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O.C. sheriff's deputy accused of taking bribes from inmate

February 7, 2013 |  9:13 pm

An Orange County Sheriff's Department deputy was arrested Thursday on suspicion of taking bribes in exchange for allowing an inmate -- who was later convicted of murder -- to secretly have sex while in custody and to smuggle contraband into jail.

David Lloyd Cass, 38, of Glendora has been with the Sheriff's Department for four years and was assigned to the Orange County Men's Jail. He has been charged with two felony counts of bribery.

At the jail, Cass worked in and around the attorney/bond room, "where inmates meet with their attorneys or attorney's representative to discuss their pending criminal cases," according to a news release from the Orange County district attorney's office.

Prosecutors allege that Cass accepted bribes from inmate Stephenson Choi Kim between 2009 and 2012. At the time, Kim was in custody awaiting trial for murder and other crimes. He was convicted and sentenced in April to life in prison without the possibility of parole, among other penalties.

Kim, according to the district attorney's office, secretly married a woman named Ha Nguyen in August 2010 while still in jail and figured out a way to have her act as a "legal assistant runner" in his cases.

Authorities allege Cass allowed Kim and Nguyen to have sex in the attorney/bond room and to conspire to smuggle contraband into jail on multiple occasions.

"Cass is accused of allowing Kim and Nguyen to smuggle prohibited items into the jail including food, razors, a cellphone, prescription medications and drugs, including marijuana. Kim is accused of frequently selling these items to other inmates," the release states.

"In exchange for allowing the illegal and prohibited behavior, Cass is accused of accepting bribes from Kim and Nguyen, including four tickets to a Los Angeles Kings hockey game and gift certificates to Burke Williams Spa and various restaurants," the release said.

Nguyen and Kim also allegedly offered to introduce Cass to women and to arrange special treatment for him at certain spots in Westminster and Garden Grove.

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-- Ari Bloomekatz

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