- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Michael Webster Investigative Reporter
Wednesday, May. 07, 2008 at 9:44 AM
email@example.com 949 494-7121
The robbery teams usually consisted of multiple sworn police officers in uniform or displaying a official police badge, who would gain access to the residence by falsely telling any occupants that they were police officers and that they were conducting a legitimate search for drugs or drug dealers. Victims often were violently restrained, threatened or assaulted during the search.
By Michael Webster: Investigative Reporter May 7, 2008 12:00 PM PDT
U.S. Justice Department reports that former Long Beach police officer Joseph Ferguson was sentenced in federal court in Los Angeles, Calif., for his role in a series of home invasion robberies over a two-year period which were connected to the LAPD in the wake of the 1999 Rampart corruption scandal. Ferguson was sentenced to 97 months in prison and four years of supervised release.
On Jan. 30, 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, former Los Angeles police officer William Ferguson, was also convicted of deprivation of rights under color of law and several firearms offenses and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 19, 2008.
As previously reported by this reporter the evidence at trial showed that the defendant and his co-defendants were members of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy, led by former Los Angeles police officer Ruben Palomares and including other law enforcement officers and drug dealers. Together, they committed more than 40 burglaries and robberies throughout the Los Angeles area between early 1999 and June of 2001. The robberies generally were committed after the group received information that a particular location was involved in illegal drug-trafficking. The robbery teams usually consisted of multiple sworn police officers in uniform or displaying a official police badge, who would gain access to the residence by falsely telling any occupants that they were police officers and that they were conducting a legitimate search for drugs or drug dealers. Victims often were violently restrained, threatened or assaulted during the search. These brutal assaults included firing point blank stun gun at a victim, striking victims with police batons and putting a gun in the mouth of victims. After these on and off duty police officers stole the drugs, they would use co-conspirators to sell the drugs and they would split the profits among the group.
In all, 17 defendants, including law enforcement officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Long Beach Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the California Department of Corrections have been convicted or have previously pleaded guilty to federal crimes in connection with the conspiracies.
“This former police officer violated his oath as a public servant when he, along with his co-defendants, began engaging in violent criminal conduct,” said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “While the vast majority of law enforcement officers carry out their difficult duties in a professional manner, the Department of Justice will not hesitate to prosecute those who cross that line.”
During the course of the conspiracy, Palomares provided associates with official LAPD badges, uniforms, radios, firearms and other equipment. Some of the robberies were committed after the thieves drove to the location in official LAPD police black and white squad cars. The robbers used the LAPD equipment to make victims believe they were the subject of legitimate law enforcement operations and to minimize the defendants’ risk of being questioned if confronted by law enforcement officers.
The indictment alleged a series of incidents in which the robbery crew broke into houses and commercial establishments with the goal of obtaining narcotics, cash, guns and other valuables. Palomares was involved in all of the incidents, with the Fergusons and Loaiza participating in many of them. In one burglary, members of the gang allegedly stole 600 pounds of marijuana. In another incident, several co-conspirators allegedly stole television sets from an 18-wheel truck in Montebello. And, in another robbery outside a Fontana market, Palomares and another man dressed as a police officers robbed a man of ,000 worth of pseudoephedrine pills, which are the key precursor chemical in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
The other three 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 three defendants are accused, along with the three law enforcement defendants, of conspiring to violate civil rights and conspiring to possess both marijuana and cocaine with the intent to distribute the narcotics.
"The depth of corruption and audacity among these law enforcement officers is nothing less than stunning," said United States Attorney Debra Wong Yang. "While having a badge imparts some degree of power to an officer of the law, it also imparts a great deal of responsibility. In addition to rejecting their responsibilities to the law, these officers rejected their sacred responsibilities to their communities and their departments."
“These defendants, who were sworn to serve and protect the people of Los Angeles, went from enforcing the law to breaking the law,” said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “While the vast majority of law enforcement officers carry out their difficult duties in a professional manner, the Department of Justice will not hesitate to prosecute those who cross that line.”
