West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 04/14/14, 9:24 PM PDT |

Federal and local law enforcement officials on Monday said they were unaware of any other allegations of inmate abuse by deputies in San Bernardino County jails, and that pending criminal and administration investigations are exclusive to West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

“The only investigation we’re commenting on is an investigation going on at the West Valley Detention Center, and that’s the only investigation we’re aware of,” San Bernardino County sheriff’s Cpl. Randy Naquin said Monday.

Sheriff John McMahon said in a phone interview Sunday that West Valley Detention Center is the main focus of the investigation but depending on if similar allegations surfaced at other local jails it will be followed up on as well.

On Friday, the FBI announced it was investigating possible civil rights violations of inmates at the jail, and the Sheriff’s Department announced it was conducting an administrative investigation. A document obtained by this newspaper — minutes from a Sheriff’s Department staff meeting distributed on April 9 — indicated one department employee had resigned, at least three others were to be fired and several others were under investigation.

In its announcement Friday, the Sheriff’s Department said three deputies were no longer working for the department.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said Monday the criminal investigation will go wherever the evidence leads.

“Until and unless charges are filed, we’ll investigate any leads that come our way,” Eimiller said.

Authorities would not discuss specifics of the investigation or the nature of the alleged abuse.

Inmate-on-inmate and inmate-on-deputy violence in the county jail system has become epidemic since prison realignment took effect in October 2011, increasing 50 and 100 percent, respectively, from October 2011 through April 2013, according to Sheriff’s Department figures.

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