San Bernardino sheriff’s deputy arrested on felony weapons charges, accused of ties to outlaw biker gang

The sheriff-coroner of California’s San Bernardino County is decrying the alleged actions of one of his deputies as “alarming and inexcusable” after the 45-year-old was arrested on multiple felony weapons charges following an investigation into his connections to a local biker gang. 

Christopher Bingham has been taken into custody and is now being held on $500,000 bail after investigators found 160 firearms at his home in Twentynine Palms, including a “fully automatic assault rifle with an attached grenade launcher,” according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. 

“The actions of this deputy are alarming and inexcusable; he not only tarnishes his badge but also undermines the integrity and credibility of the entire department,” Sheriff Shannon Dicus said in a statement. “Criminal behavior will not be tolerated, and we have placed him on compulsory leave effective immediately. The investigation has been forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office, and charges have been filed.” 

The sheriff’s department said its investigation into Bingham and his association with a “local Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMG)” began in January. On March 23, Bingham “was observed riding his motorcycle with two OMG members,” they said. 

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A San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy is facing multiple felony charges. (San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department)

“With the assistance of the California Highway Patrol, a traffic stop was conducted on Bingham and the two OMG members. During a search of Bingham’s person, a loaded, unregistered firearm was located,” according to the sheriff’s department. “Bingham was arrested and booked at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.  

“Investigators from the Gangs/Narcotics Division conducted a search warrant on Bingham’s residence. Investigators located approximately 160 firearms,” police also said. “One of the firearms was a fully automatic assault rifle, with an attached grenade launcher. Investigators also located, destructive devices, silencers, OMG paraphernalia, and a stolen San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department shotgun.” 

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San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department vehicles

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff-Coroner Shannon Dicus said Bingham’s alleged actions undermine “the integrity and credibility of the entire department.” (San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department)

Bingham is now facing charges of Possession of a Machine Gun, Possession of Silencers, Possession of Destructive Device, Possession of Stolen Firearm and being an Active Participant in a Criminal Street Gang. 

The arrest comes after several recent officer-involved shootings with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, including one in which deputies shot and killed a 17-year-old with mental health issues after he armed himself with a knife and locked himself inside a bathroom at a home. 

In early March, deputies also shot and killed a 15-year-old with autism in an incident that has prompted the family to sue the department, KTLA adds.

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department building

Bingham, a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy, as seen riding his motorcycle with two biker gang members, officials say. (Google Maps)

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The station cited Dicus as saying that all the incidents are under investigation. 

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