Calderon prosecutors: FBI agents should be disguised in court

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles asked a judge to allow three FBI undercover agents to testify in disguise in the upcoming corruption trial of former Sen. Ronald Calderon, who is accused of taking more than $80,000 in bribes.

Federal authorities on Monday asked U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder to agree that the “UCEs (undercover officers) may testify using a light disguise, such as changing their facial hair, hairstyle or dress style … (they) shall be permitted to use a non-public entrance/exit to the courthouse and courtroom.”

They asked that the general public be excluded during the testimony, and that only the judge, the defendant, court personnel and the defendant’s lawyers be present. A live video/sound feed could be provided to a separate room in the courthouse for public viewing, but without any visual images of the FBI personnel, prosecutors added.

They also asked permission to introduce evidence of alleged tax fraud, claiming that Calderon on his son’s 2010 tax return improperly claimed some $6,826 as business expenses. The money was part of a $10,000 bribe to Calderon, according to the U.S. attorney.

Calderon was accused in a 24-count indictment of taking bribes from an undercover agent posing as a film executive and a Long Beach hospital owner named in the indictment in return for official favors. He also is accused of finding a Capitol job for the executive’s “girl friend” – actually an FBI agent – as a favor to the phony executive. A third FBI agent involved in the “sting” of Calderon posed as an investor in the executive’s company.

His brother, former lawmaker Tom Calderon, also was named in the federal complaint of money laundering.

Both have pleaded not guilty. Their trial is expected to start later in the year.

Want to see more stories like this? Sign up for The Roundup, the free daily newsletter about California politics from the editors of Capitol Weekly. Stay up to date on the news you need to know.

Sign up below, then look for a confirmation email in your inbox.


Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: