Former L.A. Sheriff’s Deputy Indicted by Federal Grand Jury on Charges Related to Cover-Up of Attack of Visitor to Men’s Central Jail
LOS ANGELES – In a case stemming from the beating of a handcuffed man at Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles, a sixth member of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department was indicted today on federal charges for allegedly participating in the cover-up of the violent incident.
Byron Dredd, 33, who is no longer with the LASD, was named in a three-count indictment that charges him with conspiracy to violate the victim’s civil rights and two counts of making false reports.
Five other former deputies have been convicted in relation to the 2011 attack and are pending sentencing (see: http://go.usa.gov/3Jypx).
Dredd, along with the other defendants previously convicted, was assigned to the Visiting Center at Men’s Central Jail. On February 26, 2011, the victim and his girlfriend went to the jail to visit the victim’s incarcerated brother. Both visitors had cell phones in their possession, which is prohibited under jail rules. When the phones were discovered, the victim was handcuffed and brought into an employee break room, where he was beaten and sprayed with a burning agent similar to pepper spray. The victim was later transferred to the hospital by paramedics. As a result of false statements made by the previously convicted deputies and allegedly made by Dredd, the victim was charged with several crimes, including resisting an officer and battery.
The indictment against Dredd alleges that he wrote an incident report in which he falsely claimed that the victim attacked one of the deputies and then attempted to escape.
“The Department of Justice will continue to hold accountable individuals who abuse their positions as law enforcement officers by committing crimes or by trying to cover them up,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “While this former deputy sheriff allegedly participated in a scheme to violate the civil rights of a man who had to be hospitalized after he was beaten by other deputies, his actions should not reflect on the good work performed by the overwhelming majority of Los Angeles deputy sheriffs.”
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.
If convicted of the charges in the indictment, Dredd would face a statutory maximum penalty of 35 years in federal prison – up to 10 years for the civil rights conspiracy, up to 20 years for the falsification of records, and up to five years for making false statements to the FBI.
Dredd will be summonsed to appear for an arraigned in United States District Court in the coming weeks.
This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI, 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, 15 current or former members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department have now been convicted of federal charges.