In taking down a Vietnamese street gang, San Jose police say they arrested one of their own and nabbed nearly two dozen alleged gang members.
Officer Derrick Antonio's arrest came after a five-month-long investigation — dubbed "Operation Gang of Thrones" into a criminal gang. He was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on Tuesday.
The nine-year veteran is accused of slipping confidential information to gang members, and has been charged with five felony counts of unauthorized computer access and one felony count of accessory after the fact, according to an internal San Jose Police Department memo obtained by NBC Bay Area.
"His acts were deplorable, and in no way represent the character of the remaining members of this department, who protect and serve the city with great honor," San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia said at a news conference Wednesday.
Twenty-three suspected gang members are behind bars, and police say they are still looking for six additional suspects.
The gang is believed to be involved in numerous crimes, including assault, extortion, narcotics, bookmaking, public corruption, trafficking, and illegal gambling, according to Police Chief Eddie Garcia. Gang members frequently operated out of Vietnamese cafes and routinely extorted cafe owners through various means, the release said.
On Wednesday, Mayor Sam Liccardo didn't say much other than to stand by the department.
San Jose's Vietnamese-American councilmembers, Manh Nguyen and Tam Nguyen, attended the news conference.
"The fact that your police officers got one of your own tells everybody that nobody is above the law," Manh Nguyen said.
Meanwhile, the San Jose Police Officers Association said the accusations against Antonio, if found to be true, will be reflection of "disparaging our profession."
"Today is a sad day for all of us who proudly and honorably don our SJPD uniform each day to serve the residents of our city," the union said in a statement.
Police also conducted a similar raid last March. Called "Operation Omni," it was focused on gambling and violence at Vietnamese cafes.