Around the Valley: Former Fresno police detective facing federal prison

Around the Valley features a round-up of interesting stories in and around Fresno County and the Central Valley related to criminal law, criminal defense and/or Fresno County.

Former police detective sentenced to federal prison: A former Fresno police detective will spend two years in federal prison, which prosecutors are calling a “discounted” sentence, for taking a $20,000 bribe from a suspected drug dealer.

Former police detective Derik Carson Kumagai was charged after federal law enforcement officials in 2012 began investigating a group of Fresno-area individuals suspected of growing marijuana and exporting it to other parts of the state and the nation.

In October and November of 2013, Kumagai and co-defendant Saykham Somphoune met with the drug dealer and told him he was part of a federal investigation. The two told the dealer they could close the investigation if he paid a bribe.

On Nov. 6, 2013, Kumagai — who had joined the Fresno Police Department in mid-2000 and at the time was assigned to the vice intelligence unit — accepted the bribe, court documents say. (Source: Fresno Bee)

Kumagai’s sentencing comes in the wake of the controversy surrounding former Fresno Deputy Police Chief Keith Foster, who was arrested earlier this year for federal drug crimes, including conspiracy to distribute and/or possess with the intent to distribute oxycodone, heroin and marijuana. In response to Foster’s arrest, Fresno’s Office of Independent Review offered suggestions in its first quarterly report of 2015 on how to improve oversight within the Fresno Police Department. Learn more about the report: Fresno PD report says police shootings are down (Infographic)

Federal child pornography: A 28-year-old Fresno man was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Daniel James Owen pleaded guilty Feb. 27 to possessing eight different images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The case was investigated by Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. (Source: Fresno Bee)

Federal civil claim against Clovis police: A domestic-violence victim took an unusual step Monday by stepping out in public and suing her ex-boyfriend — former Clovis police officer Kyle Pennington — of federal civil rights violations. Besides Pennington, the suit names his parents and the Clovis and Sanger police departments, accusing them in federal court of civil conspiracy, negligence, and denying her right to due process and equal protection under the law. (Source: Fresno Bee)

High school student shot: Police reported that a Fresno High student is being treated for a gunshot wound in the foot after he came to school bleeding Tuesday morning. According to Fresno police,police went to Griffith Way and Warren Avenue, near the major intersection of West and Ashlan avenues, just before 1 a.m. to check a report that shots were fired. They found the 17-year-old victim, shell casings nearby, and that a nearby home had also been struck by bullets. (Source: Fresno Bee)

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