LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury today indicted former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca on federal charges alleging that he conspired to obstruct justice, obstructed justice, and lied to the federal government.
The case against Baca is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is one in a series of cases resulting from an investigation into corruption and civil rights abuses at county jail facilities in downtown Los Angeles. As a result of the investigation, 20 current or former members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department were convicted of federal charges.
Baca, 74, of San Marino, California, was charged today in a three-count superseding indictment, with one count of conspiracy to obstruct a federal grand jury investigation, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of making false statements.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
The conspiracy charge carries a maximum term of five years in prison, the obstruction of justice carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison and the charge of making a false statement carries a maximum term of five years in prison. If convicted on all counts, the total maximum Baca faces is 20 years in federal prison.
Baca is expected to be arraigned on the superseding indictment at a later date in United States District Court in Los Angeles.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brandon Fox, Chief of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section; Assistant United States Attorney Lizabeth A. Rhodes, Chief of the General Crimes Section; and Assistant United States Attorney Eddie A. Jauregui of the General Crimes Section.