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Jail informant's record could complicate probe [video discussion]

August 28, 2012 |  1:13 pm

An FBI informant who reported on abuse within L.A. County jails is serving 423 years to life for armed robbery and has a history of making unfounded allegations about police, the Times reported Tuesday.

The Times will host a live video discussion at 1:30 p.m. with reporter Robert Faturechi and city editor Shelby Grad to discuss how Anthony Brown's history could complicate the case federal prosecutors are building.

We invite you to join in on the conversation by posting comments below or onto The Times’ Facebook and Google+ pages or on Twitter using the #asklatimes hashtag.

On Tuesday, Faturechi and Times reporter Jack Leonard wrote:

For months, Anthony Brown fooled his jailers into believing that he was just another prisoner inside Men's Central Jail.

In fact, the 45-year-old armed robber was working for the FBI on a highly sensitive investigation of the Los Angeles County jails. He took down the names of sheriff's deputies who he alleged were dirty. He reported tales of violent abuse of inmates at the hands of jailers. He even ensnared a deputy in a phone smuggling scheme that resulted in a criminal conviction.

Brown gave FBI agents what they couldn't have gotten on their own: an insider's view of a jail system beset with allegations of excessive force and other deputy misconduct.

But the same knack for duplicity that made Brown a successful informant could complicate the larger case federal prosecutors are building on alleged abuses inside the nation's largest jail system.

Until now, little has been known about the informant. But The Times confirmed his identity and spoke to him at length at Centinela State Prison in Imperial County, where he's serving 423 years to life for armed robbery.

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Jail informant's credibility complicates work of federal prosecutors
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