Forty Individuals Charged With Drug Trafficking, Identity Theft, and Firearms Possession in Oakland
July 13 (Oakland, CA) — A federal grand jury in Oakland recently returned indictments against 40 members and associates of the Burn Out Family Mafia gang for drug trafficking, identity theft, and firearms possession charges, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. Over several months, 27 of the charged individuals have been arrested by law enforcement, including 15 who were arrested two weeks ago during sweeps conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Secret Service, Oakland Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms, and Explosives, United States Marshals Service, Alameda County Narcotics Task Force, Alameda County Probation Department, California Highway Patrol, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, Brentwood Police Department, and Stockton Police Department.
“Illegal open-air drug markets operating on our street corners in East Oakland beget violence and other criminal activity. By shutting down the open-air drug markets run by the Burn Out Family Mafia – particularly the three markets targeted by this investigation, which operated within feet of Oakland schools – we hope to contribute to the reduction of violence in East Oakland,” stated United States Attorney Haag.
According to one indictment, 31 defendants are alleged to have engaged in the daily sales of heroin and cocaine on three corners in East Oakland, which are controlled by the Burn Out Family Mafia gang. A second indictment charges four defendants with various identity-theft related crimes. Five other defendants have been charged with firearms possession in separate indictments.
“These indictments demonstrate that criminal street gangs are branching out beyond traditional drug-trafficking operations to other illegal enterprises such as identity theft. They further demonstrate the importance of cooperative law enforcement efforts, such as the instant investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Secret Service, and Oakland Police Department,” added United States Attorney Haag.
The maximum statutory penalty for violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections, 846, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(B) (conspiracy to distribute heroin) is 40 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, and a fine of $8 million. The maximum statutory penalty for violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(b)(2) (conspiracy to commit identity theft) is seven and one-half years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum statutory penalty for violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1) is ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 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 indictments and arrests in this case stem from a year and a half long investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Secret Service, and Oakland Police Department.
Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, the defendants charged in this case must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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