Former Fresno Police Detective Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribe from Suspected Drug Trafficker

Derik Carson Kumagai, 41, plead guilty on Monday to the charges of accepting a $20,000 bribe when he was a police detective in 2013.  Kumagai and co-defendant, Saykham Somphoune,  admitted to soliciting and accepting $20,000 from a suspected drug trafficker in return for ending a federal investigation and arranging for the suspect to be a confidential informant.  Kumagi previously plead not guilty when he was arrested in March of last year.

According to court records, in April of 2012, federal agents started investigating a Fresno group that was growing marijuana and exporting it to other states.  Somphoune was one of the people being investigated.

In October and November of 2013, Kumagi and Somphoune met with and told the suspect about the investigation, and offered to get it closed for $60,000.

November 6, 2013, Kumagi accepted a $20,000 bribe from the suspect.

March 2014, Kumagi was arrested and released from jail by a judge.

Kumagi faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on May 4.

As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, charges of conspiracy to commit extortion, attempted extortion, and bribery, were dropped in return for pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.  The bribery charge alone carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Kumagi has been free during legal proceedings while Somphoune has been in custody since his arrest in 2014.

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