Former Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka surrendered to authorities after being indicted by a federal grand jury investigating excessive force and corruption in county jails, the Los Angeles Times reports. The indictment is expected to be announced today against Tanaka and a retired sheriff's captain. The charges against Tanaka are “baseless” and he plans to “aggressively defend” himself in court, said his attorney.
The indictments come as federal prosecutors appear to be setting their sights on the upper echelons of former Sheriff Lee Baca’s department after already charging mostly low-level officials in the case. Baca abruptly stepped down last year, not long after those first charges were filed. The federal investigation originated with allegations of brutality and corruption against jail deputies. It branched into obstruction of justice after sheriff’s officials found a cellphone that had been smuggled into jail to an inmate working as an FBI informant.