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Ex-cop convicted for providing info to Hells Angels

Clay Rojas, who had served five years with the Santa Clara Police Department, was convicted by a U.S. District Court of 12 felony counts

By Henry K. Lee
The San Francisco Chronicle

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A former Santa Clara police officer has been convicted in federal court of passing confidential information to a member of the Hells Angels because he owed the biker money.

Clay Rojas, 37, who had served five years with the Santa Clara Police Department, was convicted Wednesday by a U.S. District Court jury in San Jose of 12 felony counts, including conspiracy to commit honest-services fraud, illegal use of a computer for financial gain and improper computer access.

Rojas will be sentenced in November.

“We’re very disappointed in the verdict,” said Rojas’ attorney, Daniel Jensen.

Rojas supplied private Department of Motor Vehicles information about people to William Bettencourt, 39, a member of the Santa Cruz chapter of the Hells Angels.

Rojas, who formerly worked as a San Jose police officer, sent text messages containing criminal history and motor vehicle information to Bettencourt from July to October 2010 to avoid having to pay back a loan, according to the grand jury indictment. The loan amount was not specified.

Bettencourt even asked Rojas to look up the biker’s own criminal status, court records said. On Aug. 19, Bettencourt texted Rojas, “Can u r my name and check status?” according to the indictment.

Rojas testified that there was no connection between the records checks and any outstanding loans.

Federal charges are pending against Bettencourt, and Rojas also faces state charges.

Copyright 2011 San Francisco Chronicle