Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Seventh Defendant Pleads Guilty in Large-Scale Sacramento Cocaine and Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Jerome Adams, 56, of North Highlands, pleaded guilty today to two counts of using a cellphone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, Adams is among the 15 federal defendants arrested in 2021 and charged in a 45-count indictment for trafficking narcotics as part of a DEA-led multi-agency operation targeting cocaine and heroin traffickers in North Sacramento. Adams was intercepted during a 30-day wiretap trafficking crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and heroin.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Forest Service; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the Bureau of Land Management; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; the California Department of Justice; the California Highway Patrol; the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office; and the Sacramento Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cameron L. Desmond and Aaron D. Pennekamp are prosecuting the case.
Adams is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4, 2023, by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley. Adams faces a maximum statutory penalty of eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
On Dec. 8, 2022, Michael Hampton, 57, of Vallejo, was sentenced to five years in prison for to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of cocaine.
On Nov. 17, 2022, Charles Carter, 36, of Sacramento, was sentenced to 70 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of cocaine.
On Sept. 29, 2022, Jason Tolbert, 45, of Sacramento, was sentenced to 57 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
On Dec. 1, 2022, Bobby Conner, 51, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty to two counts of using a communication facility to facilitate a drug trafficking offense. Conner is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2, 2023.
On Nov. 17, 2022, Arlington Caine, 48, of Rio Linda, and Andre Hellams, 40, of North Highlands, each pleaded guilty to two counts of using a communication facility to facilitate a drug trafficking offense. Hellams is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 9, 2023. Caine is scheduled to be sentenced on March 16, 2023.
Charges are pending against the following defendants: Tyrone Anderson, 40, of Sacramento; Maurice Bryant, 51, of Antelope; Yovanny Ontiveros, 41, of Sacramento; Alex White, 61, of North Highlands; Steven Hampton, 61, of Sacramento; Wilmer Harden, 52, of Elk Grove; Dwight Haney, 49, of Sacramento; and Mark Martin, 62, of Sacramento. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This prosecution is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Strike Force Initiative, which provides for the establishment of permanent multi-agency task force teams that work side-by-side in the same location. The Sacramento Strike Force is a co-located model enables agents from different agencies to collaborate on intelligence-driven, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations. The specific mission of the Sacramento Strike Force is to identify, investigate, disrupt, and dismantle the most significant drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) shipping narcotics, firearms, and money through the Eastern District of California, thereby reducing the flow of these criminal resources in California and the rest of the United States. The Sacramento Strike Force leads intelligence-driven investigations targeting the leadership and support elements of these DTOs and TCOs operating within the Eastern District of California, regardless of their geographic base of operations.