Cops Allegedly Shut Off Suspect's Electricity to Plant Evidence

Prosecutors say two Los Angeles deputies planted a gun in a suspect's store in order to justify an arrest.

Julio Cesar Martinez, 39, and Anthony Manuel Paez, 32, were both charged with felonies today in connection with a 2011 arrest at a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles.

According to the LA Times, the men claimed they had been patrolling West 84th Place in South LA when they saw a man make a "hand-to-hand narcotics transaction and reach for a firearm in his front shorts pocket area."

Martinez wrote in the report that the officers followed the man into the dispensary, where he spotted a "discarded firearm near a trash bin and another firearm on top of a desk next to ecstasy pills."

Martinez and Paez arrested two men, and the case was closed.

Except it wasn't.

At some point, the sheriff's Internal Criminal Investigation Bureau became involved and discovered that the dispensary's video feed didn't exactly match the officers' story.

Before he got a search warrant, Martinez kicked a wall outlet and shut down power to the room, according to the complaint. Paez then allegedly opened a drawer, pulled out a gun and put it on a chair.

The complaint alleges Paez also planted a gun on top of an office desk, next to some ecstasy pills. At some point, Paez allegedly crawled under the desk and disabled the security camera system.

According to KTLA, one of the men originally arrested pled no contest to the charges and was sentenced to a year in jail in April, 2012. Prosecutors are apparently still trying to contact his attorney.

[image via AP]