California officer pleads guilty to lying about mafia ties
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles-area police officer has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators looking into whether he has connections to the Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime.
Court records say Glendale police Detective John Balian pleaded guilty Thursday to all three charges he was facing — bribery, obstruction of justice and lying. His sentencing is set for Sept. 24.
Balian, who was arrested in May at his home in Seal Beach, pleaded guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors.
Prosecutors say a Mexican Mafia associate told investigators that Balian relayed key law enforcement information to criminals about investigations and was involved in extortion plots.
When investigators interviewed Balian, prosecutors say he lied to hide associations with gang members, the Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime.