Berkeley Duo Charged with Conspiracy to Sell and Sales of Fentanyl and Methamphetamine in the Tenderloin
SAN FRANCISCO – David Ordonez and Juan Carlos Hernandez-Ordonez appeared in United States District Court today to face federal charges of conspiring to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and of distributing 40 grams or more of fentanyl in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Wade R. Shannon. David Ordonez is also charged with distribution of five grams or more of methamphetamine.
The federal criminal complaint unsealed today alleges that Ordonez, 19, and Hernandez-Ordonez, 18, repeatedly traveled from their shared apartment in Berkeley to the Tenderloin of San Francisco to sell narcotics in the open-air drug market of the 7th Street and Market Street area. The complaint charges the two Berkeley men with engaging together in a conspiracy to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl in the Tenderloin from February 9 to March 29, 2022. The complaint specifically describes five narcotics sales during this time period to undercover San Francisco police officers. In each sale, either Ordonez or Hernandez-Ordonez sold fentanyl or methamphetamine, and sometimes both, to an undercover officer. In addition to the conspiracy charge, the complaint charges each man with specific narcotics sales. Ordonez is charged in the complaint with selling approximately 59 grams of fentanyl for $1,000 to an undercover officer in an alley near the area of 7th Street and Market Street on February 24, 2022. The complaint describes that Ordonez at the same time sold the undercover officer approximately 30 grams of methamphetamine for $200. The complaint next charges Ordonez with selling approximately 71 grams of methamphetamine for $500 to an undercover officer on March 10, 2022, in the same location and alleges that at the same sale he sold approximately 28 grams of fentanyl to the officer for $500. The complaint next charges Hernandez-Ordonez with selling approximately 59 grams of fentanyl for $1,000 to a different undercover officer on March 29, 2022. That alleged sale also occurred in the area of 7th Street and Market Street.
The four counts in the federal complaint each carry the same minimum and maximum criminal penalties. The complaint charges Ordonez and Hernandez-Ordonez with one count of engaging in a conspiracy to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 and 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(vi). The complaint also charges Ordonez and Hernandez-Ordonez each with separate counts of distributing 40 or more grams of fentanyl in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(vi). The complaint lastly charges Ordonez with one count of distributing five or more grams of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(viii). The statutory penalty for each one of these counts is a minimum of five years of imprisonment and a maximum of 40 years of imprisonment, a maximum of a 5,000,000 fine, and a minimum of 4 years of supervision following release from prison with a maximum of life. However, any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by a court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
The charges contained in the criminal complaint are only allegations. As in any criminal case, a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Ordonez and Hernandez-Ordonez made their initial federal court appearances today before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson. The next court appearance for Ordonez is scheduled on April 22 for appointment of an attorney and to set a detention hearing. Hernandez-Ordonez is next scheduled for April 27 for a detention hearing. Both remain in custody.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren M. Harding is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Amala James. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by DEA and the San Francisco Police Department Narcotics Division.