SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — According to a news release from the Department of Justice, Arturo Pacheco, 40, from Elk Grove pleaded guilty to criminal civil rights violations after assaulting two inmates while on-duty, and then submitting false reports about the incidents.

According to the news release, Pacheco worked as a correctional officer at California State Prison, Sacramento. The first incident occurred on September, 15, 2016, when Pacheco “grabbed the legs of the inmate, pulling the legs out from under him,” while escorting him. The inmate fell onto the concrete floor, and broke his jaw, several teeth, as well as suffered from other injuries.

The inmate was then taken to a local hospital to receive treatment for his injuries. Two days after the attack, the inmate died after suffering a pulmonary embolism.

According to the release, “while the inmate was receiving treatment, Pacheco, a sergeant, and other correctional officers began falsifying reports to cover up the incident.”

Following the first incident, investigators found a second incident that occurred on May, 19, 2016. According to the release, Pacheco had, “discharged a canister of pepper spray at short range into the eyes of an inmate who was inside of a prison cell.”

Pacheco then falsified his report claiming that his actions were justified to save the inmate’s life. The release admitted that the excessive use of force was unlawful and that the inmate was following commands.

“Pacheco deprived inmates of their civil rights, abusing his position of authority as a correctional officer to harm them,” U.S. Attorney Talbert said in the news release. “While Pacheco thought a ‘green wall’ or code of silence would protect him, he was wrong. His crimes have come to light and today he has admitted to his assaults and cover up. Those who violate the public’s trust by harming inmates ‘under the color of law’ or by covering up wrongdoing must and will be held accountable.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with help from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Office of Internal Affairs.

“The FBI is deeply committed to protecting the rights of all Americans, and those rights do not stop behind the walls of our prisons,” FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Dennis Guertin said in the news release. “Today’s guilty plea is the result of an intensive investigation conducted by the FBI and our partners at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the United States Attorney’s Office. Corruption and civil rights violations within our prisons are some of the most difficult to detect and investigate, and we encourage anyone who has knowledge of similar crimes to reach out to any FBI field office or submit information to tips.fbi.gov.”

Pacheco will remain out of custody until he is sentenced on October, 17, 2022. He faces, “a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison on each of the false reporting counts and 10 years in prison on each of the assault counts and a $250,000 fine per count.”