Santa Clara's concealed carry graft investigation is inching closer to the mastermind behind the suspected CCW licensing corruption. Five people are now indicted regarding the pay for play scheme where funds were allegedly channeled towards Sheriff Laurie's Smith re-election in exchange for the hard to get California concealed carry permits.
A criminal grand jury has indicted a fifth suspect, Santa Clara County Undersheriff Rick Sung, for his role in the scam. Capt. James Jensen was also indicted for his involvement in the suspected graft. Additionally, DA Jeff Rosen announced that he would make an "important announcement" in a few days.
Sheriff Laurie's office released a statement announcing the placement of Undersheriff Sung on administrative leave and promising to cooperate with the investigation.
"On Nov. 20, 2020, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office was made aware that Undersheriff Rick Sung has been formally indicted by a grand jury. Undersheriff Sung has been placed on administrative leave, and we continue to cooperate with the District Attorney's Office."
Three suspects, AS Solution CEO Christian West and his managers Martin Nielsen and Jack Stromgren, pleaded guilty to various charges, including soliciting bribes and filing concealed carry permits using false names. They also admitted to conspiring to donate to a personal campaign kitty in exchange for concealed carry permits.
Other suspects include attorneys Harpaul Nahal and Christopher Schumb, and The Gun Co. owner Michael Nichols.
Sheriff Smith, the chief authority over gun licensing in Santa Clara County, hasn't been indicted yet, despite the alleged donations being allegedly made to her campaign fund. She has also avoided appearing or answering any questions remotely related to the investigation.
With the second-in-command Undersheriff Sung and a close associate Capt. Jensen indicted, it's just a matter of time before the other shoe drops.
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