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FBI investigating tattooed deputy gangs in Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

• latimes.com, By Maya Lau and Joel Rubin

The federal probe follows allegations of beatings and harassment by members of the Banditos, a group of deputies assigned to the Sheriff's East L.A. station who brand themselves with matching tattoos of a skeleton outfitted in a sombrero, bandolier and pistol. The clique's members are accused by other deputies of using gang-like tactics to recruit young Latino deputies into their fold and retaliating against those who rebuff them.

In interviews with several deputies, FBI agents have asked about the inner workings of the Banditos and the group's hierarchy, according to three people with close knowledge of the matter who spoke to The Times on the condition their names not be used because the investigation is ongoing.

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