Southern California breaking news and trends

Deputy pleads no contest to heroin-filled burrito charges

henry marin

Screenshot of 'The Academy' via Hulu

Henry Marin on the the Fox reality show 'The Academy.'

A sheriff's deputy has pleaded no contest to charges that he smuggled a burrito full of heroin into a courthouse jail.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says 27-year-old Henry Marin entered pleas Monday in Superior Court to one count each of bringing drugs into a jail and conspiracy to commit a crime.

In early 2010, Marin conspired with at least one person to transport drugs into an airport-area courthouse, according to the indictment.

Marin, who was relieved of duty, at one time starred on the Fox reality show, "The Academy," and was kicked off for poor performance. He will be sentenced in June and faces up to two years in prison.


Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner


Catalina Island Fox outsmarts extinction

santa catalina island fox

AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

A Santa Catalina Island fox pup dashes into the wilderness after being released on Santa Catalina Island, CA. The Catalina Island Conservancy released 10 captive-bred pups from one breeding season in an effort to reestablish the subspecies.

The Catalina Island Fox, an omnivorous fox subspecies found only on Santa Catalina Island, has outwitted extinction in an unprecedented creature comeback.

Conservationists began a recovery program for the gray, pointed nose canid in the late 1990s following a distemper epidemic that saw the fox population plummet to a sparse population of about 100 on the 76-square-mile island. When the captive breeding program ended in 2004, the foxes were listed as endangered.

There are now 1,542 cat-sized foxes that share the island with approximately 3,200 humans and more than 1 million tourists a year, reports the L.A. Times. In the foxes' favor, no natural predators exist on the island, and plenty of food — from mice to cherries — is readily available.

It's considered one of the most successful recoveries ever for an endangered species, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.