A former Los Angeles police officer has admitted to federal authorities that he and other law enforcement officers committed brazen armed robberies across Southern California staged to look like legitimate law enforcement raids, the Los Angeles Times reports. Ruben Palomares, 34, and the others stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of drugs, cash, guns, and other items over a nearly four-year period beginning in 1998. Palomares has agreed to plead guilty to a potential life sentence. The enterprise has been the subject of an ongoing investigation since he was caught buying 10 kilograms of cocaine from undercover DEA agents three years ago.
Palomares and his band wore police uniforms and badges during many of the robberies. They would use LAPD squad cars and unmarked police vehicles during the heists. Some of the robberies turned brutally violent. At least two men were shot with stun guns. The crime spree yielded more than 700 pounds of marijuana and 50 kilos of cocaine, that Palomares’ crew then sold for profit.