By Marty Carlson


Last March 15 Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, was found guilty of obstructing a federal investigation by hiding inmates at the jail, and interfering with the federal investigation into abuse.

The foreman of the jury stated, “that the leader runs the ship” it has to be held responsible.

To get Baca prosecutors methodically worked their way up to the ranks of a group of Sheriff’s Department employees who alleged to have carried out a scheme to impede the FBI investigation. A total of 10 people from low-level deputies all the way up to the Sheriff have been convicted or pled guilty. Several other deputies have been found guilty of civil rights violations.

The scheme, that prosecutors argued, said there were efforts to keep FBI agents away from an inmate would been working as an informant, and manipulating potential witnesses in the federal inquiry. They also said that there was an effort to intimidate and FBI agent.

That was Los Angeles County now move forward to Orange county:

Yesterday, 6-13-2017, an Orange county grand jury dismissed it as “myth,” that there is a  secret program by the sheriff department was being used for jailhouse informants to obtain confessions from criminal defendants.

Grand jurors found no evidence that prosecutors or the Sheriff’s Department had used “mercenary informants” also known as “snitches” to obtain confessions from defendants. Informants typically are provided with favors and or valuables to solicit information about particular cases or a specific inmate or defendant.

The grand jury stated that use of in custody informants does happen, it is case specific and does not represent a conspiracy.

Orange county sheriff Sandra Hutchens, and district attorney Tony Rackauckas, responded by saying the grand jury upheld but they been saying all along.

The report does stand in a stark contrast to allegations leveled by a specific attorney in a specific case.

That attorney was representing the defendant that brought up this issue was Assistant Public defender Scott Sanders, naturally he criticized the report, saying grand jury failed to understand the scale of the jailhouse informant problem and that their findings had not coincided with recent rulings handed down by several sitting judges.

The current judge in the pending case, Judge Thomas Goethals, stated he is satisfied beyond any doubt that the Sheriff’s Department had a program placing inmates next to defendants to coax confessions, which is a practice which is not allowed by law. In addition, an appellate court has determined that the Sheriff’s Department was running a sophisticated informant program at the jail’s. This judge had recused the entire Orange County DA’s office for their activities.

Scott Evans Dekraai is a defendant in the case that raised the issue and he is accused of killing eight people in a hair salon in seal Beach, California.

United States Department of Justice and the California Atty. Gen.’s office are conducting separate investigations in this scandal.

The scandal came to light in 2015 when judge Goethals removed the District Attorney’s Office from the case after attorneys had successfully argued that authorities intentionally placed the defendant in a cell with a well-known informant. This case is now being prosecuted by the state Atty. Gen.’s office.

Defense attorneys in other cases have since argued that the District Attorney’s Office has failed to turn over discovery or disclose information about the use of informants in their cases.

In this case attorneys have argued the sheriff department intentionally hid visiting and movement logs of known informants inside the jail.

The grand jury report said the logs did not show collusion between law enforcement agencies. They also stated the housing assignments of the defendant and the informant as “pure coincidence.”

As we have all seen in this Frank Carson et al. case the use of informants, especially in custody, has brought to light its extensive use. It’s been come to know that people like Patrick Hampton have made a career out of writing letters to District Attorney’s Office investigator Steve Jacobson for more than 20 years. We also see people like Mike Cooley and what is become to be known as the “Cooley clan”, we have a long history of criminal activity, drug addiction, and pending charges, cases, or sentencing. 

In addition, Hampton was put in the same cell as Robert Woody while in Tuolumne county jail, when they were both witness’s in the same case. Hampton then approached his former high school friend, DA investigator Steve Jacobson to inform him what Woody had told him. Coincidence?

And I heard a rumor recently that there’s another jailhouse informant that’s come forward wanting to talk about the Carson case but I have no specific information about that.

At times, some good information can be provided, at times important information can be provided trying to make the informants life easier by the situation are thin and telling people what they want to hear. And sometimes it seems law enforcement may be more than willing to believe what they’re told simply because it fits their theory or agenda.

Also note that I had placed two different counties and their issues in the same article to show that Los Angeles County, and Orange county, appear to be having the same type of serious issues involving inmates that I have seen here in Stanislaus County sitting through 18 months of the Frank Carson et al. preliminary hearing.