LA deputy pleads guilty to building assault rifle

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Updated: 5/12 1:38 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has pleaded guilty to illegally building an assault rifle, in the first plea deal among 20 members of the Sheriff's Department charged in an ongoing federal investigation.

City News Service reports that Richard White Piquette admitted Monday that he manufactured a .223-caliber rifle with an 8-inch barrel. The U.S. attorney's office says under federal law, the rifle's barrel length should have been at least 16 inches.

The charge carries up to 10 years in prison. Sentencing is set for Oct. 8.

Piquette served at Twin Towers Correctional Facility, the downtown jail at the center of a sheriff-run jail system that has been riddled with investigations and lawsuits. A probe led to federal indictments in January against 20 members of the department, including Piquette.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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