Mighty have fallen: Ex-LA undersheriff Tanaka starts 5-year prison term

Former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka. Photo via Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka might be not smiling as he begins a jail sentence. Photograph by way of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division

Former Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka surrendered to federal authorities in Englewood, Colorado, Monday to start serving a 5-yr jail time period for his conviction on obstruction of justice expenses.

Tanaka’s lawyer, H. Dean Steward, confirmed that Tanaka was at a “minimal safety camp.”

A federal appellate courtroom in December denied Tanaka’s bid to stay free whereas his attraction is pending. Tanaka was convicted of conspiracy and obstructing an FBI investigation into abuses by deputies in county jails.

Prosecutors introduced proof that he oversaw a scheme by which deputies threatened an FBI agent with arrest, hid a jail inmate who was working as a federal informant and pressured underlings to not cooperate with the investigation.

Tanaka, fifty eight, of Gardena, was the ninth sheriff’s official convicted of legal conduct based mostly on the circumstances surrounding the hiding of inmate- informer Anthony Brown, a scheme that additionally concerned witness tampering and the threatened arrest of the FBI agent.

His 60-month jail sentence is the longest stretch of any defendant within the Brown case.

Seven former sheriff’s lieutenants, sergeants and deputies convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice acquired jail sentences starting from 18 to forty one months.

Through the trial, prosecutors argued that Tanaka directed co- conspirators in a scheme to derail the 2011 investigation into allegations of extreme pressure inside the jail system. Tanaka maintained that his then-boss, former Sheriff Lee Baca, was truly giving the orders and the undersheriff didn’t know what was happening.

Baca’s trial ended with a hung jury and a mistrial, however federal prosecutors plan to attempt him once more. One other trial is predicted to start subsequent month.

–Metropolis Information Service

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