Dec 15, 2:11 PM EST

LA County deputy sentenced in corruption case

US Video

Buy AP Photo Reprints

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has been sentenced to 1 1/2 years in prison for trying to block a federal investigation of allegations of inmate abuse at county jails.

James Sexton is the last of seven sheriff's employees, including two lieutenants, who were charged with trying to keep an FBI informant from making contact with his handlers. The inmate was cooperating with an investigation into allegations of corruption and civil rights violations.

The U.S. attorney's office says the 29-year-old Sexton was sentenced Monday. He was found guilty in September of federal charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors said he altered jail records.

The defense argued that Sexton was only following orders from higher-ups.

Six others received prison sentences ranging from 21 months to nearly 3 1/2 years.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.