California's Santa Clara concealed carry graft continued for far too long before the authorities acknowledged the problem. In August, investigators searched Sheriff Laurie Smith's office for evidence related to concealed carry permit corruption.
The investigators obtained classified evidence detailing multi-year corruption taking place in the county. There was evidence of pay-for-play in exchange for concealed carry permits, with money being diverted towards Sheriff Smith's re-election campaign.
The investigation led to the indictment of Santa Clara County Sheriff's captain and three political supporters of Sheriff Laurie Smith.
A few days ago, prosecutors obtained two additional guilty pleas in Santa Clara's CCW graft case. Martin Nielsen, a former AS Solution, Inc. security manager, admitted to conspiracy to solicit the acceptance of a bribe, conspiracy to file concealed-carry weapon license applications with false statements, and making a campaign contribution in a false name. Nielsen, 42, faces up to 18 months in jail.
Another AS manager, Jack Stromgren, admitted to a single misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to file CCW license applications with false statements. Stromgren, 43, cooperated with the investigators in exchange for a leaner sentence of up to a year in prison.
AS Solution Inc. CEO, Christian West, pleaded guilty on August 31 to corruption charges involving Santa Clara's pay-for-play concealed carry permit corruption. West was to receive a reduced sentence of up to 18 months in prison in exchange for his testimony.
The individuals admitted to planning the procurement of a $90,000 bribe in exchange for CCW permits. Half of the money was channeled towards Sheriff Smith's 2018 re-election campaign.
James Jensen, Santa Clara's County Captain and a close associate of Sheriff Smith, is yet to face any corruption charges for now. Investigators also tried several times to obtain Sheriff Smith's testimony without success. Each time the CCW permits questions arise, Sheriff Smith invokes her Fifth Amendment rights even on the most basic questions.
With the investigators obtaining guilty pleas and indictments all around Sheriff Smith, it's just a matter of time before the other shoe drops.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.
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