L.A. Sheriff’s Deputies Say They’re Being Tormented By a “Criminal Gang” of Colleagues

The sordid tale of deputy gangs roaming the L.A. Sheriff’s Department hit a crescendo Wednesday when eight deputies filed a lawsuit alleging harassment by a department clique known as the Banditos.

The plaintiffs — seven men and one woman, including two department veterans — claim the Banditos are a violent “criminal gang” with near total control of the East L.A. station. They say they were intimidated, harassed, and subjected to violence after they refused to join the gang.

The plaintiffs accuse the Banditos of encouraging cops to plant evidence on suspects. Those deputies who cross them risk being called into dangerous situations without back-up, the suit claims. Rookies are expected to pay “taxes” to the group to stay in its good graces. For women, this can take the form of sexual favors.

There are reportedly around 100 members of the Banditos. They don matching tattoos of a mustached skeleton in a sombrero with a pistol. Four of them allegedly attacked and injured some of the plaintiffs in 2018.

Read the shocking lawsuit here plus more coverage from LAist