Monday, December 5, 2022

San Francisco Fentanyl Dealer Tied to Three Trinity County Overdose Deaths Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison

The following is a press release issued by the United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds of the Northern District of California:

Emil Arriola Melendez was sentenced in federal court today to 46 months in prison for the distribution of fentanyl, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Wade R. Shannon.  Senior United States District Judge Maxine M. Chesney handed down the sentence.

Melendez, 33, of South San Francisco, pleaded guilty on March 18, 2022, to distributing fentanyl.  In his plea agreement, Melendez admitted that in September and November 2021 he exchanged numerous text messages with an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a drug buyer.  Melendez arranged through the messages to sell fentanyl and heroin to the undercover officer.  On September 22, 2021, near Geary and Hyde Streets in San Francisco’s Tenderloin area, Melendez met and sold the undercover officer 110 grams of fentanyl for $3,000.  Melendez further admitted that on October 27, 2021, he again met with the undercover officer near Geary and Hyde Streets and sold the officer 227 grams (approximately eight ounces) of fentanyl and 56 grams (approximately two ounces) of heroin.  Melendez charged the officer $7,800.

In its sentencing memo, the government described that the investigation of Melendez began when three individuals in Trinity County in the rural north of California (population: 12,541) died from fentanyl overdoses in a single weekend in August 2021.  The dealer who sold fentanyl to the decedents before their overdoses was arrested.  That dealer identified Melendez as a source of fentanyl supply and said that he would drive to meet and buy fentanyl from Melendez in the San Francisco Bay Area and then return with the fentanyl to Trinity and Shasta Counties.  This information led to the undercover officer being introduced to Melendez and Melendez’s sales to the officer.

  During the search of Melendez’s home at the time of his arrest, law enforcement located a privately made firearm (a PMF, or “ghost gun”).  As part of the sentence, the firearm was forfeited.

In addition to the 46 month federal prison term, Senior U.S. District Judge Maxine M. Chesney ordered Melendez to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison.  Melendez was in custody at his sentencing hearing and begins serving his sentence immediately. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Tartakovsky prosecuted the case with the assistance of Mark DiCenzo.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by DEA, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, the Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force, and the North State Major Investigation Team.

Fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, is a highly potent opioid that can be diluted with cutting agents to create counterfeit pills that purport to mimic the effects of Oxycodone and can typically be obtained at a lower cost than genuine Oxycodone.  Counterfeit fentanyl-laced pills are commonly shaped and colored to resemble Oxycodone pills sold legitimately in the marketplace. Counterfeit pills known as M30s are round tablets that are often light blue, but can vary in color, and have “M” and “30” imprinted on opposite sides of the pill. Small variations in the amount or quality of fentanyl can have significant effects on the potency of the counterfeit pills, drastically raising the danger of overdoses.  Fentanyl recently became the leading cause of drug overdose deaths throughout the United States.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Better than book and release. But hardly enough for causing deaths. In the name of profit. Yes bars should also be liable for allowing someone to get drunk and then drive away

  2. Welcome to Newsom’s crime ridden state. He needs to be ousted out and we need new DA’s that will do their job.

    • Yeah, there’s no crime elsewhere. Only in California and other liberal areas. Nowhere else.

      Or maybe it’s because this is the most populous state with two of the largest cities in the nation. But no, it’s those evil liberals who want big government.

      The right complains about government spending, the government reduces spending, the right complains about the reduction in services (also the dems fault, it’s always the dems fault. Republicans are incapable of doing wrong), Democrats fights Republicans to increase spending again, the right complains about government spending…

  3. Wow you can poison people in California, admit to it, and get sentenced to only 46 months in prison, which with time served, good behavior and overcrowding lawsuits you will be out in 23 months or probably less! Now that’s JUSTICE.Progressive Justice. Pelosi Justice.Biden Justice. How much money did the dealer make that week? How many others died from his slinging death?

    His customers got a death sentence but libtards are OK with that.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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