Reefer Badness

DA investigates charges sheriffs deputies covered up pot bust involving an officials son already on trial for videotaped gang-rape

Asked why other law enforcement officers would have contradictory information about the same incident, Amormino said, "I don't know. I'm just relaying the facts as they've been relayed to me. To the best of my knowledge, all standard operating procedures were followed."

Amormino promised a follow-up interview to answer more detailed questions. Two days later, at press time, he had not returned several requests for comment. Deputy Jon Fleischman, Amormino's assistant, also did not return a detailed telephone message.

"If typical [standard operating procedure] had been followed, Haidl would have been taken into custody," said a Sheriff's Department official who spoke with the Weekly because "it makes me sick they think they can get away with this."

As a top deputy with powerful Homeland Security intelligence responsibilities and longtime key political advisor to the second-term Carona, Jaramillo enjoyed favorable crime-fighting publicity until news accounts revealed his role in the Haidl rape case. Then, in April 2003, The Orange County Register's Aldrin Brown reported that Jaramillo and Carona had been using a Sheriff's Department helicopter as a personal "flying limousine" at taxpayer expense. Other sources have said that Jaramillo inappropriately used his sheriff's credentials to hold up a commercial airline flight for which he was late. This latest affair has some local cops wondering if Jaramillo's next trip will be the one he makes to clean out his desk.

To see R. Scott Moxley's coverage of the Haidl rape case, "Exhibit X-Rated," click here.
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