A San Francisco man has been convicted in federal court in the city on three drug charges related to distribution of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, and LSD. Oshan Cook, 35, was found guilty Thursday by a jury in the court of U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of conspiring to sell ecstasy, possessing ecstasy with the intent to distribute it and possessing more than 10 grams of LSD with the intent to distribute it. Cook will be sentenced by White in San Francisco on Jan. 17.
The LSD conviction carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and the two ecstasy charges each have a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Cook was one of four people indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to sell ecstasy to a buyer in Oakland and possessing drugs on April 22, 2010. The buyer was in fact an undercover U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent and all four defendants were arrested in two separate sting operations on that date. Cook was the only one to go to trial; the other three pleaded guilty to various charges. U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said evidence at Cook’s four-day trial showed the conspirators planned to sell about three pounds of MDMA.
According to an affidavit filed in the case in 2010 by a DEA agent, the MDMA was to be sold for $18,000 per pound and each pound was sufficient to make 5,000 to 10,000 ecstasy tablets. Agent Jim Bush said in the affidavit that co-defendant James Edmonds was found to be carrying three pounds of powdered MDMA when he and two others were arrested in Oakland on April 22, 2010. Cook, described as an alleged supplier to Edmonds, was arrested in a second sting in Oakland later that same day.
Haag said trial evidence showed that Cook was wearing a backpack containing another 1.3 pounds of ecstasy and 1.3 ounces of liquid LSD when he was arrested. Edmonds pleaded guilty last year to a charge of possessing LSD with the intent to distribute it and was sentenced by White to five years and three months in prison, according to court records. Yuri Lambert pleaded guilty to possessing MDMA with the intent to distribute it and was also sentenced to five years and three months.The fourth defendant, Victoria Vanlaanen, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute MDMA and was ordered to serve one year and six months in prison.
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