VACAVILLE (CBS13) — It looked like a clothing store in Vacaville, but federal drug agents say cocaine and marijuana were being sold to local high school students inside.
School crossing signs are posted at the intersection where federal prosecutors allege a retail store-owner targeted Vacaville’s Will C. Wood High School students for drug sales.
Vacaville police took a photo of arrested owner Maurice Jefferson, and a photo of his alleged cocaine and marijuana stash as well as a firearm, all now evidence in a federal indictment against him.
The store, named Shredders Federation, produced an online advertisement five years ago, but investigators say one close look inside, and it was clear the store’s clothing wasn’t what people were buying.
Court documents read, “The claim Jefferson sells $12-to $13-thousand-dollars at Shredders Federation each month is dubious…”
“Top layers of clothing stacked in the men’s store had dust on them, as did the shelves…”
“Little merchandise appeared to move.”
Neighboring business owner Chuck Donaldson has been at this location for a decade.
“Honest to god I never saw anybody walk in or out of that store,” Donaldson said. “I never paid attention to that store.”
Vacaville police first arrested the store owner a year ago after investigating an anonymous tip he was using the location to launder money.
Now the feds want to prosecute.
“If you are so unfortunate as to be convicted, the sentences can be drastically different. There can be a gigantic disparity between the federal sentence that you get for conviction for something like this and the state sentence you would get,” attorney Mark Reichel said.
An alleged drug dealer setting up shop by a local school now faces the full force of federal law.
Jefferson faces up to 60 years in prison and a $20 million fine if convicted.