A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who orchestrated a fake drug raid to steal more than half a ton of marijuana and $600,000 in cash from a downtown warehouse was sentenced Monday to seven years in federal prison.
Marc Antrim, who was assigned to the Temple City sheriff’s station at the time of the scam, pleaded guilty in 2019 to multiple crimes , including deprivation of rights under color of law and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release.
"The seriousness of the crime could not be overstated,” U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips said during a court hearing at which she handed down the sentence, according to the release. She added that the heist eroded the public’s trust in law enforcement.
Antrim, 43, and several others carried out the brazen plot early one morning in October 2018. Antrim took a Ford Explorer from the sheriff's station and pulled up to the legal marijuana distribution business, where he flashed his badge and a bogus search warrant to get inside.
Antrim, who was off duty, and two others dressed as deputies — Kevin McBride, 45, and Matthew James Perez, 44 — detained three warehouse security guards in the back of the sheriff's SUV. Another accomplice, Daniel Aguilera, arrived in a rental truck, which the group loaded with marijuana.
Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, which patrols the warehouse location, showed up during the heist. Antrim told them he was serving a search warrant at the warehouse and put one of the LAPD officers on the phone with a man who he claimed was his supervisor. The LAPD officers subsequently left, and the heist continued with the men hauling two large safes containing the $600,000 into the truck.
A few days later, an attorney for the business contacted the Sheriff’s Department and presented security camera footage of the robbery.
A GPS device on the rented moving truck led authorities to McBride's house in Glendora, where they found two pounds of marijuana, a loaded Beretta handgun registered to Antrim, ammunition that is issued to law enforcement officers and a flashlight with Antrim’s name on it, court records show. They also recovered $150,000 to $200,000 in cash. Investigators found a similar amount of cash and four firearms in the home Antrim rented.
McBride is serving a six-year federal prison sentence, the U.S. attorney's office said.
Prosecutors said several others were convicted in the scheme.
Christopher Myung Kim, 31, of Walnut is serving a 14-year federal prison sentence after a jury found him guilty of his role in planning the heist. The U.S. attorney's office said the disgruntled former warehouse employee made off with $1.5 million in stolen marijuana after the raid.
Perez, Aguilera and Eric Rodriguez, 35, are also serving time in federal prison. Jay Colby Sanford, 43, of Pomona, who was accused of serving as a lookout, was sentenced to five years of probation.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.