Attorney sentenced for trying to smuggle drugs to client
An attorney who authorities said tried to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine to his client at a jail holding facility in downtown Los Angeles -- and was later caught at another courthouse with rock cocaine -- was sentenced to jail Friday, authorities said.
Kenneth Roger Markman, 49, was sentenced to a year in County Jail and a one-year residential treatment program as part of three years of supervised probation, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
Last month, Markman pleaded no contest to conspiracy and drug charges, authorities said.
Markman was first arrested Oct. 21, 2011, after trying to smuggle 26 balloons containing heroin and methamphetamine into a jail holding facility at the criminal courts building in downtown Los Angeles. The drugs were intended for Markman’s client, Jorge Zaragoza, 36, a suspected gang member scheduled to appear in court that day in connection with an attempted carjacking case, authorities said.
The attorney was arrested a month later at the Antelope Valley Courthouse after a security officer spotted suspicious items as Markman went through security, authorities said. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, who prevented Markman from grabbing his belongings and fleeing the building, discovered “drug paraphernalia and two bindles of rock cocaine” in Markman’s wallet, prosecutors said.
The State Bar of California has suspended Markman. A decision is pending on whether he will be allowed to continue to practice law, authorities said.
-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita