FBI Investigating Secret Society of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies Accused of Harassment, Beatings
The FBI is investigating a secret society of tattooed deputies in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department that has been accused of operating like a gang, The Los Angeles Times reports. The so-called Banditos—a group of deputies in the East L.A. station with matching tattoos of a skeleton donning a sombrero and a pistol—have been accused of beatings, harassment, and retaliating against other deputies who decide not to join the group. Other deputies have alleged that the group recruits other young Latino deputies into its ranks and controls crucial parts of major operations. Federal agents are said to be digging into the inner workings of the Banditos and trying to determine if they encourage recruits to commit corrupt acts to join, such as planting evidence or falsifying reports. The FBI is also reportedly looking into similar groups at other stations.