SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU & AP) -- Authorities say that a San Jose police officer arrested as part of a gang sweep was placed on leave two months ago after they learned he was leaking confidential information to gang members.
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said at a press conference Wednesday that Derrick Antonio, a 9-year police veteran, was arrested Tuesday on six felony counts, including unauthorized computer access.
Garcia said the officer was sharing police reports, which could contain sensitive information.
Antonio was among 23 people arrested as part of a months-long joint probe into a gang believed to be involved in several crimes, including gambling, extortion, assault and public corruption.
Garcia applauded the police work of his department, which is struggling with low morale and low staffing levels. San Jose police worked with multiple law enforcement agencies to conduct the sting, including Santa Clara prosecutors, FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Authorities said they confiscated several relevant pieces of evidence, including 5 handguns, 69 illegal gambling machines, body armor, jewelry, phones, computers, an alligator, over $200,000 in cash and thousands of drug pills that ranged from Ecstasy to Xanax as well as marijuana.
San Jose Police Officer’s Association offered the following statement on Wednesday:
"Today is a sad day for all of us who proudly and honorably don our SJPD uniform each day to serve the residents of our city. If the accusations leveled against Derrick Antonio are found to be true, then he ought to be held accountable for his actions and for disparaging our profession."
As for the suspected gang members, on Wednesday night, Defense Attorney Cary Pham said his client Phuc Nguyen had no prior criminal history and no gang ties.
"Essentially he's a college student a working man," said Pham. " His plea would be not guilty and complete innocent of all charges."
This isn't the first crackdown on gangs in Vietnamese neighborhoods. Back in March of last year, authorities raided a series of cafes confiscating illegal gambling machines. Last month, San Jose Police released surveillance video from two unsolved homicides possibly linked to gangs.
Police identified three suspects tied to Duong Cafe in San Jose. Al Marcos works near the cafe and suspected suspicious activity there.
"I do feel relieved," said Marcos. "I hope it stays this way. They keep the streets clean that way. It's a safer environment for the community and the workers here."