Yuba City police officer Harminder Phagura arrested for alleged role in cocaine trafficking scheme

Officer Harminder PhaguraSACRAMENTO, California: A Yuba City Police officer is among two men taken into custody Wednesday morning by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on federal charges related to their alleged involvement in a cocaine trafficking scheme.

Harminder Phagura, 35, an officer with the Yuba City Police Department, and Gursharan Phagura, 39, of Yuba City and Roseville, were arrested based on a criminal complaint accusing them of conspiring to possess a controlled substance with intent to distribute; and use of a communication facility in narcotics trafficking activity.

The two men, who are believed to be related, made their initial appearance in federal court Wednesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney. Following the hearing, Harminder Phagura was released on $100,000 bond. Gursharan Phagura remains in custody pending a detention hearing Thursday. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.

The arrests are the latest development in a long-term HSI probe targeting suspected cocaine trafficking by Gursharan Phagura. According to information in the complaint affidavit, which was unsealed Wednesday, special agents developed information during the course of the investigation implicating Officer Phagura in the scheme.

HSI representatives underscore the Yuba City Police Department has cooperated fully with the investigation.

As part of Wednesday’s enforcement actions, investigators also executed search warrants at three locations tied to the defendants, including two residences in Yuba City and a home in Roseville. HSI officials emphasize the investigation is ongoing.

The charges in the complaint are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.