SAN FRANCISCO – Jose Alvarado appeared in United States District Court today to face federal charges for the distribution of fentanyl and methamphetamine in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Wade R. Shannon.
According to allegations in the federal criminal complaint unsealed today, Alvarado, 26, who resides in Oakland, engaged in four narcotics sales on different dates in the Tenderloin area to three separate undercover law enforcement officers. The complaint describes that in the late afternoon of November 30, 2021, at the corner of Eddy Street and Polk Street, Alvarado sold approximately seven grams of fentanyl to an undercover officer. The complaint next alleges that in the afternoon of January 13, 2022, near the corner of Eddy Street and Larkin Street, Alvarado sold just over 12 grams of fentanyl and seven grams of methamphetamine to a different undercover officer. The complaint further alleges that a week later, on January 20, 2022, in the vicinity of Ellis Street and Van Ness Boulevard, Alvarado sold just over two ounces of fentanyl to yet another undercover officer. The complaint lastly charges that Alvarado met up with this same undercover officer on February 10, 2022, at the corner of Golden Gate Avenue and Polk Street – at the corner of a federal law enforcement building – and shortly sold the undercover officer two ounces of fentanyl and one ounce of methamphetamine.
The complaint charges Alvarado with one charge of distributing five or more grams of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(viii) and with one charge of distributing 40 or more grams of fentanyl in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(vi). The statutory penalty for each charge is a minimum of five years of imprisonment and a maximum of 40 years of imprisonment, a maximum of a 5,000,000 fine, and a minimum of 4 years of supervision following release from prison with a maximum of lifetime supervision. 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.
Alvarado made his initial federal court appearance today in United States District Court in San Francisco before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson. Alvarado remains in custody. His next court appearance is scheduled on April 5 for a detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hixson.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ankur Shingal is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Erick Machado and Jessie Chelsea. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by DEA and the San Francisco Police Department.