Back in August of 2011, two seasoned Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies reported witnessing a “hand-to-hand narcotics transaction” in the parking lot outside of a southside LA cannabis dispensary.
The two officers, Julio Cesar Martinez (a 15-year vet) and Anthony Manuel Paez (a 7-year vet), say they were on a routine patrol on West 84th Place when they saw the alleged drug deal go down. They said at the time that they also witnessed what was a poorly concealed firearm on one of the suspects who, they claimed, ducked into the dispensary as they pulled up.
W. 84th is LAPD turf, not the jurisdiction of LA County Sheriff’s Deputies. So their account of what went down next was on questionable ground - literally - from the jump.
The officers say, on the record, that they followed the allegedly armed suspect into the dispensary – without a warrant to enter - where they discovered not one but multiple firearms along with a stash of ecstasy pills.
Two suspects were arrested – one for possessing an unregistered firearm, and the other for possession of ecstasy in the presence of a firearm.
But more than a year after that bogus raid, an internal investigation revealed that surveillance camera footage from inside the dispensary was inconsistent with the fable that the two officers in question were spinning.
It turns out, Deputy Martinez actually crawled under a desk in the pot shop like the rat he is and manipulated the wiring of the store’s security system and even cut the power to try to cover he and his partner’s tracks.
Once he thought the coast was clear, Martinez planted three guns on the scene, placing two on a desk near the pills, and removing a third from a drawer and leaving it on a chair. His official report would state that he retrieved one from a trash can after the suspect tried to hide it.
One year after the investigation began into the events of that day, both officers were “separated” from their jobs and a year after that, in 2014, both were charged with crimes including perjury as well as a felony count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice and a peace officer altering evidence.
Sounds serious, right?
A couple rogue cops outside of their area of operations, planting guns on otherwise innocent people and then lying about it to every one of their colleagues until the evidence against them became too much to bear.
Keep in mind, one of the falsely accused suspects went to jail for a year and the other got strapped with a phony firearms charge, so surely prosecutors would make an example of these crooked cops in hopes of restoring trust with the public… right?
Well, we learned this week – 8 damn years after the crimes were committed – that Deputy District Attorney Rachel Greene of the Justice System Integrity Division (wtf they know about integrity is anyone’s guess) prosecuted the cases and in a totally unshocking display of “professional courtesy” Julio Martinez was given a whopping 300 hours of community service that he must complete within the next two years.
His ex-partner, Ant Paez?
Prosecutors dropped his charges completely. The only shocking thing about that was the blunt, barefaced, lack of perspective or optics shown when the DA wrote that the decision was made “in the interest of justice”.
The crazy part is that they weren't trying to rob the place, or shake down a street rival - they just wanted a heroic arrest. They wanted first pick of the Krispy Kremes the next day at the office. It's a damn game to them.
Had the two been convicted in what should have been an open and shut case, they could have faced up to seven years in state prison. As dirty as these two rats were, they probably wouldn’t have had a good time there once their fellow inmates sniffed them out.
Instead, these two crooks are out on the street, free as can be, while citizens from DTLA to NYC continue to scream...