OAKLAND – Antoine King pleaded guilty today to his role in a conspiracy to manufacture counterfeit Xanax pills and to launder the proceeds gained by the illegal scheme, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch; Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John J. Martin; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Batdorf; and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations Special Agent in Charge Lisa L. Malinowski. The Honorable Jeffrey S. White, U.S. District Judge, accepted the plea.
According to the guilty plea, King, 27, of Oakland, Calif., admitted that from October 6, 2014 through December 12, 2015, he was involved in a conspiracy with his co-defendant David Beckford and others to manufacture and distribute pills that were designed to resemble Xanax® pills as nearly as possible. King admitted that he knew his co-defendants and others obtained the components and equipment to manufacture the counterfeit Xanax pills from foreign sources. King further admitted that from October 6, 2014, through December 12, 2015, he sold counterfeit Xanax pills that were created as part of the operation.
On May 12, 2016, a federal grand jury returned a 33-count indictment charging King and four co-defendants, David Beckford, Stephan Florida, Isaiah Clayton, and Beau Sankene, with numerous crimes related to the conspiracy. For his role, King was charged with one count of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846; one count of conspiracy to commit international money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h); four counts of international money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(2)(A); and one count of trafficking in a counterfeit drug, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2320(a)(4). Pursuant to today’s plea agreement, King pleaded guilty to violating one count each of 21 U.S.C. § 846, 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h), and 18 U.S.C. § 2320(a)(4). The maximum statutory sentence for a violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 is 5 years, the maximum statutory sentence for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h) is 20 years, and the maximum statutory sentence for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2320(a)(4) is 10 years. However, any sentence following conviction will be imposed by the 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.
On February 9, 2017, Judge White sentenced David Beckford, 28, of Oakland, Calif., to serve 123 months in prison to be followed by a three-year period of supervised release for his role in the scheme. Judge White also ordered forfeiture of currency, firearms, ammunition, and custom jewelry. Co-defendants Stephan Florida, 27, of San Francisco, Calif., and Isaiah Clayton, 24, of Oakland, Calif., were sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment and 36 months’ probation, respectively, for their roles in the scheme. Beau Sankene of Oakland, Calif., has pleaded guilty to crimes related to her roles in the conspiracy. A date for Sankene’s sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sheila Armbrust and Marc Wolf are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Ana Guerra and Yanira Osorio. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations.