A “prolific” Honduran drug dealer, whose narcotics authorities say killed a user who took them in San Francisco’s SOMA district, was ordered to be held in custody at a hearing in federal court today.
Hanti Gamez, 35, was arrested by police on August 8 in possession of a loaded firearm and large quantities of fentanyl, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
This morning, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Hixson, a federal public defender opted not to challenge her client’s detention for the time being, deciding instead to keep her powder dry ahead of a possible future bid to secure his release to a residential program.
Prosecutors say that, on the morning of July 2 2023, Gamez sold a gram of what he claimed was cocaine to a user who met him on Clara Street – a few blocks from the Hall of Justice. The buyer returned to his nearby apartment and shared the drug with two friends. All three users passed out but one of those with whom the drug had been shared did not regain consciousness and was later declared dead at the scene by emergency personnel.
Gamez, aka Andy Omar, has been arrested fourteen times in the Bay Area since 2015 principally for drugs offenses. Some of these arrests, prosecutors told the court in a written motion, came while Gamez was already on pre-trial release or felony probation. One of the arrests came while he was wearing an ankle monitor.
He is an illegal alien who has previously been deported from the USA.
Days after the death of his customer, and having attracted the attention of members of an SFPD-Drug Enforcement Administration task force, he was ensnared in a sting operation.
On July 9 an undercover police officer arranged to meet Gamez near to the Gateway Inn on O’Farrell Street. After selling the officer 27.5 grams of fentanyl for $160 he was observed entering the hotel at 438 O’Farrell.
On July 11 Gamez sold the same officer 82.8 grams of fentanyl and 3.7 grams of cocaine for $620. He was seen apparently retrieving narcotics from the hotel before the sale.
He was arrested on August 8. A search uncovered 475 grams of fentanyl, 209 grams of cocaine, 31.3 grams of methamphetamine and 16.6 grams of heroin. On a bed was found a loaded firearm plus a box of ammunition.
Gamez, who is presently in federal custody in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, did not pursue a request for release at a hearing this morning at San Francisco federal courthouse.
“Your honor, we would like to waive the detention hearing without prejudice,” said federal public defender Sophia Whiting, adding that she was continuing to examine residential programs in which her client could potentially be placed.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Hixson ordered the defendant to appear again on August 31 for a status hearing. He remanded him in custody in the interim.
Gamez is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. If convicted, he faces a maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment.
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