California officer charged with lying about mafia ties
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles-area police officer has been arrested on charges of lying to investigators looking into his alleged connections to the Mexican Mafia and Armenian organized crime.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles says Glendale police Detective John Balian was arrested Tuesday at his home in Seal Beach.
It’s unclear whether Balian has an attorney.
The 45-year-old is charged with lying to several police agencies over a six-month period last year. Prosecutors say Balian lied to hide associations with gang members, the Mexican mafia and Armenian organized crime.
Prosecutors say a street gang member and Mexican Mafia associate told investigators that Balian relayed key law enforcement information to criminals about investigations and was involved in extortion plots.
He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.