Major San Francisco Drug Trafficker Convicted of Possessing with Intent to Distribute 65 Pounds of Methamphetamine

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

SAN FRANCISCO – Alejandro Alvarez was convicted of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine by a federal jury, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Wade R. Shannon. The guilty verdict followed a four-day jury trial before the Honorable William H. Orrick, U.S. District Court Judge, in San Francisco.

Evidence at trial showed that Alvarez, 46, of San Francisco, was dealing tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of methamphetamine and heroin monthly at the time that San Francisco Police Department officers executed a search warrant at his residence and recovered about 65 pounds of methamphetamine.  The methamphetamine was valued at more than $1.5 million when sold in retail quantities. Alvarez’s stash contained more than five million individual doses.

The trial evidence demonstrated that the investigation began when officers with the San Francisco Police Department learned that an individual who went by the name “Chewy” was selling heroin and other drugs.  Eventually officers developed enough evidence to execute a search warrant on Alvarez’s apartment.  They recovered over $46,000 in bulk cash, ledgers that detailed drug deals and pricing, several pounds of suspected heroin, some 65 pounds of methamphetamine, and other indicia of drug trafficking.   

On February 20, 2020, a federal grand jury indicted Alvarez, charging his with one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams and more of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(viii).  Pursuant to the jury’s verdict, Alvarez was found guilty of the sole count in the indictment.

Judge Orrick scheduled Alvarez’s sentencing for July 14, 2022. Alvarez faces a maximum statutory penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of $10,000,000.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Tartakovsky and Alexis James are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Lance Libatique.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the San Francisco Police Department, United States Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.