A Los Angeles police officer was sentenced today to community service for lying under oath during a 2008 drug case.
Officer Manuel Ortiz, who is on administrative leave, was sentenced by Judge George G. Lomeli to three years probation and ordered to perform 900 hours of community labor.
Jurors convicted him in February of single counts of conspiracy and perjury under oath.
A separate jury deadlocked in Ortiz's case in 2012, but convicted two other officers of lying during the drug possession case. Evan Samuel and Richard Amio were both sentenced last year to three years probation and ordered to perform 750 and 500 hours, respectively, of community labor.
The charges stemmed from 2008 court proceedings for Guillermo Alarcon, who was charged in a drug possession case. According to the Los Angeles Times, Ortiz was assigned to a gang unit out of the Hollywood Division.
Alarcon's case was dismissed in June 2008 at the request of the prosecution after video from an apartment building security camera contradicted the officers' sworn testimony.
Alarcon's attorney, Luis Carrillo, said the officers testified that they saw Alarcon throw something to the ground -- drugs -- immediately after he had been chased to the apartment building in July 2007. But the video showed officers searched the area for nearly 30 minutes before finding -- or planting - - drugs in the area, Carrillo said.
--City News Service