On April 15, 2015, the Los Angeles Times reported that Yuba City policeman Harminder Phagura had been arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Agency Investigations division. The officer is being charged with drug trafficking for helping a man believed to be a relative in a drug selling operation. The officer would keep an eye on reports that may indicate police presence in areas where his suspected partner may be doing business.
Officer Phagura would cruise the areas where these deals sometimes took place and listen to his radio for any word of trouble, then he would pass along any pertinent information to the perpetrators. One instance named in the indictment stated that Phagura texted the word HOT to the drug seller when the federal authorities had made it known they would be there. The ironic twist was that they were not just there to stop a drug deal they were there to watch the officer and take note of his behavior.
The federal authorities first heard of this connection on a recorded conversation where the alleged drug dealer, who also has been charged in the incident, claimed to have a friend on the inside to a law enforcement informant. The Police department issued a statement regretting the incident and acknowledging that it is especially hard for the public to see someone on the right side of the law doing something illegal.
This police officer, like anyone else charged with a crime, will need an ally to work their way through the court system. A California attorney, with criminal defense experience, will be that person and will try to insure the defendant’s rights are not violated. A rush to judgement may be understandable to some in cases involving charged police officers, but the California Courts do want all those who are charged with a crime to have a fair trial – and the best way to secure the best possible verdict is with an experienced attorney on your side.
At the Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we provide clients with passionate and experienced representation. If you have been charged with drug trafficking or any other crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer at our firm, contact us by phone at (310) 894-8548 or contact us online. We promptly return phone calls and emails. Our office is conveniently located in the Westside Towers in West Los Angeles, within minutes of Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. We have flexible and weekend office hours, and we will visit you in jail to discuss your case.
Photo: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times