SAN FRANCISCO – Two defendants allegedly committed crimes while standing in front of the surveillance cameras of the federal building on Seventh and Mission Streets in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. A federal grand jury indicted Rodolfo Sagastume-Pineda and the Office of the United States Attorney has filed a federal criminal complaint against Natalin Mauricio Martinez-Hernandez—both charging documents involve felonies the defendants allegedly committed within view of surveillance cameras monitoring the streets outside the federal building. The announcement of Sagastume-Pineda’s case was made by United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Brian M. Clark. The announcement of Hernandez case was made by United States Attorney Ramsey and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp.
The Sagastume-Pineda Case
According to a complaint filed May 25, 2023, Sagastume-Pineda was on the sidewalk of Seventh Street between Natoma and Mission Streets when he was observed engaging in a series of hand-to-hand drug transactions. The complaint describes four hand-to-hand drug sales that allegedly occurred on April 24, 2023, over the course of several minutes. Sagastume-Pineda was arrested the same day.
The complaint describes certain details regarding the circumstances of Sagastume-Pineda’s arrest. For example, the complaint alleges Sagastume-Pineda was carrying a backpack that contained 96.7 grams of fentanyl and over 30 grams of methamphetamine. Further, according to the complaint, the backpack also contained 11.1 grams of heroin, 4.3 grams of cocaine, and a digital scale.
A federal grand jury indicted Sagastume-Pineda on June 6, 2023, charging him with two counts of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C), as well as one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), and (b)(1)(C).
Sagastume-Pineda appeared yesterday before Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim who ordered Sagastume-Pineda detained. Sagastume-Pineda’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 12, 2023, for a status conference before Hon. Charles R. Breyer, United States District Judge.
The Hernandez Case
The complaint filed May 26, 2023, describes how Hernandez was observed on three occasions near the federal building at 90 Seventh Street in San Francisco.
On the first occasion, August 14, 2022, San Francisco Police officers were alerted to shots fired near the federal building. The law enforcement officers did not apprehend the shooter, who fled, but watched security video footage showing the incident. The complaint describes how video footage allegedly showed Hernandez near the federal building and eventually arguing with an unidentified man who brandished and put away what appeared to be a machete. The video allegedly showed Hernandez responding by removing a firearm from a backpack and firing in the direction of the unknown man. The unknown man apparently was not struck or injured by the firearm. The video showed the shooter leaving the area on a scooter.
The second occasion occurred more than a month later, on October 24, 2022, when San Francisco Police officers again were alerted to Hernandez’s presence near the federal building. On that day, a security guard who had reviewed footage from the August 14, 2022, shooting reported that he recognized Hernandez as the August 2022 shooter when Hernandez parked a vehicle near the federal building. Hernandez left the scene before law enforcement officers arrived.
The following day, October 25, 2022, Hernandez was sighted near the federal building for a third time and, this time, was arrested. During the arrest, officers seized a backpack that Hernandez was wearing that allegedly contained a loaded, black, 9mm Ruger Security 9 semi-automatic pistol; a pair of silver brass knuckles; and three .38 caliber bullets. Officers also allegedly recovered from Hernandez’s jacket pockets multiple baggies containing a total of 104.5 grams of fentanyl.
The complaint charges Hernandez with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(C). Hernandez is next scheduled to appear on June 9, 2023, before Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim for a detention hearing.
The Hernandez complaint and Sagastume-Pineda indictment merely allege that crimes have been committed, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, both defendants may be ordered to serve an additional period of supervised release and to face additional monetary assessments. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Dahlke is prosecuting the cases with the assistance of Lakisha Holliman and Jasmine Sanders. The Hernandez case is being investigated by the FBI and the Sagastume-Pineda case is being investigated by the DEA, both with the assistance of the San Francisco Police Department and the Federal Protective Service.