Oakland authorities sentenced one Bay Area resident to six years in prison on Wednesday for charges of possession of drugs and carrying a firearm on a BART train, where police arrested him after a brief encounter.
United States District Judge Haywood Gilliam sentenced the suspect, 27-year-old Malcolm Cummings, on Wednesday during a court hearing. Police found nearly two ounces of methamphetamine stored in plastic baggies.
Illegal Drug Possession
Last year, Cummings pleaded guilty to possession of drugs with intent to distribute. The prosecution against the suspect requested to add 18 months to his sentence, which Gilliam rejected. He said Cummings’ traumatic childhood, including homelessness and physical abuse, were factors to consider.
Cummings apologized for his crimes and making a “horrible mistake” before he was sentenced. “I never expected to catch a federal case. I just have an addiction,” he said.
Authorities arrested Cummings on an Oakland train bound for the Dublin/Pleasanton station in September 2019. The filing said BART Officer DeJuan Johnson saw Cummings in possession of multiple clear plastic baggies. He suspected the containers had illegal drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine.
The complaint said Johnson approached Cummings and told him he knew the suspect was in possession of illegal drugs. The suspect allegedly replied with “sorry.” The officer ordered Cummings to put his hands behind his back as the train stopped at the Coliseum station. However, the suspect immediately fled the scene, shoving Johnson away and struggling before being arrested, Mercury News reported.
Prosecutors said Cummings “introduced a significant danger to many people in the community” due to his actions. However, they agreed that his traumatic past made him eligible for a “mitigated” sentence. The defense said Cummings should have been given the mandatory minimum of five years in jail.