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'Burrito' deputy flunked out of academy on reality TV show

January 12, 2012 |  4:50 pm

Long before he made the news for allegedly smuggling a heroin-stuffed burrito behind bars, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Henry Marin was a reality TV star — of sorts.

In the first episode of Fox's reality show "The Academy" based on the Sheriff’s Department's training of recruits, Marin stood out as the dimwitted class slacker.

On the first day, he was caught by his supervisor dozing during orientation.

"If he doesn't have the discipline to come here on Day 1 and show some respect," said one drill sergeant on the show, "he's certainly not gonna have the discipline to work in the field of law enforcement."

In another episode, the deputy has a wardrobe malfunction. "What is wrong with you, recruit?" his drill sergeant shouts. "Your tie's on backward on top of your collar. You've got to be kidding me."

Marin's subpar performance eventually led to his ouster from Academy Class 355 for flunking two role-playing exercises. In one, he failed to call for help after a suicidal woman drew a gun and was unable to recall the radio code for an emergency. "You blew this one, big time," his instructor says.

After he failed a second scenario, Marin was dismissed from the academy.

"You seem to have no knowledge or understanding of the laws that guide you and allow you to do certain things," a sergeant tells him on the show when he was let go. Marin was allowed to re-enroll in a later academy and successfully graduated, a department spokesman said.

Earlier this week, Marin was charged in connection with a scheme to smuggle heroin, hidden inside a bean and cheese burrito, into a courthouse jail. He pleaded not guilty after surrendering to fellow deputies at the sheriff's South Los Angeles station.

Authorities said Marin has been relieved of duty. He was released from custody Wednesday on $25,000 bail. His attorney declined comment.

For the 27-year-old, this week's events might turn out to be the end of a career in law enforcement that got off to a bumpy start.

In one 2007 episode of "The Academy," over melodramatic guitar music, Marin confessed that he had no friends in his academy class. "I'm better just keeping to myself," he revealed.

"He certainly wasn't one of our best," sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said of Marin's performance on the show.

During Week 16 of the 18-week academy, Marin took part in an exercise in which he and other recruits searched for a burglary suspect in a house. After the test, an instructor criticized Marin for turning his head away from areas he was meant to be checking, saying the recruit "put himself and his partners in a life-threatening situation."

The failure led instructors to cut Marin from the class. The recruit was told he would have a second chance but would have to change his ways.

"If you decide you want to come back here, you need to come back here with a renewed attitude and a totally different approach," an academy sergeant tells him on the show.

Afterward, Marin speaks of his disappointment.

"Hopefully I'll be back," he says.


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-- Jack Leonard and Robert Faturechi