News and Press Releases

Joint Operation Results In Federal Charges Against More Than Sixty Individuals

May 29, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO – The results of a long term pro-active enforcement operation, designed to address violent crime in the Oakland, Calif., area, were announced today by United States Attorney Melinda Haag; Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot C. Thomasson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Project Gideon III; and Chief Howard Jordan of the Oakland Police Department, during a press conference in Oakland.

“Operation Gideon III,” is an ATF multi-pronged initiative designed to target and remove violent offenders and to dismantle criminal organizations and robbery crews operating in Oakland. Some of the most experienced undercover special agents were deployed to team up with local ATF special agents and officers from the Oakland Police Department to conduct organized, covert enforcement operations for a four-month period to aggressively combat violent crime perpetrated by career criminals.

As a result of Operation Gideon III, 60 suspects have been charged by complaint or indictment federally; one defendant has pled guilty already. The operation also resulted in the seizure of 92 firearms, along with approximately three kilograms of methamphetamine, two kilograms of marijuana, one kilogram of heroin and a half kilogram of crack cocaine.

“Operation Gideon is a model of collaboration and the targeted use of federal law enforcement resources to help a community badly in need,” U.S. Attorney Haag said. “Over the past several months, ATF agents from around the country have been working alongside dedicated OPD officers to identify and remove those people who are plaguing our community with guns and violence. A significant number of weapons have been taken off the streets, and some serious offenders have been introduced to the federal judicial system. Our work continues, but we hope what has been accomplished so far has put a dent in the scourge of violence affecting parts of Oakland.”

“ATF is the DOJ’s violent crime bureau. For this 120-day effort, we used experienced ATF agents to ferret out the worst of the worst violent offenders in Oakland,” said Special Agent in Charge, Scot L. Thomasson. “Operation Gideon III utilized sophisticated undercover work by ATF. It will have lasting impact on public safety because of the great partnership created with the Oakland Police Department and other agencies with boots on the ground and a vested interest in the quality of life here.”

“This operation has had a significant impact in reducing gun violence in Oakland, and shows our community the level of cooperation and support that we will continue to receive from our federal law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney's Office, Oakland Chief of Police Jordan said.”

“Collaborative law enforcement efforts between our local and Federal agencies have effectively combated the epidemic of violent street crime plaguing the City of Oakland,” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley said. “The strength of an integrated response and partnership of the Alameda County District Attorney's Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California ensures a continued commitment to innovative prevention, intervention and prosecution strategies.”

“Oakland is grateful to the men and women from the various agencies that collaborated with the City and the Oakland Police department to keep our city safe and take guns out of our communities,” Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said.

“I want to thank the ATF and ATF Director Todd Jones for providing the Oakland Police Department with the resources necessary to stem the flow of illegal firearms into the city of Oakland," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “I am pleased that this state and federal partnership designed to remove illegal firearms while also reducing violent crime has been successful. It is my hope that we can build on this collaborative and continue to bring federal resources into the city of Oakland to address this and other critical issues.”

ATF, the Oakland Police Department and other law enforcement agencies will continue to aggressively target violent crime with a stronger partnership and framework of cooperation. Resources were deployed strategically to have the maximum impact on violent crime over the 120-day enforcement period.

Defendants charged federally as a part of this operation are listed on the attached document. The charges they face include:

  • 21 U.S.C. 846 – conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute narcotics. Punishment varies according to quantity and criminal history.
  • 21 U.S.C. 841 – attempted possession with intent to distribute and distribution of narcotics; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of narcotics. Punishment varies according to quantity and criminal history.
  • 18 U.S.C. 1951(a) – conspiracy and attempt to interfere with interstate commerce through robbery. Up to 20 years imprisonment; $250,000 fine.
  • 18 U.S.C. 924(c) – possession of a firearm during and in furtherance of a crime of violence or drug trafficking offense. 5 years mandatory minimum consecutive sentence, up to life imprisonment; $250,000 fine.
  • 18 U.S.C. 922(g) – possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Up to 10 years imprisonment; $250,000 fine.
  • 18 U.S.C. 922(a) – unlawful dealing in firearms. Up to 5 years imprisonment; $250,000 fine.
  • 18 U.S.C. 111 – assaulting federal agents. Up to 20 years imprisonment; $250,000 fine.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Natalie Lee, Brigid Martin, Kathryn Haun, Stephen Meyer, Wilson Leung, Robert Rees, Cynthia Frey, Andrew Scoble, James Mann, Randy Luskey, William Gullotta, and William Frentzen, paralegal specialists Lillian ArauzHasse, Kevin Costello, Patty Lau, and Noble Hughes, and legal techs Daniel Charlier-Smith, Ponly Tu, Marina Ponomarchuk, Vanessa Vargas, Janice Pagsanjan, Jeanne Carstensen, and Kathleen Turner.

Please note, indictments and criminal complaints contain only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, the defendants listed here must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

(Gideon Federal Defendants )



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