Federal prosecutors said Friday a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy brazenly abused his law enforcement authority in a marijuana warehouse heist in which he and others claimed to be executing an official search warrant.
In fact, authorities said, the deputy and several accomplices were committing a robbery that netted 600 pounds of pot and two safes containing $100,000 in cash, according to a federal complaint made public Friday.
The 62-page federal court filing names deputy Marc Antrim, assigned to the Sheriff's Temple Station, and another man identified as Eric Rodriguez, along with others who carried out the heist of the indoor marijuana distribution warehouse on Commercial Street in Los Angeles.
Antrim, Rodriguez, and a third man were arrested Thursday morning.
At the time of the robbery, federal authorities allege that Antrim and at least two of his co-conspirators “were armed and falsely portrayed themselves to be LASD deputies executing a search warrant or conducting other official business at the warehouse."
The Feds said Antrim was so bold, that during the two hour robbery, he detained three employees including two security guards working at the warehouse in the backseat of an official LA Sheriff’s patrol vehicle.
When LAPD officers responded to a call for service at the warehouse, the deputies “falsely represented that he was conducting a legitimate search.” The LAPD officers then left allowing Antrim and his co-conspirators to complete the robbery, the complaint states. Antrim is not assigned to a narcotics unit, is not a detective “and would have no reason to investigate or execute a search warrant of the marijuana distribution warehouse” outside the area served by the patrol station he is assigned to.
Antrim, who has worked on the Department's Operation Safe Streets anti-gang detail, is also suspected in the theft of 31 handguns from a safe at Compton City Hall and in the theft of Sheriff¹s Department assault rifles, law enforcement sources told NBC.
The allegations are contained in a criminal complaint that sought evidence at multiple locations including residences in Glendora, Adelanto and South El Monte as well as the deputy¹s Temple Station locker.
"Deputy Antrim allegedly was able to use his law enforcement expertise and his access to Sheriff’s Department gear to stage a robbery that netted over a million dollars in marijuana and cash,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “We cannot tolerate this type of behavior from sworn officers, and this case demonstrates our commitment to quickly address corrupt behavior by law enforcement.”
The Sheriff’s Department assisted federal authorities with the investigation, according to a statement.
"Our Department has a great working relationship with our federal partners in protecting the public and maintaining trust,” said Sheriff Jim McDonnell. "This case serves as an example of the thorough processes in place and our commitment to holding anyone who violates the law accountable."
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was contacted by a concerned resident on Thursday, November 1, 2018 regarding the alleged criminal misconduct involving an employee, the Department statement said. That same day, an investigation was initiated by the Sheriff’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau (ICIB).
"When allegations of criminal activity involve law enforcement, we have systems in place to root out misconduct within the organization, as well as any Department member who chooses to violate the law and public trust. This case indicates that these systems are working as intended," the sheriff’s department said.