The crooked spine of American law enforcement has reared its head once again in Los Angeles County. Prosecutors there have accused two former sheriff’s deputies of planting weapons at a medical marijuana dispensary in an attempt to establish grounds for an arrest.
According to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, Julio Cesar Martinez and Anthony Manuel Paez have been charged with several offenses, ranging from obstruction of justice to evidence tampering and perjury. These ex-cops have become the latest brown stain on the already corrupt reputation of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is drenched in indiscretions that have fueled recent federal investigations.
The whole twisted affair began on August 2011, when prosecutors say Julio Cesar Martinez filed a report claiming he had witnessed a man conducting a drug deal with a gun tucked into the front of his shorts. He then stated that after following the suspect, Antonio Rhodes, into a marijuana dispensary, he watched the man dump the firearm into the trash and noticed a second pistol on a desk next to a bottle of ecstasy.
That was all Martinez and his then partner Paez needed to bring the hammer down on Rhodes and another man suspected of wrongdoing, Johnny Yang. One was arrested for possession of an unregistered firearm, while the other got hit with possession of a controlled substance while armed.
However, an internal investigation into the incident was launched in 2012 after a surveillance video emerged showing the officers cutting power to the dispensary, disabling video cameras, and planting firearms. Of course, the salvationary video was “inconsistent” with the report filed by Martinez, which ultimately put these two scabs of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in the position they are in today… unemployed and facing seven years in prison.
The former cops are scheduled to be arraigned in June. The weapons charges filed against Rhodes and Yang have since been dropped.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.