Yuba City Police Officer and Resident Indicted on Cocaine Conspiracy and Bribery Charges
SACRAMENTO, CA—A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment today against Gursharan Phagura, 39, and Harminder Phagura, 35, both residents of Yuba City, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, Gursharan Phagura and Harminder are accused of conspiring to possess, with intent to distribute, cocaine, as well as accepting and facilitating bribes. The indictment alleges that Harminder Phagura used his authority as a police officer to gather sensitive information, which Gursharan Phagura transmitted to a third party, who was posing as a cocaine trafficker.
Gursharan Phagura is charged separately with possessing, with intent to distribute, cocaine in 2011.
Harminder Phagura and Gursharan Phagura were arrested on April 15, 2015. Harminder Phagura was released on a $100,000 bond. Gursharan Phagura is in pretrial custody.
This case was the product of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The Federal Bureau of Investigation also provided resources to the investigation. The Yuba City Police Department has assisted in the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Paul Hemesath is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 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 defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.