Ex-Glendale Detective Linked to Organized Crime Sentenced to Prison for Bribery, Obstructing Justice

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.

A former Glendale police detective who lied to authorities about his connection to organized crime and warned the Mexican Mafia about an upcoming gang arrest was sentenced on Friday to 21 months in prison.

John Saro Balian will also have to serve three years of supervised release following his incarceration and will be required to pay a $300 special assessment and a $60,000 fine to the government. The punishment comes after he pleaded guilty in July to one count each of soliciting a bribe, obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal investigators.

During the hearing, Balian, who was in handcuffs and wearing a khaki-colored prison jumpsuit, addressed the court, saying he didn’t “wake up one day and decide this was the road in life I was going to go down.”

He added: “I didn’t have the courage at the time to say ‘no’ to someone who asked me for a favor…. I regret what I’ve done, I’m truly sorry.”

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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