December 22, 2011
Contact: Casey Rettig
Phone Number: (415) 436-7900
DEA And IRS Present Bay Area Law Enforcement Agencies With More Than $1.2 Million In Cash
OAKLAND, CA - Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams and Internal Revenue Service - Criminal (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Scott O’Briant presented more than $1.2 Million to the Hayward Police Department, Southern Alameda County Narcotics Enforcement (SACNET), Livermore Police Department, Vallejo Police Department and the South San Francisco Police Department today as a result of assets seized from a joint drug and money laundering investigation prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California. SACNET is a task force comprised of law enforcement officers from the California Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, Union City Police Department, Fremont Police Department, Newark Police Department, California Highway Patrol, and the Alameda County Probation Department.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams stated, "The asset forfeiture program takes the profit out of crime and puts money back into the community through law enforcement. The DEA looks forward to continuing the strong relationships it has developed with local, state, and federal agencies in the Bay Area.”
IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Scott O’Briant stated, “ The asset forfeiture program is one of the federal government's most effective tools against drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime. In conjunction with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, CI uses asset forfeiture statutes to dismantle criminal enterprises by seizing and forfeiting their assets. The funds being distributed today will be used by local law enforcement to further combat crime in our area.”
The monies represent the agencies share of $1,897,458.12, seized from bank accounts related to a case involving Local Patients Cooperative, a marijuana store based out of Hayward, California. Today, Mr. Williams and Mr. O’Briant presented the following checks to Bay Area agencies:
- Hayward Police Department $474,363.78
- Southern Alameda County Narcotics Task Force $474,363.78
- Livermore Police Department $94,872.76
- Vallejo Police Department $94,872.76
- South San Francisco Police Department $94,872.76
Hayward Police Department Chief Diane Urban stated, “The Squire investigation exemplifies the benefits of federal and local law enforcement working in partnership to ensure our communities are safe. The leveraging of local and federal resources, knowledge, and expertise brought this investigation to a safe and successful close. Today’s sharing of the forfeited assets a further example of the partnership, and comes at a time when local governments are faced with unprecedented economic challenges. The men and women of the Hayward Police Department recognize and appreciate the relationships with our law enforcement partners and look forward to continuing such collaborative efforts as we work to best serve the needs of the Hayward community.”
California Department of Justice Special Agent in Charge Bob Cooke stated “We cannot make these things happen without the partnerships we have developed through our networking, training, and diligent case agents.”
Newark Police Department Chief James Leal stated “The outcome of this investigation is a perfect example of cooperation between state, local and federal agencies working toward a goal of taking major suppliers off the street.”
On December 12, 2006, with the assistance from the above referenced law enforcement agencies, a federal search warrant was served at Local Patients Cooperative, a marijuana store, located at 22612-22630 Foothill Blvd., Hayward. Search warrants were also served at two residences and two cars associated with the investigation. As a result of the searches officers seized indoor marijuana grows, hundreds of marijuana plants, marijuana laced cookies, brownies, popcorn, pies, candy, two inert grenades, US Currency, and several high value vehicles. Shon Matthew Squier, 39, of Hayward, identified as store owner, and Valerie Lynn Herschel, 28, of Hayward, identified as store manager, were arrested that day and charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and the distribution of marijuana.
On June 1, 2007, information was filed alleging that both Squier and Herschel conspired to manufacture and distribute marijuana. According to the information, Squier was charged with three counts of money laundering for payments made for the purchase of his residence and a pick-up truck with totaled $617,307. Herschel was charged with one count of money laundering for the down payment for a residence in the amount of $85,853.On September 4, 2009, Squier pleaded guilty to one count of maintaining a drug involved premises and one count of money laundering, while Herschel pleaded guilty to one count of maintaining a drug involved premises. In July 2010, Squier was sentenced to 30 months prison and ordered to forfeit real estate, weapons, and cash from bank accounts totaling $1,897,458.12. Herschel was sentenced to 5 years of probation and agreed to forfeit the residence located at 25969 Parkside Drive, Hayward or an amount not less than $85,853.