FBI informant whose abuse reports in Los Angeles County jails helped spark a federal investigation that led to the convictions of nearly two dozen sheriff officials will secure $ 1 million payment from the county .
The supervisory board voted on Tuesday to approve the settlement agreement in a lawsuit brought by Anthony Brown, a convicted bank robber who worked as an informant for FBI agents investigating conditions in county jails. In 2011, when they found out he was helping the FBI, sheriff officials attempted to hide him from officers to prevent him from reporting the brutality in the prisons.
Sheriff’s officials took him from jail to jail under false names, like “Robin Banks.” He filed a complaint alleging, among other things, cruel and unusual punishment and retaliation.
“He was kidnapped for 18 days,” said Stuart Miller, who was part of a team of lawyers representing Brown. During this time, he said, Brown was denied medical treatment and was placed in segregation. “He thought he was going to die.
Sheriff officials had assigned at least 13 deputies to monitor Brown around the clock, in what they called Operation Pandora’s Box, The Times reported in 2013.
At the end of the operation, MPs received an email thanking them for helping “without asking too many questions and without digging into the ongoing investigation,” according to documents reviewed by The Times at the era.
Brown gave FBI agents an insider perspective on a system plagued by episodes of excessive force and other deputy misconduct.
In an interview with The Times in 2012, Brown said he delivered notes on corrupt and brutal MPs during weekly visits with his FBI official.
Brown aided in an operation in which a jailer smuggled a cell phone and other contraband into prison for him in exchange for $ 1,500 in cash from an undercover FBI agent who claimed to be the Brown’s partner outside. An FBI agent testified during a lawmaker’s trial that a phone was discovered by lawmakers before Brown could document any incidents.
“The central men’s prison was run very, very badly and on purpose,” Miller said. “The prisoners there were subjected to brutal beatings at random – it was completely out of control.”
Federal prosecutors secured convictions or guilty pleas against each of the 22 MPs and senior officials who faced criminal charges – a group that included former Sheriff Lee Baca and his No.2, the former Deputy Sheriff Paul Tanaka.
Baca was sentenced to three years in federal prison after a jury found out he was overseeing the plan to interfere with the federal investigation into inmate abuse in prisons and then lied to prosecutors about his role.
During the investigation, sheriff officials showed up at the residence of an FBI agent leading the case to threaten her with arrest.
Brown is serving more than 400 years in prison for bank robbery. Miller said Brown would use the settlement money to take care of his family and children and fight his long term.
A federal judge had dismissed Brown’s trial for its timeliness, but the 9th Circuit appeals court overturned the dismissal. In a report recommending that the lawsuit be settled, county prosecutors said the deal was reasonable given “the risks and uncertainties of the litigation.”