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Armenian Organized Crime Ties Alleged Against California Cop

Image: Armenian Organized Crime Ties Alleged Against California Cop
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By    |   Wednesday, 16 May 2018 06:33 PM

Federal authorities say a California cop has ties to Armenian organized crime groups as well as the Mexican Mafia.

Glendale narcotics detective John Saro Balian is alleged to have tipped off gangsters to impending raids as far back as three years ago, using “burn phones” to escape identification, the Los Angeles Times reported.

He also is accused of assisting in other criminal activity, including stealing cars to sell abroad.

Balian, a 45-year-old veteran law enforcement officer, denied any wrongdoing when he first came under suspicion a year ago by authorities.

"I'm not [expletive] on anybody's payroll," he reportedly told FBI agents and LAPD officers in one interview, according to the Times.

Three confidential informants told a different story.

A 47-page affidavit outlined instances where Balian reportedly offered tips to criminals-turned-informants.

“Cases involving corrupt public officials — and particularly those involving crimes allegedly committed by police officers — are among the most difficult and troubling matters we see,” U.S. Attorney Nicola T. Hanna, of the Central District of California, said in a statement, according to Fox News. “If the allegations in this case are proven, this police officer provided meaningful support to criminal enterprises, and his attempts to cover up his associations served to obstruct justice.”

Balian was arrested at his home Tuesday without incident.

“Mr. Balian moved in criminal circles and operated as though he was above the law by repeatedly lying to hide his criminal activity,” Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said in a statement, the LA Times reported. “His alleged actions impeded legitimate investigations into organized violent crime and consequently presented a threat to public safety.”

Balian faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

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Federal authorities say a California cop has ties to Armenian organized crime groups as well as the Mexican Mafia.
armenian, organized, crime, california, cop
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2018-33-16
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 06:33 PM
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