent additional defendants (391 v. 256) in colour of law scenarios than the preceding seven years.
Connected report: Los Angeles, Long Beach And Other Law enforcement Officers Found Guilty Of Home Invasion Robberies & Trafficking In Drugs
PBS – frontline: l.a.p.d. blues: the scandal: rampart scandal timeline Rampart Scandal – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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