By Da Lin

RICHMOND (KPIX 5) – Police in Richmond have fired an officer accused of corruption involving years of drug cases. The fallout could clog the court system in Contra Costa County and lead to many convictions being overturned.

The FBI started its corruption investigation into then-sergeant Michael Wang two years ago. An accused drug trafficker told investigators Wang arranged drug deals and took hundreds of thousands of dollars from him.

The accused trafficker said Wang tipped him off about police investigations and even revealed an informant who was later shot.

“One bad cop being caught is now going to cause hundreds of convictions to be set aside,” said defense attorney Daniel Horowitz.

Nearly a decade of Wang’s drug cases could now be called into question. Defense attorneys said many of those convictions could be dismissed.

Horowitz said one of his clients already has two charges dropped because of Wang. “All of these investigations, involving millions upon millions of pounds of drugs and millions and hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money, are at risk,” he said.

Attorney Laureen Bethards said she will ask a judge to toss out her client’s attempted murder conviction. “There is strong evidence that Officer Wang set my client up,” Bethards said.

“Will the streets be hit with people who should be in jail, who violated crimes? The answer is yes,” Horowitz said.

Because the FBI investigated this corruption case, it’s up to the U.S. Attorney’s to decide whether to charge Wang. So far, no word on whether that would happen.


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