SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A criminal street gang member and drug dealer was sentenced today to thirteen years in state prison for dealing drugs. Tommy Driver II, 32, of San Bernardino, was found guilty by a jury on Aug. 9, 2012, of Possession for Sale of Cocaine Base and found true the allegation that the offense was committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang with the specific intent to promote, further or assist in criminal conduct by gang members.
On April 6, 2012, Officer Jose Loera of the San Bernardino Police Department and other officers on bike patrol witnessed Driver—a documented member of the Projects criminal street gang who goes by the moniker “Tom Tom”—place a cup on the ground and walk away. Upon further examination of the cup, officers found ten individually-wrapped baggies of what appeared to be cocaine.
As officers arrested Driver, he made repeated verbal references to his gang affiliation. Officers would later testify that on at least four other occasions, he made the same gang references.
“Mr. Driver is a chronic gang member known throughout our department, so we are pleased that he is finally being held accountable for his crimes,” said San Bernardino Police Officer Ernest Luna.
During trial, Driver testified that he was only holding the baggies for a fellow gang member nicknamed “Cool Aid.” At the time of the incident, officers said “Cool Aid” had been playing dice and was unable to hold the drugs.
According to Deputy District Attorney Denise Yoakum, who prosecuted the case, the sale of narcotics is a primary activity of the Projects criminal street gang.
“With the money they make selling drugs, they are able to purchase more narcotics and more guns, as well as rent cars to commit crimes in and hotels to sell drugs from,” said Yoakum. “Fortunately, today we were able to disrupt one gang’s means of making money by sending one of its members away to state prison.”