DEC 09 (SAN FRANCISCO) – Ten individuals have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of drug trafficking within 1,000 feet of schools in San Francisco's Tenderloin District, United States Attorney Melinda Haag, DEA Special Agent in Charge Jay Fitzpatrick, and San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr announced.
The ten individuals are:
According to the charging documents, the defendants are each charged in separate, one-count indictments alleging that they dealt cocaine base in the form of "crack" cocaine within 1,000 feet of elementary schools in the Tenderloin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) and 860.
According to Haag, the cases are part of an ongoing relationship between her office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the San Francisco Police Department, and the Tenderloin community. "There are thousands of children who live and go to school in the Tenderloin District," commented United States Attorney Melinda Haag. "Those children deserve the same chance as children who live in other neighborhoods around San Francisco: the chance to go to and from school without having to navigate through crack deals on the way. That is why I have directed my office to work with the DEA and the San Francisco Police Department to aggressively prosecute drug trafficking in areas around Tenderloin schools."
Haag stressed that more charges could be on the way. "Everyone who treats the Tenderloin as an open-air drug market should be on notice: law enforcement is paying attention. You won't know when the next arrests will be, or which schools or street corners we'll focus on next, but if you're caught you will face significant time in federal custody."
"DEA is committed to making San Francisco a safe place for the children and families who live here, and the citizens who work in or visit this great city. We are pleased to have partnered with the San Francisco Police Department and the US Attorney's Office to bring Federal charges against these defendants. We hope these arrests send a clear message that we won't tolerate drug trafficking in any of our neighborhoods," said Jay Fitzpatrick, DEA Special Agent in Charge.
The ten defendants who have been indicted so far have all been arrested and arraigned in federal court in San Francisco, with the exception of Craney, who, according to prosecutors, is currently in state custody on unrelated charges.
The maximum statutory penalty for violating the federal drug-free school zone statute is 40 years in prison, with a minimum mandatory one year in jail, at least six years and up to life on supervised release, and a maximum fine of up to $2,000,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
The prosecutions are the result of multiple investigations by the San Francisco Police Department, the San Francisco Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California.
Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as in all cases, the defendants listed above must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.