SANTA CLARA, Calif.
— A lead paint investigator who was accused of being a part of a criminal conspiracy involving a Los Angeles paint company and a leading paint company was arrested Friday, authorities said.
Blm Leader, who was in charge of the lead paint team in L.A., was arrested and booked into Santa Clara County Jail.
Authorities said in a news release that a detective from the California Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Task Force was contacted on July 18 by investigators with the California Attorney General’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.
According to the release, the investigators learned that the lead painting team at L.I.P.P., a leading manufacturer of paint and a supplier to L.L. Bean, was using paint made by L.R. Mfg.
in Los Angeles to paint its trucks.
Investigators learned that Mfg., based in West L. A., was using lead paint made at a supplier located in New York City and a former L.P.-MFG.
facility in San Diego.
In a joint statement, L.M. Bean and L.B. Bean said they were cooperating with the investigation and have asked for privacy.
said it will cooperate with the U. S. Attorney, as requested, in any further efforts.
The lead paint investigators had been on the job for several months and had recently completed their final round of testing, said Deputy Chief of the Asset Forferiture Taskforce Michael J. Johnson.
He said the investigation will focus on the paint suppliers and paint manufacturers involved in the conspiracy.
Johnson said that L. L. Bean is cooperating with investigators and that MFG.
will cooperate in any investigation.
An initial investigation into L. B. Bean paint revealed that LLL Bean was making paint using paint manufactured by a former MFG.-Mfg., a former lead paint supplier located and owned by LLL Paint, and a third-party manufacturer located in a Los Altos Hills location.
Based on those findings, Johnson said that the investigation began to turn in October and that in November LLL paint purchased paint from Mfg.-Mg.
and MFG-Mg., and the paint then was shipped to LLL for processing.
“As a result of this investigation, LLL is cooperating in its investigation with the Los Altas Hills Police Department, the California State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” LLL said in the statement.
While the investigation is ongoing, Johnson stressed that the Los Angeles Police Department has the utmost confidence in the integrity of our investigators and the integrity and independence of our law enforcement officers.
L Bean also said that it has been cooperating fully with the authorities.
Anyone with information regarding the ongoing investigation is asked to contact Detective James W. Smith at 323-946-7000 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.