“This case exposed a dark world of corrupt law enforcement officers who defiled their badges and compromised the good work of their colleagues,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien. “The home invasion robberies committed by these former officers shocks the conscience and will lead to lengthy prison sentences that they so richly deserve.”
"The reality is, no police department is immune from bad cops," stated Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton. "I have no tolerance for intentional misconduct and will deal with it forcefully and aggressively. Supervision, safeguards and civilian oversight are used to monitor employees and ensure quality police service. No good cop wants to work with a bad cop. No good cop wants a bad cop in their Department. Today's announcement proves we are committed to getting rid of those who would tarnish the LAPD badge."
Long Beach Police Chief Anthony Batts stated: "When a police officer violates the laws that he has sworn to uphold, it erodes the public trust that we in law enforcement work so hard to build. The men and women of the Long Beach Police Department take great pride in their work and are fully committed to the safety of our community. Reckless actions by individuals that undermine the integrity of this department and damage the public trust will not be tolerated."
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
- Ruben Palomares, 36 of Diamond Bar, who was arrested on federal narcotics charges in 2001 and was terminated by the LAPD in 2003;
- Gabriel Loaiza, 30, of Montebello, who received law enforcement training and unsuccessfully applied to be a non-sworn employee of the Long Beach Police Department in 2000, was arrested with Palomares in 2001;
- Jesse Moya, 29, of Whittier, who was a Los Angeles Police Officer until late 2004;
- Manuel Hernandez, 25, of Pico Rivera, who is a cousin of Palomares;
- Alvin Moon, 30, of San Gabriel, who also received law enforcement training and unsuccessfully applied to the Los Angeles Police Department, was arrested along with Palomares and Gabriel Loaiza in 2001;
- Manny Martinez-Godinez, 25;
- Jessica Treat, 31, of Whittier;
- Steve Quintero, 30, of Montebello, a custodial police officer with the Garden Grove Police Department;
- Geronimo Sevilla, 32, of Whittier, who met Palomares while he was a LAPD explorer scout and who unsuccessfully applied to the department in 2000;
- Jesus Estrada Dominguez, 40;
- Pablo Estrada, 29, of La Puente, a friend of Gabriel Loaiza;
- Juan Pablo Mendoza, 29, of Muscoy, who is a cousin of Palomares; and
- David Barajas, 32, of Paramount, a longtime friend of Palomares who is currently in custody on unrelated narcotics charges.
“The FBI counts public corruption as its top criminal program priority, and this case illustrates that commitment. Investigators and detectives tirelessly pursued a small number of law enforcement officers who, in betrayal of their sworn duty to serve the public, used their badges and guns as instruments of terror and personal gain,” said Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles. “The FBI, along with its law enforcement partners, will continue to root out the small percentage of sworn personnel that act outside 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 Police Departments. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas M. Miller of Los Angeles and Department of Justice Trial Attorneys Jeffrey S. Blumberg and Joshua D. Mahan.
The Civil Rights Division is committed to the vigorous enforcement of the federal criminal civil rights statutes, such as laws that prohibit willful acts of misconduct by law enforcement officials. In Fiscal Year 2007, the Criminal Section convicted the highest number of defendants in its history, surpassing the record previously set in Fiscal Year 2006.
The Department of Justice has compiled a significant record on criminal civil rights law enforcement misconduct prosecutions in the last seven years. During the last seven years, the Criminal Section obtained convictions of 53 percent more defendants (391 v. 256) in color of law cases than the previous seven years.
Related article: Los Angeles, Long Beach And Other Police 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
U.S. Department of Justice
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
More Local News...
Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record
Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals.
Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries
The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally!
3 Essential Videos
The System Question as a Survival Question
“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen
Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control
Du pain et des jeux
Fbi joins with Facebook to remove this report
Paraphysique de martyrologie
Asian Countries:Cambodia, Vietnam, N. Korea do not permit unlawful immigration
Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator
Democratic Socialists of America
Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's
Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup
FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution?
Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians
The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally!
Social Policy as Social Infrastructure
Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud
Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner..
June 2018 Honduras coup update
Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support
New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients
Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation
Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why
More Breaking News...