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Police Crackdown on Vietnamese American Street Gangs Nets 23 Arrests

Gang of Thrones

By Ed Diokno

A Police crackdown on a Vietnamese street gang operating out of the San Francisco Bay Area resulted in 23 arrests, recovery of 69 gambling machines, 420 lbs of marijuana, one alligator and possibly, one law enforcement officer.


San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia, joined by representatives of the FBI and DEA, detailed the multi-agency operation in a  news conference Wednesday, one day after the shocking announcement of the arrest of Officer Derrick Antonio for allegedly collaborating with gang members.


“We’ve been hearing about the Vietnamese gangs and illegal activities in coffee shops for a long time, and I’m glad they arrested these people,” City Councilman Manh Nguyen told the San Jose Mercury News. “I’m calling for Vietnamese residents to fully cooperate with the police to fight crime.”

Garcia described the investigation, dubbed “Operation Gang of Thrones,” that began last March and drew in assistance from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, Milpitas Police Department, Santa Clara Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the Louisiana State Police, which served search warrants and arrest warrants at various locations in the cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Fremont, Anaheim, and an undisclosed location in the State of Louisiana.

This collaborative investigation resulted in the arrest of 23 suspects who are known members or associates of a criminal street gang in San Jose. The suspects were booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on charges ranging from extortion, public corruption, narcotic trafficking, assault, illegal gun possession, and conspiracy. Two of the suspects were arrested in Anaheim, California, by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. There are 6 suspects at large for various felonies, including; Conspiracy, Accessory After the Fact, Narcotics and Gambling.

A total of 34 search warrants were served during this investigation in California and one in Louisiana. The following evidence was seized:

  • 5 handguns
  • 69 illegal gambling machines
  • Over $200,000 in US Currency
  • Body armor, jewelry, phones, computers, and financial records
  • Investigators also recovered over 4000 Ecstasy pills, 300 Xanax pills, 200 Molly tablets, illegal steroids, over 600 pounds of Marijuana (420 lbs of which was seized by the Louisiana State Police in transit from San Jose)
  • Several vehicles were also seized; which included one with a hidden compartment containing $100,000
  • One 4-foot long alligator

During the course of the investigation, SJPD was alerted to the possible criminal involvement of a San Jose Police Officer. Upon learning this information, SJPD took immediate action by implementing extraordinary investigative measures to determine the extent of the officer’s involvement in this criminal investigation.

The investigation revealed that SJPD Officer Derrick Antonio, a 9-1/2 year veteran, was providing confidential law enforcement information to members of a criminal street gang in San Jose. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the investigation and issued warrants for Officer Antonio’s arrest on charges that he leaked sensitive information to the gang members.

On Monday, Aug. 22, Officer Antonio was arrested in the City of San Jose by members of the SJPD’s Criminal Investigations Detail. He was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on the above charges. Officer Antonio has been on paid administrative leave since June 2016.”

“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,” reads a statement from the San Jose Police Officers’ Association. “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.”

The fate of the pet alligator was not clarified in the press conference.


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