Ex-L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Sentenced to One Year in Federal Prison for Lying to FBI as Part of Cover-Up of Attack on Jail Visitor
LOS ANGELES – A former deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was sentenced today to 12 months in federal prison for lying to FBI agents about the beating of a handcuffed man that took place in 2011 at Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.
Byron Dredd, 37, was found guilty by a federal jury in January of making false statements to the FBI. He was sentenced by United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer, who said that Dredd’s conduct was egregious because it was part of a cover-up and supported false criminal charges against the victim.
According to evidence presented at Dredd’s four-day trial earlier this year, Dredd and five other deputies were assigned to the Visiting Center at Men’s Central Jail. On February 26, 2011, the victim went to the jail to visit his brother, who was in custody. Deputies handcuffed the victim and brought him to an employee break room because they suspected he was in possession of a mobile phone. Deputies then beat the victim, who remained defenseless with his arms handcuffed behind his back the entire time. Dredd witnessed the unjustified beating through a window from an adjacent room. As a result of false reports authored by Dredd and other deputies, the victim was charged with several crimes, including resisting an officer and battery. These charges later were dismissed.
After the FBI opened a civil rights investigation into the assault, Dredd lied to the FBI during an interview on July 17, 2012. Dredd falsely told the FBI that the victim was the aggressor, that he saw the victim take a swing at a deputy, that the victim tried to push past a deputy in an attempt to escape, and that he saw the victim punch a deputy in the chest.
In a previous trial in 2016, a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict against Dredd on the false statements. At that trial, Dredd was also acquitted of conspiring to violate the victim’s civil rights and obstructing a federal investigation.
Previously in this investigation, five deputies who participated in the beating and cover-up of the handcuffed victim were convicted and sentenced to prison, including former Sergeant Eric Gonzalez, who is serving an eight-year prison term after being found guilty of violating the victim’s civil rights and falsifying reports.
This case was investigated by the FBI, and is the last in a series of cases resulting from a larger investigation into corruption and civil rights abuses at county jail facilities in downtown Los Angeles. A total of 22 members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were convicted of federal charges.
This matter was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Veronica Dragalin and Agustin D. Orozco of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section.