Sheriff’s Deputy Arrested for Allegedly Smuggling Drugs into Los Angeles County Jail

Sheriff’s Deputy Arrested for Allegedly Smuggling Drugs into Los Angeles County Jail

A sheriff’s deputy, Michael Meiser, 39, who was part of the anti-gang unit known as Operation Safe Jails at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic, Los Angeles County, California, has been arrested for allegedly smuggling heroin into the jail complex. Meiser was apprehended on April 30 and booked on suspicion of an unspecified felony on May 1, according to jail records and multiple law enforcement sources.

Law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, revealed that Meiser had been under surveillance for an extended period. He was allegedly observed purchasing heroin in Los Angeles before returning to the jail facility where he was subsequently arrested. The arrest is said to be part of a broader operation aimed at combating drug use within the jail.

Meiser, an investigator with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the case. The department’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau is handling the investigation, which is ongoing. Once completed, the case will be presented to prosecutors for charging consideration.

Richard Pippin, president of the Assn. of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, acknowledged the ongoing criminal investigation but provided limited information. Pippin stated that all law enforcement professionals are held to a high standard both on and off duty, and the association will wait until they have access to all the information yielded by the investigation before commenting further.

Operation Safe Jails, the unit Meiser was part of, focuses on combating the criminal activities of inmate gang members and discouraging gang activity within the Los Angeles County jails. Notably, in 2013, deputies from this program were indicted for attempting to hide a jailhouse informant from FBI officials investigating jail abuses and corruption, leading to the imprisonment of former Sheriff Lee Baca and others.

The arrest of Meiser comes at a time when Los Angeles County is grappling with a surge in deaths in its jails, many of which are drug-related. Last year, out of 45 inmate deaths, a dozen were attributed to drug use. The county’s northern jail complex has witnessed several of these deaths. Efforts to address the issue include making naloxone readily available and advocating for better body scanners to detect drugs on inmates.

Author: CrimeDoor

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