gavel.jpgFederal prosecutors and San Francisco police announced today that a series of undercover operations in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood has resulted in indictments of nine people on federal drug charges.

The nine defendants were charged in six separate indictments with selling crack cocaine, powder cocaine or methamphetamine in 2010. Several defendants were also accused of using telephones to aid the sales. The federal grand jury indictments were issued between Dec. 14 and April 14.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and Interim San Francisco Police Chief Jeff Godown said the operations were undertaken to address violence in the area, which lies north of Market Street between Civic Center and Union Square.

Agencies collaborating in the effort were the San Francisco Police Department, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Special Service Unit.

Drug purchases by undercover federal agents were carried out between December 2009 and August 2010, Haag said.

One defendant, Darrell Robinson, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 14 on three counts of selling crack cocaine in January, July and August 2010. He is in custody and is due to enter a change of plea before U.S. District Judge Jeffery White in San Francisco on April 25.

Haag said arrest warrants have been issued for the other defendants, who were indicted on either April 7 or April 14.

They include Catherine Miranda and Jay Tree, accused of selling methamphetamine; Alkalani Pickettay, charged with selling crack cocaine; and Michael Giardano, accused of selling methamphetamine, all in January 2010.

Stephen Gross is accused of selling cocaine in February 2010 and Allen Miller, Jasmine Quiles and a man named Paul, whose last name is unknown, are charged with selling methamphetamine in May 2010.

Haag said the defendants range in age from 25 to 63 years old.

The charges each carry possible penalties of five to 40 years in prison if the defendants are convicted.

Julia Cheever, Bay City News

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