Report: Drug Trade Is Thriving In LA County Jails

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An illicit drug trade is thriving at Los Angeles County jails, helped in part by crooked guards who deliver contraband to inmates.

A Los Angeles Times investigation published Sunday  finds three sheriff’s guards were convicted and a fourth was fired in recent years for smuggling or attempting to smuggle narcotics past tight security in the nation’s largest jail system. Investigators are looking into allegations that at least three more deputies brought drugs behind bars.

Documents show guards are often corrupted by the prospect of quick cash. Keon Khatibi, a 19-year-old sheriff’s custody assistant, was sentenced to 180 days in jail after trying to smuggle heroin and two syringes into jail in exchange for about $1,000.

The newspaper finds the problem is not confined to guards. Two nursing assistants were caught smuggling food and clothes to an inmate.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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