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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of California

For Immediate Release

Friday, March 09, 2012

Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney

Contact: Lauren Horwood, Public Information Officer
(916) 554-2706

Four Arrested for Money Laundering and Drug Trafficking

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Acting Special Agent in Charge Scot L. Thomasson, and Internal Revenue Service Special Agent in Charge Marcus Williams announced that four defendants were arrested on March 7, 2012 for their participation in drug trafficking and laundering money.

Herman Keese, 52, and his wife Deborah Barnes, 40, both of San Francisco, were arrested at their home in San Francisco. James Bradley, 51, of Stockton, was arrested at his home, and Marcus Law, 40, of San Ramon, was arrested at the Solano County Courthouse. Keese, Barnes, Bradley, and Law were arraigned on March 7 in Sacramento and pleaded not guilty.

On March 1, 2012, a grand jury charged the defendants in a sealed indictment with one count of conspiring to launder money. Additionally, Keese, Bradley, and Law were charged with one count of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute PCP and methamphetamine.

According to the indictment, between April 2007 and March 1, 2012, Keese, Bradley, and Law distributed methamphetamine and PCP in the Eastern District of California and across the United States. The indictment further alleges that Keese, Barnes, Bradley, Law, and Brett Townsend (a fifth defendant who has not yet been arrested), engaged in a conspiracy to launder the proceeds of the drug trafficking enterprise.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Highway Patrol, the Sacramento Police Department, and the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heiko P. Coppola and Kevin Khasigian are prosecuting the case.

The investigation is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) that was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

If convicted, the defendants face maximum statutory penalties of life in prison and a $10 million fine for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute PCP and methamphetamine with a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. The maximum statutory penalty for conspiring to launder money is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentences, 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.

The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.