FBI Informant Caught with Cell Phone in Los Angeles County Jail in Sting Operation

Ever wonder what it is like to be inside an LA County jail? Well, apparently FBI does.

FBI agents managed to sneak a cell phone into the Los Angeles County jail cell of an inmate in order for him to report what took place inside. These are the nation’s largest jail system and are notorious for inmate beatings and deputy misconduct, although the allegations have proven difficult to confirm. There have also been reports of riots, killings, formation of gangs, and outdated facilities. It appears the FBI could no longer stand by idly allowing these human rights violations to occur.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department discovered the cell phone and immediately confiscated it after learning that the man in possession was an informant to the FBI. They placed Deputy Gilbert Michael on leave for slipping the contraband item to the inmate, who he did not realize was an informant in an elaborate sting operation. Michael has since resigned.

The FBI admitted to bribing the deputy with $1,500 to smuggle in the cell phone, but did not bring in the rest of the Sheriff’s Department’s top men to their plan, including Sheriff Lee Baca, who claimed the FBI’s actions were “illegal,” and “a misdemeanor and then there’s a conspiracy law that goes along with it.”

The LA Times reports that the Feds are investigating reports of authoritative abuse of power, including the breaking of one inmate’s jaw and beating another for two minutes after he had lost consciousness. There is also a more general accusation of police racism, especially towards minorities receiving government housing assistance.

Sheriff Baca has since spoken publicly, saying “We police ourselves.” He also criticized the FBI in its handling of the case, questioning whether they had the ability to accurately judge the situation. “What kind of experience do you have in dealing with all this? And to what extent do you know the policies, the procedures and even the law?” he questioned.

Until the FBI comes forward with the findings from its probe, it remains unclear if and how severely the Los Angeles County Jail and Sheriff’s Department will be reprimanded for their misconducts. The following weeks should unfold the entire purpose of the Federal investigation.


For more breaking updates on this news story, check our Los Angeles Bail Bonds Blog or follow us on Twitter @800bailbond

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.