Inglewood Police Officer, Informant Arrested on Federal Drug Charges: Justice Department

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The U.s. Department Of justice stated Friday that an officer with the Inglewood Police Department was detained and faces federal charges for allegedly engaging in two cocaine transactions.

Officer John Abel Baca, 45, of Whittier, was detained on Oct. 21, two days after a federal grand jury indicted him.

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Baca, a 21-year military man of the Inglewood Police Department and their police union representative, was accused of delivering cocaine to a “witness cooperating with law enforcement” on April 29 and May 4, with the second transaction involving the exchange of approximately 1 kilogram of cocaine for $22,000 in cash, according to a DOJ release.

The Baca case was brought to light as a result of his collaboration with a “alleged confederate,” 42-year-old Gerardo Ekonomo of South Los Angeles, who was detained Thursday by the FBI after investigators discovered cocaine, a pistol, and ammunition at his residence, according to the statement.

Authorities said that Ekonomo, who had previously been permitted to act as a Baca informant, had hidden more than a kilogram of heroin and more than half a kilogram of what is suspected to be cocaine in his yard.

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According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal charge, Ekonomo was permitted to be an informant for Baca but “conducted no documented activities after he was signed up as an informant.”

Ekonomo is also facing charges in North Las Vegas, where he was detained on June 16 after investigators discovered 3 kilos of heroin in his car, according to officials.

According to an FBI document, Baca phoned a North Las Vegas Police Department officer after the Nevada arrest to inquire about the case and see if “Ekonomo might ‘work off’ the case by cooperating.”

Although the charges were not dropped, Baca’s attempt to help Ekonomo demonstrates that he “is ready to abuse his status as a law enforcement officer in advancement of his drug smuggling operations and to assist and defend his founder,” according to the affidavit.

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