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D.A. memo details investigation into L.A. County sheriff's captain [Google+ hangout]

November 26, 2012 | 12:05 pm

Times reporter Robert Faturechi will join city editor Shelby Grad at 1:30 p.m. in a Google+ hangout to discuss a district attorney's memo that describes how the L.A. County Sheriff's Department came to believe one of its up-and-coming leaders was betraying the agency and shows the efforts officials pursued to prove it.

[Updated: Discussion has been moved from 1 p.m.to 1:30 p.m.]

Prosecutors recently declined to file charges against Bernice Abram, saying they could prove nothing illegal in her dealings with a Compton gang member, but an FBI investigation is continuing.

From Faturechi's article:

The trap was set. All that was left for Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators to do was wait and see if the unthinkable was true.

Suspicions had grown that one of their colleagues — a respected captain with more than 150 deputies under her command — was funneling secret information to an alleged Compton drug trafficker. So investigators sent out a phony plan as bait, according to records and interviews, detailing their intention to do surveillance on a house near the suspected trafficker's home.

A few minutes after receiving the fake plans, Capt. Bernice Abram was heard on a phone tap placing a call to Dion Grim, the suspected drug dealer.

Authorities listened in as she tipped him off about the location of the planned surveillance. Stay away, she warned.

That day, in April 2011, sheriff's officials placed Abram on leave, and for more than a year afterward her ties to Grim were investigated. Prosecutors recently declined to file charges against Abram, saying they couldn't prove the captain knew that Grim, a documented gang member, was involved in illegal activities.


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