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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 23, 2021

Three South Lake Tahoe Residents Charged with Drug Trafficking and Texas Man Charged with Trafficking Firearms

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned three indictments on Aug. 19, charging four individuals with drug and gun crimes committed in and around South Lake Tahoe, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced

The indictment against Joshua Daniel Wilson, 34, of South Lake Tahoe, and Cody Lee Cramer, 39, of Lampasas, Texas, charges them together with one count of dealing firearms without a license. The indictment also Wilson with one count of distributing at least 500 grams of methamphetamine, four counts of distributing at least 50 grams of methamphetamine, and one count of dealing firearms without a license.

According to court documents, Wilson sold methamphetamine to an informant multiple times over the course of five months. During this course of dealing, Wilson also offered to sell the informant other drugs, including LSD and MDMA. During that same period, Wilson and Cramer sold the informant firearms, including an AR-15 style rifle, a shotgun, and several handguns. Some of the weapons had been manufactured without serial numbers. Such weapons are often referred to as “ghost guns,” and the lack of a serial number impairs the ability of law enforcement agencies to trace them.

The grand jury also returned a four-count indictment against Patricia Louise Ekizian, 69, of South Lake Tahoe, charging her with distribution of at least 50 grams of methamphetamine. According to court documents, Ekizian sold methamphetamine to an informant on multiple occasions over several months.

Finally, the grand jury returned a two-count indictment against Frank Ray Bacon, 53, of South Lake Tahoe, charging him with distribution of at least 50 grams of methamphetamine. According to court documents, Bacon sold methamphetamine to an informant on two occasions.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. During a coordinated law enforcement operation earlier this month, agents and officers executed arrest warrants in South Lake Tahoe, related to the illicit interstate drug and weapons trafficking that ultimately resulted in the three indictments. Assistant United States Attorney James Conolly is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Wilson faces a 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence, a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, and a $10 million fine for the count of distributing at least 500 grams of methamphetamine. If convicted of distributing at least 50 grams of methamphetamine, Wilson faces a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence , a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million. If convicted of the charge of dealing firearms without a license, Wilson and Cramer each face a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

If convicted, Ekizian faces a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence, a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million.

If convicted, Bacon faces a maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million for each count. Each count also carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.

Any sentence 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 effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated August 23, 2021