Two former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have been charged with multiple felonies, including conspiracy and altering evidence, in connection with planting guns inside a medical cannabis dispensary in 2011 to justify two arrests.
Julio Cesar Martinez and Anthony Manuel Paez were both booked Friday and released on $50,000 bail; they’re scheduled to be arraigned on June 17th. They’re being charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice as well as altering evidence as a peace officer. Martinez was also charged with two felony counts of perjury and one of filing a false report.
According to prosecutors the former deputies wrote a report claiming they observed a drug sale which involved an individual in open possession of a gun. Martinez followed the suspect into a medical cannabis dispensary, where he claimed to have found a gun near a trash bin and another on a desk.
As part of the incident, two men were arrested, one for possession of an unregistered gun and one for possession of a controlled substance while armed with a gun. Charges against the men were later dropped after the sheriff’s Internal Criminal Investigation Bureau investigated the incident a year later and discovered video that was inconsistent with the report.
If the former officers are convicted, they face could face more than 7 years in prison.