A federal judge said the fake raid of the Los Angeles warehouse “sounded like a movie script”
LOS ANGELES (CN) — The 3 a.m. raid of a Los Angeles warehouse by men dressed as Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officers was in fact a robbery. The men took more than half a ton of marijuana and over $600,000 in cash, according to prosecutors.
On Monday, a federal judge sentenced Marc Antrim, the ringleader behind the sham drug bust, to seven years in prison. Antrim, 43, is a former LA County sheriff’s deputy who used a department vehicle as part of the October 2018 fake raid.
Antrim and three other men arrived at the warehouse dressed in sheriff’s department uniforms with holstered guns. Antrim was off duty when he detained three security guards at the warehouse, placed them in his car and showed them a false search warrant, according to prosecutors.
Two of Antrim’s accomplices, Matthew Perez and Daniel Aguilera, ditched their uniforms and ran out a back door when officers from the Los Angeles Police Department arrived at the warehouse in response to reports of a robbery. Antrim explained he was in the middle of a legitimate search. He handed them his phone to talk to someone he identified as his supervisor.
Antrim — a patrol deputy who would have had no reason to search the warehouse in a narcotics investigation — managed to convince the LAPD officers to leave and the other men returned to complete the heist. During the two hour raid, they loaded two safes and 1,200 pounds of marijuana onto a rental truck. The total haul would have been around $2 million according to prosecutors.
Antrim’s sentencing marks the seventh in the case. Christoph Kim, 31, described as disgruntled former warehouse employee, is serving a 14-year prison sentence. U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips said Monday that Antrim’s testimony at Kim’s trial played a role in the former officer’s reduced sentence.
Kevin McBride and Eric Rodriguez received six and nine years, respectively, after pleading guilty to felony charges. Perez got six years, Aguilera received two years and and Jay Sanford is serving a five-year probation term according to prosecutors.
Antrim pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribution of marijuana, conspiracy to deprive rights under color of law, deprivation of rights under color of law and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Phillips noted “the seriousness of the crime could not be overstated” when sentencing Antrim, saying the heist “sounded like a movie script,” was “tragic” for the victims and eroded “the public’s trust.”