The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California charged former Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff, Gilbert Michael, with one count of bribery of a public official. Specifically, Michael was charged with agreeing to accept $20,000 in bribes in exchange for smuggling contraband into the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.

While at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD), Michael was responsible for the care, custody, and security of inmates housed at the Men’s Central Jail. Michael resigned from his position at LASD in September 2011.

The DOJ press release provides that a plea agreement was reached January 13, 2012, wherein Michael agreed to plead guilty to the charge and cooperate in the ongoing investigation. In the plea agreement, Michael admitted to agreeing to smuggle contraband, including a cell phone, cigarettes, and a note, to an inmate in exchange for $20,000.

The maximum federal prison sentence for bribery of a public official is ten years. Michael is expected to make his initial court appearance today, January 17, 2012, in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The author of this blog is Erich Ferrari, an attorney specializing in Federal Criminal Defense matters. If you have any questions please contact him at 202-280-6370 or

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