SF ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY PLEADS GUILTY TO
By Adam Martin, Bay City News Service
February 8, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan today announced
that San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Robert William
Roland, 34, has pleaded guilty to receiving drugs from defendants
whose cases he was prosecuting.
Roland pleaded guilty today to four criminal counts, including
possession of MDMA, or ecstasy, with intent to distribute, a felony;
using a telephone to facilitate the commission of a felony drug
offense, also a felony; and two counts of possessing ecstasy,
both misdemeanors, according to U.S. district attorney's office
spokesman Luke Macaulay.
Eric Earl Shaw, whose case Roland had prosecuted in 2002, pleaded
guilty today to one count of conspiring to import ecstasy and
two counts of distributing ecstasy, according to the U.S. attorney's
The office reported today that Roland admitted that on June 28,
2002, he prosecuted a felony drug case against Shaw, who was his
childhood friend, in superior court. Roland agreed to a misdemeanor
disposition in that case, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
The next day Shaw gave Roland ecstasy.
Roland also admitted that on June 26, 2003, he prosecuted felony
drug cases brought against Ryan Ernst Nyberg in superior court,
the U.S. attorney's office reported. Roland arranged for Nyberg's
case to be resolved with Nyberg's placement in a diversion program.
Shaw had introduced Nyberg to Roland, and after Nyberg's court
appearance, Roland met with Shaw and Nyberg and received ecstasy
from them, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Roland also admitted that Nyberg had given him ecstasy on Oct.
17 of that year in a meeting Roland arranged on the telephone.
Roland intended to distribute the ecstasy to his friends, the
U.S. attorney's office reported. At the time of the meeting, he
reportedly knew Nyberg was a defendant in pending felony drug
The San Francisco district attorney's office today reported that
Roland had been placed on administrative leave upon his indictment
on June 9, 2005. Today, according to that office, he verbally
resigned from his position.
"Attorneys in this office are held to the highest degree
of ethical and professional standards, and unethical behavior
is not tolerated,'' district attorney's spokeswoman Bilen Mesfin
said in a statement today.
The office has cooperated with the investigation, according to
Mesfin, who said, "This administration has implemented internal
controls such as a strong chain of command to ensure consistency
with case handling.''
Macaulay said Roland's position had no bearing on his federal
prosecution and sentencing.
"Generally, our job is to prosecute federal crimes, and
we'll do that no matter who (the defendant) is,'' Macaulay said
Roland likely faces up to six months in prison, Macaulay said,
and may also be fined. The maximum sentence for felony possession
with intent to distribute is 20 years, but Macaulay said defendants
rarely get that sentence.
"There are a lot of factors that go into effect'' in sentencing,
he said. Roland has no criminal history, nor is he thought to
be a drug dealer by trade, Macaulay said. Roland is due to be
sentenced on June 7.
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