Honduran man sentenced for selling fentanyl in San Francisco

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A Honduran drug dealer who sold fentanyl on a nightly basis in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood was sentenced to prison on Wednesday.

Melvin Alexis Diaz Arteaga, 30, a citizen of Honduras, was sentenced to serve 78 months in federal prison following his conviction on six drug charges, announced U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey.

According to prosecutors’ sentencing memorandum, officers found drugs, two firearms, cash, and drug manufacturing equipment inside a Berkeley stash house. Police officers determined that Diaz traveled from his residence in Oakland to the stash house and the Tenderloin every night in the fall of 2022.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote, “As part of his regular commute, Diaz typically picked up his co-defendant at another location in the East Bay and the two men then stopped by their Berkeley stash house to pick up drugs before heading into San Francisco to sell those drugs on the streets of the Tenderloin.”

Ramsey said, “By his own admission, this defendant had access to a staggering quantity of fentanyl, which he repeatedly sold in the Tenderloin. Today’s sentencing should serve as a warning to those who regularly sell dangerous drugs on our streets: you will not escape justice. I am proud of the work being done by this office and by our federal and local law enforcement partners to ensure that fentanyl dealers operating throughout this district, and particularly in the Tenderloin, are held to account.”

Diaz admitted he possessed nearly 15 pounds of fentanyl when he was arrested outside an apartment in Berkeley on November 16, 2022. He also admitted that he used the Berkeley apartment to manufacture and store significant quantities of drugs for sale.

As part of his plea agreement, Diaz forfeited more than $50,000 in cash that officers seized on the night of his arrest, including nearly $42,000 found in Diaz’s bedroom. Diaz acknowledged these funds were derived from drug proceeds.

Diaz has been in custody since his arrest. A judge immediately remanded him into custody following his sentencing on Wednesday.

The case was the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from SFPD.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.