Firearm And Drug Trafficking Charges Follow Apparent Road Rage Incident In San Francisco’S Tenderloin District

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A syringe with ampoules, white powder, a five-dollar bill with bullets and a gun lying on a black glass background. Dangerous bad habits, addiction to drugs and gambling. Crime because of drugs.

SAN FRANCISCO – Wilmer Arteaga appeared today in United States District Court to face federal charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and for possession of more than 40 grams of fentanyl with the intent to distribute it, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Special Agent in Charge Wade R. Shannon of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).    

According to the criminal complaint filed December 27, 2021, and unsealed in federal court today, Arteaga, 29, of Oakland, was arrested next to a white, two door BMW sedan following shots being fired at an apparent road rage incident in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District.  According the complaint, on November 9, 2021, at 6:30 p.m., San Francisco Police officers witnessed two cars, one of which was a white, two door BMW sedan, stop on Turk Street at the intersection with Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco.  The complaint describes the second car shifting into reverse and driving into the BMW, followed by the BMW’s driver getting out of the BMW with a pistol in hand.  Two shots were fired.  Both cars sped off.  The complaint alleges that 15 minutes later SFPD officers located the BMW parked a few blocks away and arrested Arteaga there.  According to the complaint, at Arteaga’s arrest, a loaded pistol was found in his possession and powder weighing approximately 1155 grams and testing positive for fentanyl was found in the BMW. 

Arteaga originally was charged in state court before the federal complaint was filed. 

Arteaga made his initial federal court appearance today in San Francisco before United States Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim.  Arteaga remains in custody; Magistrate Kim scheduled his next federal court appearance for January 20, 2022.  

The federal complaint charges Arteaga for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), which carries a maximum possible statutory sentence of 10 years imprisonment, a three-year term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $250,000.  The second federal charge in the complaint charges Arteaga with possessing with the intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl in violation of 21 U.S.C. §  841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B), which carries a maximum possible statutory sentence of 40 years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum imprisonment term of five years, a maximum fine of $5,000,000, and a term of supervised release following imprisonment of at least four years with a maximum of life.  However, any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by a court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

The charges contained in the criminal complaint are only allegations.  As in any criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Harding is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Maribel Gallegos and Amala James.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by DEA and the San Francisco Police Department. 

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