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LA deputies accused of planting guns to justify arrest

South Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary where two deputies are accused of planting guns to justify two arrests CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES - Two former Los Angeles sheriff's deputies allegedly planted guns in a medical marijuana dispensary in order to justify an arrest, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Julio Cesar Martinez, 39, and Anthony Manuel Paez, 32, were arrested on felony conspiracy to obstruct justice and perjury charges on April 18 and later freed on $50,000 bail.

According to a statement from the prosecutor's office, Martinez and Paez wrote a report saying that on Aug. 24, 2011 they "witnessed a narcotics transaction and observed one suspect with a firearm" then followed the suspect into the dispensary and discovered two guns - one near a trash bin and one "on top of a desk next to ecstasy pills."

The officers arrested two men, Antonio Rhodes for possession of an unregistered firearm, and Johnny Yang for possession of a controlled substance while armed with a firearm.

But according to the prosecutor, video from inside the dispensary contradicts the deputies' report.

Prosecutors contend that the deputies planted the weapons and that Martinez shut off electricity to the room, and Paez crawled under the desk to disable the dispensary's video surveillance system.

Both deputies were dismissed from the sheriff's department last year and face more than seven years in prison if convicted.

Rhodes' case was dismissed in 2012, but Yang was sentenced to 180 days in jail. It is unclear how much time he served.

  • Julia Dahl

    Julia Dahl writes about crime and justice for CBSNews.com

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