LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Federal officials may be trying to expand their probe into LA County jail misconduct by convincing deputies to share evidence against their fellow colleagues and superior officers.

This week, 18 members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s departments, from deputies to lieutenants, were named in four indictments and one criminal complaint on allegations related to misconduct in the jails. The charges range from obstruction of justice to civil rights violations to unlawful assault.

The FBI has been investigating allegations of excessive force and other misconduct at the county’s jails since at least 2011.

Faced with the prospect of long prison sentences, some of the 18 people named in the indictments might lessen their potential penalties by implicating higher-ups in the Sheriff’s Department who allegedly transferred an inmate who was called to testify before a grand jury on jail abuses to different areas of the jail and to hide him from FBI agents.

Attorney and legal analyst Royal Oakes says the clock is ticking on who might be the first to reveal that information.

“The earlier you do a deal, you flip and testify against others, generally, that’s the best deal you’re gonna get, the folks who get on board later, don’t have such a good deal,” Oakes said. “It’s how high it goes up, nobody’s got a crystal ball.”


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