FRESNO, Calif. - A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment today against Derik Carson Kumagai, 40, resident of Clovis, California, and Saykham "Oat" Somphoune, 40, resident of Fresno, California, charging them with conspiracy, bribery, and extortion.
According to court documents, detective Kumagai accepted a $20,000 bribe from an individual who was under investigation for marijuana trafficking. In return for the bribe payment, Kumagai and co-conspirator Somphoune (who is not a law enforcement officer) promised the person under investigation that he would be signed up as a confidential informant for the Fresno Police Department.
On Nov. 6, 2013, the person under investigation paid Kumagai approximately $20,000 cash. A few hours later, the person under investigation completed purported documents regarding work as a confidential informant for the Fresno Police Department.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. The Department of Homeland Security - Homeland Security Investigations, and the United States Postal Inspection Service also provided investigative assistance in this case. Assistant United States Attorneys Grant B. Rabenn and Kevin P. Rooney are prosecuting the case.
Derik Kumagai was released from pretrial custody on March 19, 2014. Saykham Somphoune is currently detained as a flight risk.
If convicted of conspiracy, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of bribery, they face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. If convicted of extortion or conspiracy to commit extortion, they face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.