By Steve Neavling
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was found guilty Wednesday of obstructing an FBI investigation involving corrupt and violent guards.
Baca, who was facing a second trial because a jury deadlocked last year, could spend up to 20 years behind bars, the Associated Press reports.
Baca, 74, resigned in 2014 after the corruption investigation netted arrests among rank-and-file deputies in his inner circle.
In 2011, the FBI began investigating the department after jail guards found a contraband cellphone on an inmate who was acting as an FBI mole to record jail beatings.
“When defendant Baca learned the FBI and a federal grand jury was investigating, he obstructed, and when he learned the FBI has turned its focus on him, he lied,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lizabeth Rhodes said.
The investigation revealed that deputies hid the FBI informant from federal agents by moving him to different jails and booking him under fake names.