First of Deputies Indicted in Federal Case Agrees to Plead Guilty

By City News Service

The first of 20 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies to be indicted on various corruption and civil rights charges will plead guilty to a weapons violation, prosecutors said Monday.

Deputy Richard Piquette agreed to enter the plea to manufacturing a short-barreled rifle, a charge carrying a possible federal prison sentence of up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A date for Piquette to formally plead guilty before a federal judge was not immediately set.

Piquette was charged in December with illegally building and possessing an unregistered Noveske Rifleworks N-4 .223 caliber rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches.

Piquette, who is currently on leave from the Sheriff’s Department, was previously assigned to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility.

The remaining 19 current and former sheriff’s deputies have pleaded not guilty to various corruption and civil rights offenses stemming from a federal probe of activities inside county jails. Trials are scheduled for later this year.

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May 1, 2014  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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