California – Orange County Scandals!
Orange County DA Office
February 7, 2013
Case # TBA
SHERIFF’S DEPUTY CHARGED WITH ACCEPTING BRIBES FROM MURDERER INMATE WHO WAS ENGAGING IN PROHIBITED BEHAVIOR, INCLUDING SEX AND SMUGGLING DRUGS, DURING JAIL VISITS WITH WIFE
SANTA ANA – An Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) deputy was arrested and charged today with accepting bribes, including hockey tickets and gift certificates, from a murderer inmate who was engaging in prohibited behavior including having sex with his wife and smuggling contraband into the Orange County jail. David Lloyd Cass, 38, Glendora, is charged with two felony counts of bribery and faces a maximum sentence of four years and eight months in state prison if convicted. Cass was arrested today, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, at OCSD by OCSD investigators. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) is requesting Cass be held on $1 million bail. He is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At the time of the crime, Cass is accused of being a 4-year veteran deputy of OCSD assigned to the Orange County Mens’ Jail. The defendant is accused of working directly in or near the Attorney/Bond (A/B) room of the jail, where inmates meet with their attorneys or attorney’s representative to discuss their pending criminal cases.
Jail inmate Stephenson Choi Kim was in custody on two separate cases for murder (Case #04WF0953), for which Kim had a defense attorney, and assault with a deadly weapon (Case #05CF1065), for which Kim was representing himself. In August 2010, Kim secretly married Ha Nguyen while still in jail and had the marriage certificate filed as confidential to prevent the court from learning of the marriage. In December 2010, at the request of Kim, the court signed an order allowing Nguyen to act as a “Legal Assistant Runner” in Kim’s two cases. The order was granted under the representation that Kim and Nguyen had a professional relationship and without the disclosure of their marriage.
Related Criminal Cases
Nguyen, 32, (Case # 12CF0570) is being prosecuted in this case.
Kim was sentenced April 27, 2012, to life in state prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional 255 years to life after being convicted in March 2011 of one felony count of murder, six felony counts of attempted murder, one felony count of street terrorism, and multiple sentencing enhancements. The pending assault case was subsequently dismissed. He will not be charged with the current offenses at this time. To read more about this case, visit www.orangecountyda.com and select under Press Releases/Media Advisories the April 30, 2012, releases titled, “Gang Member Sentenced to Life Without Parole Plus Additional 255 Years to Life for Murdering Woman and Attempting to Murder Six Others in Unprovoked Café Shooting.”
Circumstances of the Crime
Cass is accused of developing a relationship with Kim while the inmate was in custody under the defendant’s supervision. While on-duty on numerous occasions between 2009 and 2012, Cass is accused of allowing Kim and Nguyen to engage in illegal and prohibited activities in the A/B room. The defendant is accused of allowing Kim and Nguyen to spend hours in the A/B room, including having sex in the A/B room. He is accused of allowing Nguyen into the A/B room without searching her for contraband and then not searching Kim when he left the room to return to his cell. In doing so, Cass is accused of allowing Kim and Nguyen to smuggle prohibited items into the jail including food, razors, a cell phone, prescription medications, and drugs including marijuana. Kim is accused of frequently selling these items to other inmates.
On at least one occasion, Cass is accused of warning Kim that another deputy intended to search him that day, which led to Kim and Nguyen not exchanging any drugs or contraband that day.
In exchange for allowing the illegal and prohibited behavior, Cass is accused of accepting bribes from Kim and Nguyen including four tickets to a Los Angeles Kings hockey game and gift certificates to Burke Williams Spa and various restaurants. Nguyen and Kim are also accused of offering to introduce Cass to women and arrange for VIP treatment at cafes in Westminster and Garden Grove.
All phone conversations with inmates are recorded by OCSD. All callers are warned that calls are recorded at the beginning of each call. Thousands of hours of phone conversations were recorded between Kim and Nguyen in which the details of the crimes were discussed.
On Dec. 31, 2011, OCSD jail deputies conducted a search in the jail, including Kim’s cell. Kim is accused of possessing a cell phone and marijuana. OCSD began investigating this case to determine how the contraband was brought into the jail.
The OCSD investigated this case. This investigation took a substantial number of investigators from OCSD and legal review by OCDA. The investigation is ongoing.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Olivieri of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.