A former Long Beach police detective was arrested along with a suspected gang member for allegedly leaking details of a murder investigation to suspects involved in the case, police said today.
The ex-officer, 42-year-old Yvonne Robinson, was arrested Thursday in Carson, according to Long Beach police. The alleged gang member, 24-year-old Prentice Jones, was arrested Thursday in Long Beach, police said.
Jones is the brother of Robinson's brother-in-law, according to police.
Robinson and Jones were both charged by the District Attorney's Office with a felony count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. The charge includes an allegation that the crime was committed "for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in association with a criminal street gang."
Both are free on $60,000 bail.
The case stemmed from the June 13, 2012, arrests of 16 gang members on suspicion of a variety of charges. Two of those arrested were suspected in the November 2009 killing of 19-year-old Frank Castro, according to police.
Detectives learned that details of the investigation were apparently being leaked by a member of the police department to someone in the gang in an effort to aid the suspects, police said.
In May of 2012, they identified Robinson, a detective in the Youth Services Section of the department's Investigations Bureau, as the alleged mole and placed her under surveillance, police said. After several months, investigators determined that Robinson was leaking case information to Jones, who passed it on to gang leaders, police said.
According to court papers, Robinson allegedly called Jones and talked to him for 10 minutes after the Long Beach Police Department sent out a March 26, 2012, news release about a murder investigation.
Prosecutors also allege in court documents that Robinson told Jones on May 16, 2012, that homicide detectives knew the identity of the five murder suspects, including the two shooters, and that she told Jones the detectives wanted to question the three non-shooters to have them testify against the two shooters.
Prosecutors also allege Robinson told Jones she knew the identity of all of the suspects but did not tell Long Beach Police Department homicide detectives.
The criminal complaint also alleges that Robinson confirmed to Jones that he was being followed by a surveillance unit.
Robinson was placed on administrative leave in July 2012 and stripped of her police powers pending the conclusion of a department administrative investigation. She was fired March 7.
"Police department employees are held accountable to the highest standards, and the department takes immediate action to address employee misconduct," Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said. "It is extremely disappointing when the behavior of one individual undermines the public trust that this department works so hard to uphold.
"We will not tolerate actions that dishonor the badge that we wear so proudly. The men and women of our department work diligently every day to do the right thing and to provide excellent service to our community. The acts of the one shouldn't outweigh the acts of the many."
-- City News Service