Police seized more than 500 pounds of methamphetamine in San Bernardino County after a multi-agency narcotics investigation into the activities of the Sinaloa drug cartel. A 55-year-old Apple Valley man and a 21-year-old Ontario resident have been charged in connection with the drugs. Agencies participating in the investigation include the California Highway Patrol, the Alhambra and West Covina police departments and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
A U.S. attorney for the Central District of California described the international investigation that identified men profiting from online drug sales as an example of the Department of Justice's ability to counteract sophisticated dark web criminals. The investigation resulted in the arrest of four German men and another man from Brazil. They were allegedly involved with a dark web marketplace called Wall Street Market, which authorities described as the second-largest online market for contraband.
A 39-year-old California man has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison to be followed by four years of supervised release after being convicted of possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute and being a felon in possession of a firearm. A federal jury found the man guilty of all but one of the charges facing him after a trial lasting three days.
On April 10, law enforcement officers arrested a California couple for allegedly attempting to transport a large amount of powdered fentanyl through San Diego County. They were taken into custody on Otay Mesa Freeway.
The legalization of recreational marijuana in California has led many people to seek expungements of drug-related criminal records. In San Francisco, the district attorney announced on Feb. 25 that the automated clearance of eligible cases had been achieved. A total of 9,362 convictions had been sealed, and some cases reached back as far as 1975.
An 18-year-old man, who until recently attended the University of California Santa Cruz, could face decades in prison if convicted on charges of selling cocaine and methamphetamine. Undercover agents from the Department of Homeland Security allege that he built a mobile phone application called Banana Plug that enabled the sale and distribution of various recreational drugs like marijuana, cocaine, molly and mushrooms. He paid bail to obtain his release ahead of his next court appearance.
On Jan. 25, California authorities arrested a 26-year-old man for allegedly committing armed robbery, stealing a vehicle, leading police on a car chase and possessing methamphetamine. The incident took place in Humboldt.
A 31-year-old California man has been sentenced to state prison for two years for selling cocaine out of his home. He pleaded guilty to multiple charges in December and was sentenced on January 3. Apparently, the plea agreement did not dismiss any of the charges.
California residents may be familiar with the concept of civil forfeiture. When a person commits a crime, authorities may take assets that were used in the commission of that crime. However, the value of the items may need to be taken into consideration when imposing such a punishment. In the case of Timbs v. Indiana, a man had his $42,000 Range Rover taken from him after allegedly selling heroin to undercover police officers.
A new law in California will make it easier for residents with marijuana convictions to have their records expunged or to request a reduction of their sentences. Assembly Bill 1783 promises to streamline a process that has previously been difficult.