March 15th, 2007 02:52 EST
Over Quarter Million Dollars Worth Crack Cocaine Seized in Sacramento Residential Neighborhood
SACRAMENTO, CA - Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gordon Taylor, Sacramento Police Chief Albert Najera and United States Attorney McGregor Scott announce the largest seizure of crack cocaine in Sacramento history. Three individuals were arrested in connection with the investigation and law enforcement seized 7 pounds of crack cocaine, 2 pounds of cocaine powder, 2 vehicles and approximately $15,000 U.S. Currency.
“This is the largest seizure of crack cocaine we’ve ever seen in this area. It’s like the mother lode of crack seizures,” stated DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gordon Taylor. “This should have an impact on many of the violent Sacramento street gangs that sell this highly addictive and deadly drug. We will continue to work with the Sacramento Police Department and our partners in law enforcement to rid our streets of these organizations and dismantle them from top to bottom,” Taylor added.
This investigation began in October 2006 when the DEA Sacramento District Office received information that Eddie HOUSTON Jr., 34, of Sacramento, was allegedly a significant source of supply of crack cocaine (also known as cocaine base) in the greater Sacramento area and throughout Northern California. HOUSTON, a validated member of the “Bloods” street gang, allegedly supplied crack cocaine to members of the “Bloods” and other street gangs operating in the greater Sacramento area.
The investigation culminated on March 8, 2007, when agents arrested HOUSTON as he was seen departing in a 2005 Jaguar from a residence in the 3000 block of Cactus Way in Sacramento. At the time of his arrest HOUSTON was in possession of approximately $12,000 US Currency. Approximately ½ pound of marijuana was also seized from the Jaguar. Agents subsequently served a federal search warrant at the Cactus Way residence. Inside the residence agents seized approximately 7 pounds of crack cocaine, 2 pounds of cocaine powder and $3,000 US Currency. Agents also seized the 2005 Jaguar and a Toyota Avalon. Prior to the service of the search warrant, agents observed a drug transaction outside the Cactus Way residence involving Alan SAUCEDO, 35, and Charles HILL, 43, both of Sacramento. Agents later arrested SAUCEDO and HILL without incident. The DEA estimates the street value of the seized drugs combined to be approximately $375,000.
Sacramento Police Department Captain Daniel Hahn stated, “The arrest of Eddie HOUSTON Jr. is an excellent example of the multi-agency task force effort, by area law enforcement, to reduce gang violence. Eddie HOUSTON Jr. is well known to Sacramento law enforcement. He has long been an active member of the “Bloods” street gang.”
Crack cocaine differs from cocaine powder in that it is mixed with other ingredients and heated to remove the hydrochloride, resulting in pure cocaine. In this form it can be smoked, producing an immediate and intense high, while snorting cocaine powder may take three to five minutes to reach the brain.
HOUSTON was charged with violation of Title 21 United States Code Section 846 – Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine Base and section 841 – Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base. Both SAUCEDO and HILL were charged with violation of Title 21 United States Code Section 841 - Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base.
The maximum statutory penalties for HOUSTON’s charges are as follows:
- Title 21, U.S.C. § 846, Conspiracy – a minimum mandatory term of imprisonment of ten years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life; and a $ 4,000,000 fine.
- Title 21, U.S.C. § 841, Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base – a minimum mandatory term of imprisonment of ten years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life; and a $ 4,000,000 fine.
The maximum statutory penalties for SAUCEDO and HILL’s charges are as follows:
- Title 21, U.S.C. § 841, Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base – a minimum mandatory term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years; and a $ 2,000,000 fine.
Sentences can be higher for individuals with prior felony drug convictions. Any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration Sacramento District Office, the Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office in the Eastern District of California.
HOUSTON and HILL were scheduled for a court appearance today in Sacramento Federal Court. The charges are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.