Received Ecstasy from Defendants He was Prosecuting One Day After Appearing on Their Cases and Agreeing to Dispositions
SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that Assistant District Attorney Robert William Roland, 35, was sentenced today to 6 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and 150 hours of community service for accepting drugs on three separate occasions from defendants whom he was prosecuting. Defendant Roland was convicted on February 8, 2006, of four felony counts: one count of possessing MDMA (ecstasy) with the intent to distribute, one count of using a telephone to facilitate the commission of a felony drug offense, and two counts of possessing MDMA. This guilty plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan stated, “Prosecutors, because of the unique role they play in the criminal justice system, must conduct themselves with the utmost integrity. This defendant abused the public trust by violating some of the very laws that he swore to uphold, with the very defendants that he was obligated to prosecute. I thank the FBI, the DEA, and the prosecution team for their outstanding work on this case.”
In pleading guilty, Mr. Roland admitted that on June 28, 2002, he appeared on behalf of the State of California as an Assistant District Attorney in a felony drug case brought against Eric Earl Shaw in Superior Court. Shaw was a childhood friend of Mr. Roland. On that day, Mr. Roland agreed to a misdemeanor disposition in Shaw’s case. The next day, Mr. Roland met with Shaw and received MDMA from Shaw.
According to the plea agreement, on June 26, 2003, Mr. Roland appeared on behalf of the State of California in felony drug cases brought against Ryan Ernst Nyberg in Superior Court. Nyberg was an acquaintance who was introduced to Mr. Roland by Shaw. After the appearance, Mr. Roland discussed a diversion disposition in Nyberg’s felony drug cases with Nyberg’s attorney. The next day, Mr. Roland met with Shaw and Nyberg at Mr. Roland’s house and received MDMA from Shaw and Nyberg.
In addition, Mr. Roland acknowledged that on or about October 17, 2003, Nyberg delivered MDMA to him at his house. Mr. Roland arranged the drug transaction over the telephone. Mr. Roland obtained the MDMA from Nyberg with the intent to share it with friends. At the time Mr. Roland received the MDMA from Nyberg, he knew that Nyberg was a defendant in the above described felony drug cases, which were still pending in Superior Court, and that he was still represented by counsel.
According to the plea agreement, on January 14, 2005, Mr. Roland admitted that he falsely told agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he had not used drugs of any kind since he became an Assistant District Attorney, although he later admitted to the agents that he used marijuana at the time and possessed marijuana in his home.
Mr. Roland is scheduled to surrender into custody on or before August 1, 2006. Mr. Roland was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 9, 2005.
Christopher Steskal is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case.
Case #: CR 04-0309 CRB.
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.plhttps://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/.
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]