SACRAMENTO, Calif. – One defendant has been convicted and two others pleaded guilty today to their involvement in a cocaine, crack and heroin distribution conspiracy in the Eastern District of California, US Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
On June 3, 2021, a federal grand jury returned a 45-count indictment against 15 people on felonies related to a cocaine, crack and heroin trafficking conspiracy. Today Charles Carter, 36, of Sacramento, was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess at least 500 grams of cocaine. Arlington Caine, 48, of Rio Linda, and Andre Hellams, 40, of North Highlands, each pleaded guilty to two counts of using a cell phone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense.
According to court documents, Carter, Hellams and Caine are among 15 federal defendants arrested in 2021 for drug trafficking as part of a DEA-led multi-agency operation targeting cocaine and heroin traffickers in North Sacramento. Specifically, Carter was intercepted during a 30-day wiretapping operation dealing kilograms of cocaine, kilograms of heroin and methamphetamine pills. Carter was also intercepted when he was plotting to rob another heroin dealer, three kilograms worth of $75,000 worth of heroin. Hellams was intercepted while trying to procure and sell over 630 grams of cocaine. Caine was intercepted while procuring and selling over 40 grams of crack cocaine and over 110 grams of powdered cocaine.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, US Marshals Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, US Forest Service, US Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the California Department of Justice, the California Highway Patrol, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, and the Sacramento Police Department. Assistant US Attorneys Cameron L. Desmond and Aaron D. Pennekamp are prosecuting the case.
Caine and Hellams are scheduled to be sentenced by US District Judge Troy L. Nunley on February 9, 2023. They face a maximum statutory sentence of eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, actual penalties will be determined at the discretion of the court after considering all applicable legal factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which consider a number of variables.
On September 29, 2022, Jason Tolbert, 45, of Sacramento, was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
On July 22, 2022, Michael Hampton, 57, of Vallejo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine with intent to distribute at least 500 grams. Hampton is scheduled to be sentenced on December 8, 2022.
Charges are pending against the following defendants: Tyrone Anderson, 40, of Sacramento; Maurice Bryant, 51, of Antelope; Yovanny Ontiveros, 41, from Sacramento; Alex White, 61, from the North Highlands; Steven Hampton, 61, of Sacramento; Wilmer Harden, 52, of Elk Grove; Bobby Conner, 50, from Sacramento; Jerome Adams, 54, from the North Highlands; Dwight Haney, 49, of Sacramento; and Mark Martin, 62, of Sacramento. The charges are just allegations; The accused are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This law enforcement is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force initiative, which envisages the establishment of permanent interagency task force teams working side-by-side in the same location. The Sacramento Strike Force is a co-location model that allows agents from different agencies to work together on multi-jurisdictional intelligence operations to disrupt and take down top drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations. The specific mission of the Sacramento Strike Force is to identify, investigate, disrupt, and dismantle the major drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) that move narcotics, firearms, and money through the Eastern District of California and thereby reducing the flow of these criminal resources into California and the rest of the United States. The Sacramento Strike Force conducts intelligence investigations targeting the command and support elements of these DTOs and TCOs operating in the Eastern District of California, regardless of their geographic base of operations.