OAKLAND — A Bay Area man was sentenced to four years and seven months in federal prison for selling multiple pounds of methamphetamine to someone who was secretly working for the Drug Enforcement Administration, court records show.
Hector Arteaga, 42, of Oakland, was sentenced last month by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. Last year, Arteaga met up with confidential DEA informants at various retail parking lots in San Leandro to sell the person either one or two pounds of methamphetamine on multiple occasions, prosecutors said.
Arteaga became a target of the DEA after an investigation identified him as a “supplier of large amounts of crystal methamphetamine,” a DEA agent wrote in a sworn statement filed in court. Before that, he was a low-level drug runner in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, according to court records.
In a sentencing memo, Arteaga’s lawyer described Arteaga as “a Honduran migrant who grew up in extreme poverty in an unstable country with political unrest” and who came to the United States on and off throughout his life to earn money and assist his ailing mother.
“Mr. Arteaga’s motivations to earn money in the United States must be understood for his sentence to be truly tailored to his experience and culpability,” Assistant Federal Public Defender Angela Milella Hansen wrote in a sentencing memo that argued for a three-year prison term. “The extreme childhood poverty as described above coupled with the corruption, crime, and political violence instigated by the United States that Mr. Arteaga was surrounded by in his formative years makes it clear that a (lower sentence) is justified in this case.”
Prosecutors argued for a six-year prison term, writing in their sentencing memo that Arteaga’s Oakland “stash house” was raided in July 2022, where agents found a roughly a pound of heroin, more than a pound of methamphetamine, more than a pound of cocaine, and more than a quarter pound of crack cocaine. They added Arteaga was identified as a suspected drug dealer by SFPD as far back as 2012.