Federal prosecutors in San Francisco announced a grand jury indictment against eight people, all East Bay residents, accusing the group of regularly traveling to the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood to sell drugs like heroin and fentanyl.
The indicted defendants have been identified as Emilson Jonathan Cruz Mayorquin, 23; Leydis Yaneth Cruz, 42; Ivan Mauro Mayorquin, 35; Pamela Carrero, 20; Ana Maldonado, 22; Adonis Torres, 33; Mayer Benegas-Medina, 27; and Gustabo Alfonso Ramos, 22.
According to prosecutors, the group worked as a team, as several of them are family members, in order to engage in street-level drug sales and supply drugs for resale to multiple drug distributors.
In a federal complaint, prosecutors allege multiple members of the group sold a total of $45,000 worth of drugs, including powder fentanyl, counterfeit pharmaceutical pills containing fentanyl and heroin, to an undercover agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. In a separate instance, Ramos sold 4 ounces of fentanyl for $4,000, prosecutors said.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Between January and August of this year, fentanyl was attributed to 300 accidental overdose deaths in San Francisco, according to data from the city’s medical examiner’s office.
All the defendants, except for Ramos, have been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess fentanyl with the intent to sell. Ramos has been charged with distribution of fentanyl, as well as Carrero and Leydis Yaneth Cruz, according to federal prosecutors.
“Parents and children who are sheltering in place against the COVID virus find it impossible to leave their own homes because of open-air drug use and drug trafficking by people who have come to the Tenderloin from outside the neighborhood,” U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California David Anderson said in as statement. “No neighborhood should be designated a law-free zone where dangerous drugs can be bought and sold with impunity.”