Tenderloin dealer pleads guilty to six drug offenses

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Oakland resident Melvin Alexis Diaz Arteaga pleaded guilty to six drug charges after he was accused of selling fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. 

Diaz’s guilty plea was accepted by the Hon. Charles R. Breyer, Senior United States District Judge, in October. 26.

On November 16, 2022, Diaz was arrested outside an apartment in Berkeley, California. 

At the time of his arrest, Diaz possessed 6.6 kilograms (15 pounds) of fentanyl, along with lesser quantities of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and other controlled substances – all of which he intended to sell. 

According to the plea agreement, Diaz admitted using his Berkeley apartment to manufacture and store large amounts of drugs for sale in Tenderloin and other locations. 

He also admitted to selling or arranging the sale of fentanyl and methamphetamine to an undercover officer of the San Francisco Police Department on four separate occasions between Sept. 16, 2022, and Oct. 5, 2022.

Diaz agreed to forfeit more than $50,000 in cash that officers seized on the night of his arrest, including around $42,000 found in Diaz’s bedroom. 

Diaz admitted the funds were derived from drug proceeds.

Diaz and two co-defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury on January 5, 2023. 

Diaz was charged in six of the eight counts alleged in the indictment:

  • Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl
  • Possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl
  • Possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin,
  • Possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine 
  • Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine
  • Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of methamphetamine

Diaz has been in custody since he was arrested on Nov. 16, 2022. Judge Breyer has scheduled Diaz’s sentencing hearing for Feb. 21, 2024.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.