Charged After Informants Used Covert Equipment to Record Purchases o…

Charged After Informants Used Covert Equipment to Record Purchases of Cocaine Base and Methamphetamine

OAKLAND – LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that seven men have been arrested in Richmond on federal drug trafficking charges alleging that they distributed cocaine base and methamphetamine to informants who recorded those purchases using covert video and audio recording equipment. Three of these men were indicted by a federal grand jury while the other four were charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in criminal complaints.

• Antonio Latauris Hendrix, Jr., 30, was indicted by a federal grand jury for distribution of 26.6 grams of methamphetamine.

• Warren Steven Smith, 38, was indicted by a federal grand jury for distributing 6.8 grams of cocaine base.

• Michael Louise Black, Jr., 33, was indicted by a federal grand jury for distributing 2.2 grams of cocaine base.

• Jeffrey Eugene Brown, 37, was charged in a federal criminal complaint with distributing 92.5 grams of cocaine base.

• Fred Leon Wiggins, 26, was charged in a federal criminal complaint with conspiring to distribute, and distributing, 13.6 grams of cocaine base.

• Carl Leon Nix, Jr., 35, was charged in a federal criminal complaint with distributing 3.38 grams of cocaine base.

• Dosie Dee King, 37, was charged in the same complaint with Mr. Wiggins with conspiring to distribute, and distributing, 13.6 grams of cocaine base.

All defendants were charged with violating Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1). Wiggins was also charged with violating Title 21, United States Code, Section 846.

U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan stated, “These charges are an effort to make North Richmond a safer community for its residents by prosecuting alleged drug dealers in the area. I thank the federal and local investigative agencies for their continuing effort and strong collaboration.”

“These arrests are the result of over two years of joint federal, state, and local investigation and constitute another step toward ending the stranglehold of gang violence in North Richmond and the wider Bay Area,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI

Stephanie Douglas. “The FBI remains committed to working with our state and local partners to ensure the safety of all our communities.”

During the operation, agents and deputies also executed federal search warrants at ten locations in Richmond, California, and one location in Vallejo, California. As a result of those searches, agents and deputies seized large quantities of suspected cocaine base, methamphetamine, and cocaine, as well as a shotgun and over $10,000 in cash.

Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Kitty Parker stated, “The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office again partners with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to strike at the heart of these alleged criminals in North Richmond. This operation is part of our ongoing commitment to make North Richmond safer for residents. We are sending a strong message that gang and drug activity will not be tolerated in North Richmond.”

The prosecution is the result of a two year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, Richmond Police Department, WestNet, the California State Parole Office, and the U.S. Marshals Service.

All the defendants except for Mr. King were arrested yesterday and arraigned before Magistrate Judge Wayne D. Brazil at 10 a.m. today, at which time the indictments and criminal complaints were unsealed. Mr. King was arrested this morning and will be making his initial appearance at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning before Judge Brazil. Brown, Black, and Smith will appear before the same judge tomorrow at 10 a.m. for identification of counsel. Hendrix, Nix, and Wiggins are scheduled for a detention hearing on October 31, 2006, at 10 a.m. The government has moved that all defendants be detained pending trial.

If found guilty of violating Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), Brown faces a maximum term of life imprisonment, a mandatory minimum 10-year term of imprisonment, a maximum $4,000,000 fine, a maximum of lifetime supervised release, a mandatory minimum 5-year term of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.

If found guilty of violating Title 21, United States Code, Sections 846 and/or 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B), Hendrix, Smith, Wiggins, and Nix face a maximum term of 40 years imprisonment, a mandatory minimum 5-year term of imprisonment, a maximum $2,000,000 fine, a maximum of lifetime supervised release, a mandatory minimum 4-year term of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.

If found guilty of violating Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C), Black faces a maximum term of 20 years imprisonment, a maximum $1,000,000 fine, a maximum of lifetime supervised release, a mandatory minimum 3-year term of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.

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 contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, these individuals must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Garth Hire is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Legal Technician Adrienne Link.

Further Information:

Case #: United States v. Warren Steven Smith, CR 06-00697 DLJ

United States v. Antonio Latauris Hendrix, Jr., CR 06-00699 SBA

United States v. Michael Louise Black, Jr., CR 06-00701 CW

United States v. Jeffrey Eugene Brown, CR 06-70685 WDB

United States v. Carl Leon Nix, Jr., CR 06-70687 WDB

United States v. Fred Leon Wiggins, CR 06-70688 WDB

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.

Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.

Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at [email protected]

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