Oakland Resident Faces Fentanyl Distribution Charge Following Tenderloin Arrest

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

SAN FRANCISCO – Mainor Escoto Escoto appeared in United States District Court today and was ordered detained in custody on a charge of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Wade R. Shannon.    

The indictment against Escoto, 20, who is last known to reside in Oakland, arose following his arrest in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District on February 16, 2022.  In a memo seeking his detention, the government described that Escoto was arrested based on a warrant when he was located on February 16 on the corner of Eddy and Larkin Streets.  Police searched Escoto following his arrest and found numerous sandwich baggies of fentanyl in the pouch pocket of the sweatshirt he wore and in a backpack he had on. The fentanyl in both the sweatshirt’s pouch pocket and the backpack varied in color – including white, green, purple, and pink – and weighed 345 grams in total.  According to the government’s memo, fentanyl sells on the street for approximately $30 per gram.   

The indictment charges Escoto with one count of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C).  The maximum statutory penalty for the charge is 20 years of imprisonment, with a minimum of three years of supervision following release from prison.  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 indictment are only allegations.  As in any criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.  

Escoto made his federal court appearance today in United States District Court in San Francisco before United States Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero.  His next court appearance is a status hearing scheduled for May 23, 2022, at 2 p.m. before United States District Judge Vince Chhabria.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christa Hall is prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Veronica Hernandez.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by DEA and the San Francisco Police Department.