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Justice News

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

Friday, February 26, 2021

Federal Prosecutions Demonstrate A Sustained Effort To Bring Law And Order To The Tenderloin District Of San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO- On August 7, 2019, U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson announced a new federal initiative to address crime in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. The program, called the Federal Initiative for the Tenderloin (FIT), has brought together the resources of more than 15 federal law enforcement agencies to combat endemic drug trafficking, firearms offenses, robberies and other crime in the neighborhood. U.S. Attorney Anderson pledged to assign 15 federal prosecutors to handle cases brought against offenders violating federal law in the neighborhood.

“The Tenderloin is a wonderful neighborhood mostly populated by good people leading law-abiding lives,” said U.S. Attorney Anderson.  “It is not fair to tolerate lawlessness in the Tenderloin that we simply would not accept in other neighborhoods in San Francisco.  The good people of the Tenderloin should have equal access to schools, stores, transportation, and other services without having to run a gauntlet of crime.”     

The Tenderloin neighborhood encompasses about 50 square blocks of downtown San Francisco.  Generally, it is bounded on the north by Geary Street, on the east by Powell Street, on the south by Mission Street, and on the west by Van Ness Avenue.  The FIT initiative has prioritized federal charges for criminal misconduct with a nexus to the Tenderloin.

Since announcing the initiative, cases have involved a broad array of criminal conduct ranging from mail theft to attempted murder.  Cases brought against defendants also include charges of bank fraud, escape, firearms offenses, transportation of child pornography and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor.  So far, 244 defendants have been charged and 114 have been sentenced.  Sixteen cases were resolved in just the past six months, including the following:

Defendant Name

Sentence imposed


Manuel Arteaga (aka Angel David Centeno)

36 months

Conspiracy to Distribute methamphetamine, cocaine base, and heroin, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a), 846

Arturo Salamanca

65 months


Possession of Child Pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)

Darwin Villatoro

28 months

Possession with Intent to Distribute heroin and cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)

Brazil Harris

40 months

Possession with Intent to Distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a), and Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1)

Chantel Williams

81 months

Conspiracy to Commit Sex Trafficking of a Minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1594(C)

U.S. Attorney Anderson pledged to continue with the effort for a minimum of one year and there are no current plans to terminate or provide an end date for the initiative.

Updated February 26, 2021