Six More Black Eyes|for LA Sheriff’s Office

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Six former and current Los Angeles County sheriff’s officers were convicted Tuesday of obstructing justice by interfering with a federal civil rights investigation of the Men’s Central Jail.
     A federal jury found that the defendants, including two lieutenants, tried to influence witnesses, threatened to arrest an VGI agent and concealed an FBI informant they should have delivered to federal authorities, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
     All six officers were convicted of conspiring to obstruct justice in a scheme that began in the summer of 2011 when they learned that a jail inmate was an FBI informant.
     Convicted were Gregory Thompson, 54, a retired lieutenant who supervised the sheriff’s Operation Safe Jails Program;
     Lt. Stephen Leavins, 52, who was assigned to the sheriff’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau;
     Gerard Smith, 42, a deputy assigned to the Operation Safe Jails Program;
     Mickey Manzo, 34, a deputy assigned to the Operation Safe Jails Program;
     Scott Craig, 50, a sergeant assigned to the Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau;
     and Maricela Long, 46, a sergeant assigned to the Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau.
     All six face up to 15 years in federal prison; Craig and Long could face another 5 years for false statements.
     They will be sentenced on Sept. 8.

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