Detective who as soon as sued for discrimination had ties to Armenian organized crime, Mexican Mafia, officers say (News)

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A Los Angeles-area detective who as soon as sued his division for allegedly discriminating in opposition to him due to his Armenian heritage was arrested this week for making an attempt to hide suspected ties to the infamous Armenian mob.

Federal officers say that John Balian, a 45-year-old veteran narcotics detective, repeatedly lied to a number of legislation enforcement businesses throughout interviews performed final 12 months. On Tuesday, he was charged with making false statements to investigators concerning his ties to each the Armenian organized crime and the Mexican Mafia.

In a court docket doc filed on Monday, three confidential informants advised authorities that Balian was concerned in a wide range of felony actions going way back to 2015, together with automotive theft, drug trafficking and fraud.

“The defendant swore to uphold an oath to implement the legislation, however as an alternative selected to interrupt the legislation,” stated Paul Delacourt, the assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles Subject Workplace, in a press launch. “Mr. Balian moved in felony circles and operated as if he was above the legislation by repeatedly mendacity to cover his felony exercise and that of others. His alleged actions impeded official investigations into organized violent crime and consequently offered a menace to public security.”

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The informants stated that Balian used “burner” telephones, disposable cellphones which might be tougher to hint, to speak with numerous gang members, together with Jose Loza, a infamous member of the Mexican Mafia. He’s additionally accused of accepting bribes to assist criminals evade arrest by tipping off gangsters to impending federal raids.

In 2010, Balian was one in all 5 Armenian-American law enforcement officials who filed a joint lawsuit in opposition to the town of Glendale in Los Angeles County and the Glendale Police Division, alleging discrimination, retaliation and harassment, in keeping with The Los Angeles Instances. The lawsuit was later settled after the town agreed to pay agreed to pay $7,500 in Balian’s legal professional’s charges, in addition to deposit 50 hours of trip time and 250 hours of sick time into his go away financial institution, the Instances reported. The town reached settlements with three of the opposite officers, whereas a jury rejected the fourth officer’s claims, in keeping with the Instances.

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The FBI’s Eurasian Organized Crime Process Drive listed Balian as an individual of curiosity in 2016, and the court docket doc filed Monday consists of textual content message excerpts between Balian and one of many informants exchanged as early as final 12 months.

The textual content messages seem to point out that Balian promised to assist seek out a man who had allegedly burglarized the house of one of many informants, in trade for a $10,000 fee.

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“I advised you I am engaged on issues,” reads one of many textual content messages, dated March 5, 2017. “However I am not a magician. You need to wait, you bought your self concerned with these guys.”

Informants additionally stated that Balian provided one in all them $100,000 to “scare” a person and that he instructed one in all them to go rob one other Armenian man.

When requested about his work with one of many informants, Balian reportedly stated “there’s nothing like that, completely nothing,” including “I am not f—— on anyone’s payroll.”

Balian was taken into custody at his at his dwelling in Seal Seashore, California, on Tuesday. His legal professional, Marc S. Nurik, didn’t instantly reply to a request for feedback.

If convicted, Balian faces as much as 5 years in federal jail.

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