Former LA sheriff’s deputy sentenced to 7 years for leading fake drug raid

LOS ANGELES — A former sheriff’s deputy in Los Angeles County who orchestrated a fake drug raid and stole more than a half-ton of marijuana and $600,000 in cash was sentenced Monday to seven years in federal prison.

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Marc Antrim, 43, of South El Monte, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips, according to a news release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

“The seriousness of the crime could not be overstated,” Phillips said during the sentencing hearing, adding that the heist “sounded like a movie script.”

Antrim pleaded guilty in 2019 to multiple crimes, including deprivation of rights under color of law and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office news release, Antrim and several other people carried out the plot on Oct. 29, 2018. Antrim took a Ford Explorer from the sheriff’s station and pulled up to the legal marijuana distribution business, where he flashed his badge and a fake search warrant to get inside the building, KTLA reported.

Antrim and two fake deputies sported official clothing worn by the sheriff’s office and sported duty belts while carrying firearms, the attorney’s office said.

One bogus deputy also visibly carried a long gun, the release said.

The robbery took approximately two hours. Antrim and his co-conspirators -- Kevin McBride, 45, of Glendora, and Matthew James Perez, 44, of Ontario -- detained three warehouse security guards in the back of the sheriff’s SUV, the Times reported. Another accomplice, Daniel Aguilera, 33, of Los Angeles, arrived in a rental truck, which the group loaded with marijuana, the newspaper reported.

Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department arrived during the heist. Antrim told them he was serving a search warrant at the warehouse, the news release stated. After the police officers left, the heist continued as the men hauled two large safes containing the $600,000 into the truck.

Several days later, an attorney for the business contacted the sheriff’s department and presented security camera footage of the robbery, the Times reported. Authorities recovered nearly $200,000 in cash at McBride’s house, and later found a similar amount at Antrim’s residence, the newspaper reported.

Marc Antrim does not reflect the values of this department or those of the dedicated men and women in law enforcement who proudly serve our communities each day,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement. “The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department expects all of its personnel to hold themselves to the highest ethical, moral, and professional standards at all times. Department members who engage in criminal misconduct will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

McBride and Eric Rodriguez, 35, of Adelanto, are serving federal prison sentences of six and nine years, respectively, after pleading guilty to felony charges in the case, according to the news release. Perez, Aguilera and Jay Colby Sanford, 43, of Pomona, are serving sentences of six years’ imprisonment, two years’ imprisonment, and five years’ probation, respectively.