Glendale Police Detective Accused of Lying About Ties to Mexican Mafia, Armenian Organized Crime Hit With New Charges

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John Saro Balian is seen in a 2006 Los Angeles Times file photo taken after he became a Glendale police spokesman.

John Saro Balian is seen in a 2006 Los Angeles Times file photo taken after he became a Glendale police spokesman.

Federal prosecutors have filed new charges against a Glendale narcotics detective suspected of maintaining ties with the Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime in a move that signals the two sides are negotiating a plea deal.

John Saro Balian, 45, now faces one count each of soliciting a bribe, obstructing justice by helping a gangster avoid arrest and making false statements to federal investigators about his relationships with criminals, according to a criminal information filing last week. He was arrested last month on just the latter charge.

The criminal information, a charging document that in a felony case typically indicates that a defendant has waived indictment and has agreed instead to plead guilty, comes after Balian requested time to negotiate a plea agreement, according to court records.

It’s unclear if Balian is cooperating with prosecutors to build cases against others.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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