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Press Release

Oakland Resident Who Sold Fentanyl In San Francisco’s Tenderloin Sentenced To Four Years

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO – Jose Alvarado, a/k/a Chepe, was sentenced today to 48 months in federal prison for distribution of fentanyl in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District and for possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Special Agent in Charge Bob P. Beris. The sentence was handed down by United States District Judge Charles R. Breyer.

Alvarado, 27, an Oakland resident, pleaded guilty on July 8, 2022, to charges of distributing fentanyl and possessing fentanyl with the intent to distribute it. In his plea agreement, Alvarado described selling fentanyl to undercover law enforcement agents on four occasions in the Tenderloin District from November 2021 to February 2022. He admitted that on November 30, 2021, at the corner of Eddy Street and Polk Street in the Tenderloin, he sold approximately seven grams of fentanyl for $40 to an undercover law enforcement officer and then advised the officer “don’t die.” On January 13, 2022, near the corner of the Tenderloin’s Eddy Street and Larkin Street, Alvarado described that he sold just more than 12 grams of fentanyl for $200 and seven grams of methamphetamine for $100 to an undercover officer. A week later on January 20, 2022, and a few blocks away at Ellis Street and Van Ness Boulevard, he sold approximately two ounces of fentanyl to an undercover officer for $1,000. Alvarado further described that on February 10, 2022, at the corner of Golden Gate Avenue and Polk Street, Alvarado met up with another undercover officer and sold the officer approximately two ounces of fentanyl and one ounce of methamphetamine for $1,200. 

Alvarado was arrested outside his Oakland residence on March 31, 2022. In his backpack and inside his residence, law enforcement officers found approximately 18 ounces (518 grams) of a substance containing fentanyl and 45 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine. Alvarado admitted in his plea agreement that he possessed the fentanyl and methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it in the Tenderloin. 

Officers also seized more than $38,000 inside the residence. Alvarado admitted the cash was proceeds from past drug sales. The money was forfeited as part of his sentence.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Breyer ordered a four year term of supervision for Alvarado following his release from prison. Alvarado was in custody at the sentencing hearing and will begin serving his sentence immediately.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin Paulson prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Jessie Chelsea. The prosecution is the result of investigations by DEA and the San Francisco Police Department. 

One Pill Can Kill: Avoid pills bought on the street because One Pill Can Kill. Fentanyl is a highly potent opioid that drug dealers dilute with cutting agents to make counterfeit prescription pills that appear to be Oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, and other drugs. Fentanyl is used because it’s cheap. Small variations in the quantity or quality of fentanyl in a fake prescription pill can accidentally create a lethal dosage. Fentanyl has now become the leading cause of drug poisoning deaths in the United States. Fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl are usually shaped and colored to appear to be pills sold at pharmacies, like Percocet and Xanax. For example, fake prescription pills known as “M30s” imitate Oxycodone obtained from a pharmacy, but when sold on the street the pills routinely contain fentanyl. These particular pills are usually round tablets and often light blue in color, though they may be in different shapes and a rainbow of colors. They often have “M” and “30” imprinted on opposite sides of the pill. Do not take these or any other pills bought on the street – they are routinely fake and poisonous, and you will not know until it is too late.

Updated January 13, 2023