Santa Clara County Undersheriff Rick Sung Indicted in CCW Case

A criminal grand jury has indicted Santa Clara County Undersheriff Rick Sung in connection to a suspected pay-to-play scheme involving concealed gun permits.

An additional indictment was handed down for Capt. James Jensen, who was among four defendants already charged in the case.

When asked for comment, the Sheriff’s Office issued the following statement:

On Nov. 20, 2020, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office was made aware that Undersheriff Rick Sung has been formally indicted by a grand jury. Undersheriff Sung has been placed on administrative leave and we continue to cooperate with the District Attorney’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office was also made aware that an additional indictment was issued for Capt. James Jensen, who has been on administrative leave since August.

The Sheriff’s Office is committed to maintaining the highest level of public trust and keeping public safety as our highest priority.

DA Jeff Rosen plans to make “an important announcement” about the indictments at 10am Monday, according to his spokesman Sean Webby.

Attorneys for Jensen and Sung did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

To date, three people have pleaded guilty to participating in an alleged scheme in which prosecutors accuse members of an executive protection firm of conspiring with two attorneys and a gun manufacturer to make campaign donations to an independent expenditure fund in exchange for permits to carry concealed weapons.

AS Solution CEO Christian West entered a plea a few months ago. Two of his managers, Martin Nielsen and Jack Stromgren, followed suit in October.

The other defendants include attorneys Christopher Schumb and Harpaul Nahal and The Gun Co. owner Michael Nichols.

Sheriff Laurie Smith—who, like other top cops in California, has the authority to issue the gun permits—has not been charged with a crime.

The trial over the initial indictment has been put on pause because Schumb’s attorney, Joe Wall, has asked an appeals court to determine whether Rosen should be taken off the case because of alleged conflicts of interest, including personal ties to Schumb and his political rivalry with the sheriff.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Well, I guess the mystery is over for those of us who wondered where the buck really stopped in this pay-for-packin’ scandal. It turns out all along it was that damned undersheriff. Imagine, after all Laurie Smith has done for his career he goes out and violates her trust by illegally raising money for her reelection campaign. What a sneak! How he managed to hijack her exclusive authority for permit approval will, I’m sure, make for reading every bit as fascinating as great fiction.

    Sheriff Smith must feel so betrayed.

  2. > Anyone else feel that Rick was just a fall guy?

    I can’t empathize with those who don’t want anyone to have a CCW permit, or with those who want to charge $20 for one.

    I think CCW permits should handed out with “I voted” stickers or with Metro Newspapers in the free newspaper dispensers.

    “Free California CCW permit insert in every Metro newspaper”.

    Think what it would do for Metro’s reach in the community.

  3. The issuance of CCW permits in California has been inconsistent with the equal protection laws of the United States. Some counties have thousands of permits issued while Santa Clara County has just a handful. If the permits were issued based on a simple set of criteria: good moral character, proper handgun training and safety procedures, and demonstrated proficiency, then they wouldn’t be worth any money to politicians who who would try to sell them. Or, even worse, politicians who are Leftist totalitarians who would like to take away your right to own and carry a gun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *