Sacramento, California - A federal grand jury returned a 45-count indictment Thursday against 15 defendants for a conspiracy to traffic cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin in the Sacramento area, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
The indictment charges the following defendants: Tyrone Anderson, 40, of Sacramento; Maurice Bryant, 51, of Antelope; Yovanny Ontiveros, 41, of Sacramento; Alex White, 61, of North Highlands; Jason Tolbert, 44, of Sacramento; Andre Hellams, 38, of North Highlands; Michael Hampton, 57, of Vallejo; Steven Hampton, 61, of Sacramento; Wilmer Harden, 52, of Elk Grove; Charles Sidney Carter, 34, of Sacramento; Bobby Conner, 50, of Sacramento; Jerome Adams, 54, of North Highlands; Dwight Haney, 49, of Sacramento; Arlington Caine, 47, of Rio Linda; and Mark Martin, 62, of Sacramento.
The indictment charges Bryant, Harden, Anderson, Carter, Conner, Adams, Haney, Caine, Martin, White, Hellams, Tolbert, Steven Hampton, and Michael Hampton with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least 5 kilograms of cocaine and 280 grams of cocaine base. The indictment also charges Anderson and Ontiveros with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin. During and in furtherance of these conspiracies, the indictment charges certain defendants with distributing cocaine and cocaine base, possessing with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, possessing with intent to distribute heroin, possessing firearms as felons, and using communication facilities to facilitate drug trafficking offenses. According to court documents, between March 1, 2018, and May 19, 2021, law enforcement seized over 5 kilograms of cocaine, a kilogram of heroin, a half kilogram of cocaine base, and multiple firearms.
“This investigation and indictment results in the dismantling of a network of long-time leaders and organizers in a regional cocaine, heroin, and crack cocaine distribution chain that stretches beyond the Eastern District of California, through Southern California, and into Mexico,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Talbert.
“This criminal organization utilized an interstate drug pipeline that reached far beyond the Sacramento region,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Wade R. Shannon. “These arrests underscore our commitment to rid communities of drug trafficking networks and the poison they peddle.”
“The FBI is proud to partner with its local, state, and federal Strike Force partners to disrupt and dismantle violent criminal organizations that threaten the safety of the communities we serve,” said Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FBI Sacramento Field Office. “Together, we are stronger, leveraging seamless communication and our individual strengths to identify and disrupt illegal drug distribution networks.”
“The success of this indictment highlights the importance and necessity of law enforcement partnerships across the spectrum,” said Special Agent in Charge Tatum King, who oversees HSI operations in Northern California. “Strong partnerships among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are critical to apprehending those that profit from the purveyance of dangerous drugs to our communities.”
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. 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 U.S. Attorneys Cameron L. Desmond and Aaron D. Pennekamp are prosecuting the case.
If convicted of the conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base charge, Bryant, Harden, Anderson, Carter, Conner, Adams, Haney, Caine, Martin, White, Hellams, Tolbert, Steven Hampton, and Michael Hampton face a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted of the conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin charge, Bryant and Ontiveros face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This prosecution is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. The Sacramento Strike Force is a co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant 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 most significant drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) shipping narcotics, firearms, and money through the Eastern District of California, thereby reducing the flow of these criminal resources in California and the rest of the United States. The Sacramento Strike Force leads intelligence-driven investigations targeting the leadership and support elements of these DTOs and TCOs operating within the Eastern District of California, regardless of their geographic base of operations.