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Fourth L.A. Inmate To Be Freed

November 19, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ As part of an ongoing corruption probe, prosecutors are expected to ask a judge today to free a man framed on drug charges by a Los Angeles police officer.

Former officer Rafael Perez, the central figure in the corruption scandal, admitted Wednesday that he wrongly accused Oscar Francisco Lafarga of violating probation in 1996, District Attorney Gil Garcetti said Thursday.

Lafarga had been on parole for a 1995 conviction for receiving stolen property when he was arrested in May 1996 and charged with possessing cocaine.

The drug charge was dismissed in September 1996 when Lafarga received a 16-month prison term for violating his probation.

Garcetti’s office said it will support a public defender’s request to reinstate probation for 40-year-old Lafarga.

Three other inmates previously have been released after authorities learned their convictions were tainted by corrupt Los Angeles officers.

More than a dozen officers have been relieved of duty amid allegations that current or former officers in the department’s Rampart Division lied in court and planted evidence.

Perez is cooperating with investigators after being convicted of stealing cocaine.

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