OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Three people were indicted by a federal grand jury this week for allegedly selling crack cocaine near McClymonds High School in West Oakland, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Prosecutors identified the suspects as Alton Lerand Hirsch, Charles Edward Moss Jr. and Nolan Ronald Jones.

Oakland police and the FBI targeted the corner of Mead Avenue, Market Street and 24th Street in Oakland, which is near the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland and within 1,000 feet of McClymonds but is known as an open-air crack market, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said in a statement, “This area is one frequented by the children of Oakland. Those children deserve the same chance as children who live in other neighborhoods around the Bay Area: the chance to go to and from school and the Boys & Girls Club without having to navigate through crack deals on the way.”

Haag said, “That is why I have directed my office to work with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and the Oakland Police Department to aggressively prosecute drug trafficking in areas around Oakland schools.”

Prosecutors said the Oakland case follows on the heels of similar charges targeting crack dealing within school zones in San Francisco’s Tenderloin area.

Haag said she also previously targeted other crack dealing within school zones in Oakland, such as the area of Sycamore Street and West Street. The defendants in that case are now serving their sentences in prison, she said.

Haag warned that more charges could be on the way. She said, “Everyone who treats Oakland as an open-air drug market should be on notice: law enforcement is paying attention.”

Haag said, “You won’t know when the next arrests will be, or which schools or street corners we’ll focus on next, but if you’re caught you will face significant time in federal custody.”

Hirsch, Moss and Jones have been arraigned in federal court in Oakland and are in the custody of the United States Marshal.

They are charged with drug trafficking within 1,000 feet of a school.

Prosecutors said the maximum sentence for violating the federal drug-free school zone statute is 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $2 million.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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