Contra Costa DA’s review of alleged corrupt police cases ends with “no action”
MARTINEZ – After reviewing hundreds of cases linked to a former Richmond Police drug investigator who was fired after an informant accused him of widespread corruption, the Contra Costa District Attorney has decided not to not overturn a single conviction.
In a brief e-mail to the newspaper, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office said that “no action” was taken at the end of the three-year survey in the former Richmond Police Sgt. Mike Wang, who spent more than a decade in the force before being made redundant in 2014. Wang is currently appealing to get his job back, and the City of Richmond cited the call as a reason not to disclose to the public its internal affairs. .
“We have received these cases to determine whether Agent Wang’s involvement compromised the integrity of the original investigation or the subsequent criminal decision,” spokesman Scott Alonso said in an email to this journal.
Wang’s attorney, Harry Stern, who represents him in an ongoing civil action against the federal government, said he was not the least bit surprised by the prosecutor’s decision.
“The DA made the right choice here,” Stern said.
Wang was a decorated officer until 2013, when a large-scale cocaine trafficker named Sergio Vega-Robles dropped a bomb, accusing Wang, among other things: of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes. vin, alerting drug dealers to the presence of one and warning Vega-Robles’ brother that he had an arrest warrant for the attempted murder of an informant, which Wang allegedly revealed to Vega-Robles shortly before the shooting.
At least two Richmond-area drug traffickers have joined similar charges against Wang, including Anthony “Peanut” Hollingsworth, who testified as a defense witness at a murder trial in 2016 that Wang ” had me sell cocaine ‘to Contra Costa and promised Hollingsworth that he wouldn’t be arrested as long as he limited his activities to Richmond.
Both the Contra Costa DA and the FBI investigated Wang for alleged public corruption, but no charges were ever laid. During his long career, he worked directly with the Drug Enforcement Administration, during which he infiltrated and developed relationships with informants, such as Vega-Robles.
Vega-Robles was at one point considered one of the biggest traffickers in the area and a member of a Sureño subset called Richmond Sur Trece or RST, which supplied cocaine and methamphetamine to gangs in all counties of Contra Costa and Solano, drugs from the Sinaloa cartel. . He bought fancy cars, a clothes store to launder money and at least three houses, some of which have been rented out to other drug dealers.
He also attempted to pose as a low-level cocaine trafficker to the DEA in an attempt to obtain intelligence from federal investigators, but in 2008 he faced federal and state charges accusing him of trafficking. drugs and conspiracy to commit two murders. In 2013, after his brother was convicted of two murders, Vega-Robles became a state witness and exposed allegations that he repeatedly bribed Wang.
“I was happy and wanted (Wang) to be too,” Vega-Robles told an DA inspector in 2013, when asked why he offered Wang money.
Wang denied the allegations but invoked his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination when called to testify in the Coby Phillips murder trial in 2013, in which Vega-Robles was a key witness. Wang later told Home Affairs investigators that he did so to assist the prosecution.
In 2014, a Richmond Police spokesperson announced that Wang had been fired for “multiple policy violations,” the details of which remain a mystery to this day, at least to the general public. In 2019, Wang sued the US Department of Justice for failing to hand over records related to the FBI’s investigation of him; under federal law, anyone can submit an access to information request about them.
The trial has dragged on for two years but seems to be coming to an end; On Friday, the two sides submitted a stipulation stating that Wang had received nearly 1,500 pages of documents and that they were now negotiating attorney fees.