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Deputy suspected of lewd acts is linked to burrito drug case

February 17, 2012 | 11:01 am

Photo: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy arrested this week on suspicion of committing lewd acts with a child was also under investigation for potential involvement in a scheme to smuggle drugs behind bars, an official confirmed.

Oscar Rodriguez was arrested Thursday by the Los Angeles Police Department on suspicion of committing unspecified acts against a child while off duty.

Rodriguez was the same deputy named in recently released grand jury testimony in the case of a fellow deputy, Henry Marin, who was charged in connection with an attempt to smuggle heroin inside of a burrito to inmates in a courthouse holding cell.

Rodriguez was not charged in that case, but during the grand jury hearing, the deputy was named as another potential sheriff’s employee who an inmate leader –- or shot caller –- believed was willing to smuggle heroin behind bars.

Despite being named during the proceeding, Rodriguez was allowed to continue working in patrol until this week when he was arrested Thursday on unrelated sexual allegations. Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said Rodriguez has been placed on leave with pay.

Whitmore confirmed that Rodriguez is also still “part and parcel” of the ongoing investigation connected to the heroin-laden burrito incident.

The deputy has been with the Sheriff’s Department for a decade.

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-- Jack Leonard and Robert Faturechi 

Photo: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore speaks at a news conference last year. Whitmore confirmed Oscar Rodriguez's link to a heroin smuggling case. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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