Compton sheriff station gang lied about guns, hosted inking parties, deputy says

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At the Compton sheriff’s station, it’s called a ghost gun: a weapon a deputy says he spots on a suspect but that is never found when colleagues respond to the scene and search for it.

A tattoo worn by L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Samuel Aldama is seen in a photo displayed during a press conference held by the Sweeney Firm on July 14, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)
A tattoo worn by L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Samuel Aldama is seen in a photo displayed during a press conference held by the Sweeney Firm on July 14, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

That’s because the call-out is based on a lie. The deputy didn’t actually see a gun, but his suspect could turn out to be armed and an arrest or recovered firearm could pad his reputation.

It’s the kind of behavior that plays out regularly at the station, according to a whistleblower who worked there for five years and recounted other sensational allegations in a recent deposition obtained by The Times in a federal civil rights lawsuit.

“In reality, they’ve never seen the gun,” L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Austreberto Gonzalez said under oath. “And then at the end when their containments are set up, you know, the gun is never recovered. You know, they’ll call it a day and say, ‘Thank you for rolling. We’re going to call it,’ and a gun was never recovered.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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