An Inglewood police detective facing federal drug trafficking charges was due to start trial tomorrow (Sept. 27) but is has been pushed back to 2023 according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Mr. (John) Baca’s trial date got continued to May 9, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and United States Courthouse, 411 W. 4th St., Santa Ana, CA 92701. The presiding jurist is U.S. District Judge James V. Selna, who is located in Courtroom 10C, which is located on the 10th floor of that building.Ciaran McEvoy, US Attorney’s Office Public Information Officer
Baca is alleged to have worked with one of his confidential information to engage in drug trafficking. He is facing charges for intentionally distributing over one kilogram of cocaine. The federal indictment alleges two transactions. The first was on April 29, 2021, when Baca allegedly delivered cocaine to a witness cooperating with law enforcement. Baca then allegedly delivered approximately one kilogram of cocaine to the same witness during another meeting on May 4, 2021 in exchange for $22,000 in cash.
Neither Inglewood City Hall nor Police Chief Mark Fronterotta have given any public statements on the matter, however, Inglewood Mayor James Butts responded to the matter in the comment section of our article after the federal indictment became public knowledge.
The specific criminal allegations confronting John Baca have no connection with the City of Inglewood, geographically or organizationally. The Chief of Police of course is conducting his own review. He will take the steps necessary to ensure organizational integrity.Inglewood Mayor James Butts
A reporter with KnockLA alleged a source close to IPD shared “computers and electronic devices” were confiscated during a search of the department, including a phone purported to belonging to the mayor, which he vehemently denied.
That is a lie. No cell phone of the Mayor’s was confiscated. No campaign aide of mine would have been in a position to know anything about such a sensitive investigation. Finally, no officer, let alone John Baca has received monies from my campaign fund. I demand a full retraction.Mayor Butts
When we published a copy of the campaign report showing the $2500 payment, Butts claimed to have no knowledge of how it got there during the regular city council meeting held Nov. 23, 2021.
Since the search, and alleged seizure of evidence, the city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on computers, software, and cellphones, which gives the appearance they are replacing confiscated equipment.
Simultaneously, there has been a mass exodus of officers leaving either due to retirement or transferring to outside law enforcement agencies, however, there is no indication the departures are in anyway related to Baca’s case.
The KnockLA account also alleged the narcotics department was “temporarily disbanded” which the mayor also denied.
During the summer the DEA announced a “historic” drug bust in Inglewood that was handled by the feds and Hawthorne Police Department. The Inglewood narcotics section was not listed as assisting with the investigation.
Baca served the department for 21 years at the time of his arrest and as a condition of his bail had his police powers revoked.