California Sheriff’s Deputy Arrested on Firearms, Biker Gang Allegations


A search of the man’s Twentynine Palms home turned up a fully automatic assault rifle with an attached grenade launcher, the sheriff said.

A San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy was arrested April 4 and charged with several felony counts related to illegal firearms and street gang affiliation.

Sheriff’s investigators in the Southern California county arrested Deputy Christopher Bingham, 45, of Twentynine Palms on Thursday, and he was booked at the West Valley Detention Center on $500,000 bail.

The sheriff’s department first started investigating Mr. Bingham after suspecting he was associated with a local motorcycle gang.

“During the investigation, it was learned Bingham rode and socialized with several members from the [motorcycle gang],” the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release published Thursday.

This was Mr. Bingham’s second arrest this year.

He was first arrested March 23 by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) after investigators said he was seen riding his motorcycle with two of the gang members.

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With the help of the CHP, Mr. Bingham was stopped during the ride and searched. CHP officers said they found the deputy carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm. He was arrested and booked at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

Following his arrest, investigators from the sheriff’s gangs and narcotics division searched his home and found about 160 firearms. One of the firearms was a fully automatic assault rifle with an attached grenade launcher.

Investigators also found destructive devices, silencers, motorcycle gang paraphernalia, and a stolen sheriff’s department shotgun, according to the news release.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office filed several felony charges against Mr. Bingham and issued an arrest warrant Thursday.

The county sheriff said Mr. Bingham was placed on leave following the arrest.


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