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News Release
June 10, 2005

Assistant District Attorney Charged with
Accepting Drugs in Return for His Official Acts in a Felony Drug Case

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office announced that a federal grand jury in San Francisco today indicted Robert William Roland, 34, and Eric Earl Shaw in connection with a scheme in which Roland, an Assistant District Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, accepted MDMA (“ecstasy”) and methamphetamine, in exchange for official acts in state felony drug cases.

According to the indictment, Roland and Shaw attended high school together and were personal friends. A third person, Ryan Nyberg was personal friends with Shaw and was charged with state felony drug offenses relating to the distribution of methamphetamine, MDMA, and other controlled substances.

Roland and Shaw are charged with conspiring to extort property under color of official right, by obtaining methamphetamine and MDMA from Ryan Nyberg (with the consent of Nyberg). Mr. Shaw is alleged to have asked Roland to help Ryan Nyberg in connection with felony drug charges pending against Nyberg in Superior Court. Allegedly, Roland then undertook to represent the State of California in connection with the charges pending against Mr. Nyberg.

After Roland appeared in court on Nyberg’s cases, Shaw and Nyberg allegedly went to Roland’s house where they provided Roland with methamphetamine. Roland is also alleged to have met Nyberg at various locations so that Roland could receive methamphetamine and MDMA in return for Roland’s official acts in connection with the charges pending against Nyberg. According to the indictment, after accepting the controlled substances from Nyberg and others, Roland arranged for and agreed to a diversion disposition in Nyberg’s felony drug cases.

Roland is also charged with three counts of making false statements to federal authorities. Shaw and another defendant, Stephanie Sitkewich, are charged with conspiracy to import and distribute MDMA from the United Kingdom and Northern Europe. Sitkewich is charged with importing over 5,000 tablets of MDMA.

Mr. Roland was arrested this morning and made his initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco today before Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James. He was released on $200,000 bond. All of the defendants are scheduled to appear on June 14, 2005, at 2:30 p.m. before Judge Charles R. Breyer.

DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Lawrence C. Mendosa stated that the arrest of Mr. Roland demonstrates that no one is above the law, adding that DEA will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to ensure the safety of our communities.

Charges and Maximum Penalties:

  • 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a) - Conspiracy to Extort Property Under Color of Official Right; Maximum Penalties: 20 years; $250,000 fine; 3 years supervised release;
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a) - Making False Statements in a Matter within the Jurisdiction of the Executive Branch; Maximum Penalties: 5 years; $250,000 fine; 3 years supervised release;
  • 21 U.S.C. § 963 - Conspiracy to Import MDMA; Maximum Penalties: 20 years; $1,000,000 fine; at least 3 years supervised release;
  • 21 U.S.C. § 846 - Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute MDMA; Maximum Penalties: 20 years; $1,000,000 fine; at least 3 years supervised release;
  • 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) - Distribution of MDMA; Maximum Penalties: 20 years; $1,000,000 fine; at least 3 years supervised release;
  • 21 U.S.C. §§ 952(a) and 960(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 2 - Importation of MDMA; Aiding and Abetting; Maximum Penalties: 20 years; $1,000,000 fine; at least 3 years supervised release;
  • 21 U.S.C. § 846 - Attempted Possession with Intent to Distribute MDMA; Maximum Penalties: 20 years; $1,000,000 fine; at least 3 years supervised release;

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. An indictment only contains allegations and these defendants, as with all defendants, must be presumed innocent unless and until convicted.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by agents of the DEA and FBI. Christopher Steskal is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release and related court filings may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can <http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/can>. Related court documents and information may be found on the U.S. District Court website at www.cand.uscourts.gov <http://www.cand.uscourts.gov> or on <http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/>.<http://pacer.cand.uscourts/gov.>

All press inquiries to the DEA should be directed to Public Information Officer Casey McEnry at (415) 436-7994.


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