23 people were arrested, so far, in “Operation Gang of Thrones,” six other suspects slipped the dragnet.
An exhaustive probe into a northern California Vietnamese crime ring has reaped 23 arrests, including that of a San Jose police officer, a nine-year veteran of the force who allegedly worked as a mole for a violent drug trafficking gang.
The multi-agency probe, which was named “Operation Gang of Thrones,” netted cash, drugs, weapons, gambling machines and even an alligator, according to San Jose police.The officer, identified as Derrick Antonio, was taken into custody during a citywide takedown of a Vietnamese criminal organization. He was charged with five felony counts of unauthorized computer access and one felony count of accessory after the fact.
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Investigators found that Officer Derrick Antonio shared sensitive information, including police reports, with gang members. He was charged with six felony counts, including unauthorized computer access.”His acts were deplorable and in no way represent the character of the remaining members of this department who under extraordinary circumstances protect and serve the city with great honor,” San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said Wednesday.
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia: “His [Antonio] acts were deplorable and in no way represent the character of the remaining members of this department”
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“As distasteful as this has been to have identified and criminally investigated one of our own, it is a testament to the integrity of the San Jose police officers and the investigators involved.”
Officer Antonio, was “obviously involved in some way shape or form” with the crime ring, Chief Garcia said, according to the Chronicle. He has been placed on administrative leave.
The multi-agency probe called ‘Operation Gang of Thrones’, is the offshoot of a March criminal conspiracy case focused on a Vietnamese street gang believed to deal in narcotics, bookmaking, public corruption, illegal gambling, assault and extortion, police said.
Feds, Tuesday, served 34 search warrants at various homes, businesses and Vietnamese cafes in several locations, including San Jose, Anaheim, Calif., and in Louisiana leading to the arrest of 23 people ranging in age from 19 to 53. Six suspects remained at large.
Illegal pet: Alligator recovered during the bust, held by an officer
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The law enforcement agents, including the FBI and DEA, seized five handguns, 69 illegal gambling machines, body armor, jewelry, phones, $200,000 in cash and the gang’s financial records.
Additionally, they confiscated more than 4,000 ecstasy pills, 300 Xanax pills, 200 MDMA tablets and illegal steroids. They also seized more than 600 pounds of marijuana. More than 420 pounds of the marijuana was recovered by Louisiana State Police in transit from San Jose. Several cars were also seized, including one that had $100,000 cash in a hidden compartment.
Gang members also illegally housed a pet alligator at one of the locations, authorities said.
Police have identified three more suspects who conspired to bribe a uniformed member of the department. They were said to be affiliated with Duong Cafe, at 2268 Senter Road in San Jose. It was not clear if Antonio was the officer the suspects tried to bribe.