News Release
August 6, 2008
Contact: Casey McEnry
Number: 415-436-7994

Oak Park Crack Dealer Sentenced to 25 Years
in Federal Prison

AUG 6 -- SACRAMENTO—United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced today that United States District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton sentenced HARVEY LEE SEWELL, Jr., 45, of Sacramento, to 25 years in federal prison followed by ten years of federal supervised release. The defendant was previously found guilty by a federal jury of five counts of conspiracy and distribution of crack cocaine.

This case was the product of an extensive investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, members of the Sacramento High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area team (“H.I.D.T.A.”), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

According to Assistant United States Attorneys Jason Hitt and William Wong, who prosecuted the case, the evidence introduced at trial showed that beginning in August of 2005 and continuing until a search on January 11, 2006, SEWELL was the architect of a crack cocaine distribution ring responsible for selling thousands of dollars worth of crack cocaine every day in South Sacramento. SEWELL’s crack business operated from various rooms at a motel located on Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento.

During the conspiracy, SEWELL traveled to the Bay Area cities of Oakland and Richmond to obtain up to 15 ounces of powder cocaine from his drug suppliers. SEWELL then transported the cocaine to a “stash pad” at a motel located near Arden Fair Mall. At the Arden-area motel, SEWELL would convert the powder cocaine into crack cocaine. SEWELL then packaged the crack and delivered large packages of it to his crew members inside the Stockton Boulevard motel. During trial, witnesses described SEWELL, known by his nickname "JR," as a well-known, long-time drug dealer in the Oak Park area of Sacramento who, in addition to his crack business, distributed large quantities of methamphetamine.

SEWELL’s previous criminal record includes three prior felony convictions for crack cocaine sales and one prior conviction for robbery.