L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Arrested in Drug Trafficking Scheme
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy has been arrested on drug trafficking charges and it appears there may be more members of law enforcement involved in his scheme.
Deputy Kenneth Collins was arrested by FBI agents Thursday, along with three other men. The others were not members of law enforcement. In fact, U.S. attorney’s office spokesman Thom Mrozek says they have not implicated any other officers so far. But Deputy Collins told an undercover agent that he was working with “teams” of cops who would protect drug operations and intimidate rivals for a price.
And there’s more.
After a meeting Dec. 11 to plan the transport that was set for Tuesday, Collins called another L.A. County sheriff's deputy to discuss the deal, according to the complaint. The other deputy is not named.
The Sheriff's Department says it began cooperating with the FBI months ago when it first learned of the allegations against Collins. A 15-year veteran of the department, Collins was recently tapped to provide security at county buildings. He has been placed on leave and will be suspended without pay.
Thursday’s arrest comes amid ongoing controversy over a top-secret list of problem deputies within the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. Last week, L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacy confirmed her office would be investigating past criminal cases that featured deputies on the list of problem officers.
The implications of that review could be huge. The deputies have been identified as potential witnesses in more than 4,400 felony criminal cases since 2000, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Deputy Collins does not appear to have been on the list.