A Santa Clara cop found himself on the wrong side of the law after he was arrested on suspicion of felony conspiracy for allegedly sharing confidential information with a member of the Hells Angels.
Clay Rojas, a five-year veteran of the Santa Clara Police Department, was arrested on a $250,000 warrant. He allegedly gave confidential information about private citizens from the Department of Motor Vehicles to William Bettencourt, a suspected member of the Santa Cruz chapter of the infamous group.
Rojas, 36, allegedly gave Bettencourt, 38, the information between Aug. 19 and Sept. 13, according to the District Attorney's office.
The police department is so far staying pretty tight-lipped about the situation, other than saying no other officers are involved. Police Chief Steve Lodge released the following statement about the case:
This incident tarnishes the good name of our department and our profession, but at the end of the day, I believe this is an isolated incident limited to one employee. He made some incredibly bad decisions that amount to criminal conduct. The remaining members of my department are hard-working, ethical professionals who are just as appalled as I am at this breach of the public's trust.
The type of information allegedly shared has not been revealed. San Jose resident Vivian Rodiguez, 31, was also arrested in connection with the investigation.
This is not the first time Rojas has been under the microscope. In 2000, as a member of the San Jose Police Department, he was involved in a use-of-force incident that ended in the death of man during a call for a domestic abuse call. Shaheed Jamal Daniels died while officers were trying to subdue him.
Rojas is due in court Monday. If convicted, Rojas and Bettencourt could each face three years in prison. Bettencourt is eligible for 25 years to life under the Three Strikes Law.