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Home blog Criminal Defense In the News Two Top Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Officials Indicted in Federal Probe of Jails

Two Top Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Officials Indicted in Federal Probe of Jails

By Michael Guisti on May 20, 2015

Los Angeles, CA — On Thursday, former Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka and former Captain William Carey surrendered themselves to the FBI after federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging them with obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and other crimes. The indictment follows a lengthy federal investigation into allegations of corruption and other misconduct in jails run by the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the indictment, Tanaka and Carey, who both pleaded not guilty at their arraignment that afternoon, knowingly participated in a conspiracy to hide abusive behavior towards inmates in LA jails. Among the incidents detailed in the indictment is the defendants’ alleged involvement with the effort to keep an FBI informant from communicating with his handlers by shuffling him around the jail system and falsifying records. Both Tanaka and Carey have been charged with one count each of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Prosecutors have also charged Carey with two counts of making false statements after he allegedly perjured himself during the trial of a number of lower-ranking sheriff’s deputies who were convicted last year.

Carey is retired from the sheriff’s department while Tanaka left law enforcement after his unsuccessful run to replace Lee Baca. Tanaka currently serves as the mayor of Gardena and is expected to take a leave of absence. Both men served under former Sheriff Lee Baca who resigned last year when 18 deputies were indicted in a related investigation. Baca was not named as a defendant in the indictment, but prosecutors have not ruled out the possibility that he could face criminal charges in the future.

Even law enforcement officers can face criminal charges when they are accused of abusing their authority or disregarding the law while on the job. Charges of corruption, police misconduct, accepting bribes, and other crimes can destroy a career in law enforcement. No matter what kind of criminal charges you’re facing, the best thing you can do to improve your chances of acquittal is to hire a top federal criminal defense attorney to represent you at trial.

At the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we’ve been practicing law in Orange County’s state and federal courts for over 16 years, and in that time we’ve built an impressive reputation for having the charges against our clients reduced or dismissed. Our dedicated team of legal professionals knows the best strategies for fighting charges like homicide, fraud, bribery, sexual assault, domestic violence, corruption, theft, and arson. We aren’t afraid to take on difficult or high-profile cases that have garnered media attention and we never give up on our clients.

When you come to our firm, protecting your rights will be our top priority. We know how difficult it can be to face criminal charges while continuing to manage your personal and professional obligations and we’ll do everything we can to help you shoulder the burden. Our friendly and professional staff is available to take your calls 24/7. We’ll help you tackle your legal problems while you keep the rest of your life on track.

It has been our pleasure to serve Orange County’s diverse population for more than a decade. Our success has allowed us to open offices in Garden Grove, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, and Irvine so that we can better serve the local populous and court districts. We are proud to offer foreign language assistance as needed.

So if you need help fighting any kind of criminal charge in Orange County courts, call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (888) 588-7778 for a free consultation.


Stolze, Frank with AP. “Feds indict former LA Undersheriff Tanaka in LA jails scandal (update).” http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/05/14/51683/feds-indict-former-undersheriff-paul-tanaka-in-la/. 89.3 KPCC. 14 May 2015.

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