September 24, 2018
Contact: Casey Rettig
Phone Number: (415) 436-7900
Alameda resident sentenced for selling prescription drugs without a license and related charges
Defendant carried a firearm and used social media to sell illegal wares
SAN FRANCISCO – Kenzo Mateo Tokuda was sentenced to 69 months in prison for possessing with intent to distribute alprazolam (commonly known as “Xanax”) and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Chris Nielsen. The sentence was handed down today by the Honorable Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr., United States District Judge.
Tokuda, 24, of Alameda, pleaded guilty to the charges on May 21, 2018. According to his plea agreement, on Aug. 10, 2017, the defendant posted a photograph of alprazolam pills on his social media account as a means of adverting that they were for sale. Tokuda acknowledged that at the time, he had roughly 540 “followers” to his social media account. Tokuda further admitted that on Aug. 11, 2017, he possessed both the pills and a 9 mm pistol. He admitted he possessed the pills with the intent to distribute them, and he possessed the firearm for the purpose of protecting himself while he distributed the drugs.
On Sept. 28, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Tokuda, charging him with one count each of possessing with intent to distribute alprazolam; carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime; being a felon in possession of ammunition; and advertisement of a controlled substance on the Internet. Tokuda pleaded guilty to the first two counts, and the remaining counts were dismissed. According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, Tokuda came to law enforcement’s attention in the spring of 2017 after he “flagrantly post[ed] photographs and videos of prescription drugs, marijuana, guns, and cash” to his social media account.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Gilliam sentenced the defendant to a three-year period of supervised release. The defendant currently is in state custody on unrelated charges and will begin serving the sentence when he is released from state custody.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Wawrzyniak is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Theresa Benitez and Linda Love. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad.