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Tenderloin Drug Dealer Sentenced To Over 11 Years In Federal Prison

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A heroin dealer, who opened fire in San Francisco's Tenderloin District, striking a building where children were practicing for an upcoming play, has been sentenced to over 11 years in federal prison, according to federal prosecutors.

Jontae Carlos Sandifer has been sentenced to 138 months in prison for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, possession with the intent to distribute heroin and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The conviction was part of a federal crackdown on crime in the Tenderloin.

"The Tenderloin belongs to the families, businesses, workers, and others who are fostering a community in this wonderful neighborhood," said U.S. Attorney David Anderson. "For too long drug dealers and users have descended on the Tenderloin as a convenient place to commit their crimes. The Tenderloin desperately needs vigorous prosecutions to carry forward the work of professional law enforcement. We will continue to do all we can in federal court."

Sandifer, 40, of Patterson, pleaded guilty to the charges last March and was sentenced on Thursday. He admitted in a plea agreement that on August 12, 2019, he was in an argument with a man in the Tenderloin and pulled a semiautomatic handgun out of the trunk of his car.

He fired one shot across Leavenworth Street in the man's direction. The bullet missed the man and all the passers-by, but struck a building where children were inside practicing for an upcoming play at a non-profit tutoring facility for under-resourced students.

The bullet struck the outside of the building, narrowly missing the ground floor window.

Sandifer further admitted that he possessed 25 plastic twists of heroin found in his nearby parked car and that he intended to distribute that heroin. He also possessed fourteen additional rounds of ammunition.

He left the scene immediately after the shooting, but police quickly located him and took him into custody.

Sandifer has been in custody since August 12, 2019, and will begin serving his sentence immediately. In addition to the prison term, Sandifer was ordered to serve a three-year period of supervised release.

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