News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2008
Contact: Casey McEnry
Number: 415-436-7994

Guilty Plea in One of the Largest Seizures of
Crack Cocaine in Sacramento History

Defendant Supplied Drug Dealers in Del Paso Heights, Oak Park, Meadowview and Dos Rios Public Housing Complex in Downtown Sacramento

MAR 4 -- Sacramento--United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced today that Eddie Houston, Jr., 35, of Sacramento pleaded guilty today before United States District Court Judge Frank C. Damrell, Jr. to being a member of a three-part Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base (crack cocaine), to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine (powder cocaine), and to Manufacture Cocaine Base (crack cocaine).

This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with the assistance of the Sacramento Police Department.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Anne Pings, who prosecuted the case, the evidence at trial would have included the testimony of witnesses that Eddie Houston, Jr., was the supplier of large quantities of crack cocaine to numerous local drug dealers who were re-selling the crack cocaine to street-level dealers and users in the Del Paso Heights, Meadowview, and Oak Park neighborhoods, as well as inside the Dos Rios public housing complex in downtown Sacramento.

The defendant acknowledged in his guilty plea that he was utilizing a residence in the 3000 block of Cactus Way, Sacramento, to cook powder cocaine into crack cocaine, to store the powder and crack cocaine, and to conduct sales of crack cocaine. Agents of the DEA and officers of the Sacramento Police Department executed a search warrant at the residence on March 8, 2007. The house was outfitted with a video camera surveillance system. The agents recovered approximately 7 pounds of crack cocaine, 2 pounds of powder cocaine, the cooking instruments and ingredients used to make crack cocaine, digital scales, and an electronic money counting machine. They also recovered $12,000 cash from Mr. Houston’s person when he was stopped a few blocks away in a Jaguar.

The DEA has previously reported that Eddie Houston was a validated member of the “Bloods” and that the crack cocaine seized was worth a quarter of a million dollars. In addition, the DEA reported that the seizure at Mr. Houston’s residence was the largest crack cocaine seizure in Sacramento history. After being read his Miranda rights at the time of his arrest, the agents asked Mr. Houston if he had anything to say. The defendant responded, “No, it’s over, it’s a wrap, this is life, I’m never coming home.”

Prior to executing the search warrant, while waiting outside Mr. Houston’s residence, the DEA agents had videotaped Mr. Houston’s sister, Marlena Johnson, 42, of Sacramento, hand over a supply of crack cocaine to one of the local drug dealers. Alan “Butch” Saucedo, 37, also of Sacramento, had driven up to the house to make a pick-up he had previously arranged with Mr. Houston. Mr. Houston’s sister was videotaped delivering the crack to Saucedo’s car window. Johnson and Saucedo were also arrested and both have pleaded guilty. Mr. Saucedo was sentenced to 4 years in federal prison and Ms. Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced on March 31, 2008.

The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced by Honorable Frank C. Damrell, Jr. on May 12, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of involving this quantity of crack cocaine is life. However, the actual sentence will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables and any applicable statutory sentencing factors.

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