Ex-L.A. cop sentenced to 5 years
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Former Los Angeles police Officer Nino Durden, who along with ex-partner Rafael Perez came to symbolize the department's corruption scandal, was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday.
Durden was sentenced on six counts, including perjury, filing false police reports and conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
"Sentencing is fair relative to what he did and that he did acknowledge his culpability and did cooperate with authorities," said head Deputy District Attorney Bill Hodgman. "He was truly remorseful."
Durden, who has been helping state and federal authorities in their investigation of police tactics, will be allowed to serve his state sentence concurrently with the three years in federal prison he was sentenced to in June for civil rights violations and possession of an illegal firearm.
Superior Court Judge David Wesley told Durden he must surrender to federal authorities September 12. He is currently free on $680,000 bail.
The so-called Rampart scandal was a morale-busting black eye for the Los Angeles police force. It surfaced four years ago when police officer Rafael Perez was convicted of stealing drugs from police evidence.
In exchange for a lighter sentence, Perez blew the whistle on his partners, admitting to investigators that he and his former colleagues in the LAPD's Rampart Division, including Durden, routinely planted drugs and guns on suspects and fabricated arrest reports.
Perez also said he and others beat suspects in custody and in some cases shot unarmed, innocent people during gang sweeps in a crime-plagued region west of downtown Los Angeles.
The scandal led to the reversal of more than 100 criminal convictions of men and women, many of whom were later deported for violating immigration laws.
The city of Los Angeles also signed a consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department requiring federal oversight of the police department's management and training policies.
The city has so far paid more than $45 million in civil lawsuits related to the corruption scandal, but some city officials estimate the costs could exceed $125 million when the remaining cases are settled.
Since the corruption probe began four years ago, eight officers have been charged with criminal misconduct.
More than 70 officers in the LAPD's Rampart Division faced allegations of misconduct, but most of those cases were dismissed because of insufficient evidence or because the statute of limitations had expired.
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