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Drug case with enough fentanyl ‘to kill 2 million’ dismissed over troubled San Francisco cop

Members of the San Francisco Police Narcotics Division are dressed in plainclothes following an arrest of someone in possession of drugs in San Francisco on July 28, 2022. | Don Feria for the Standard

When San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced charges against a trio of alleged fentanyl dealers in April, she said the defendants had enough drugs on them to kill 2 million people. 

That case was abruptly dismissed Friday because one of the investigating San Francisco police officers, Christina Hayes, has been taken off the street pending an investigation into her potentially inappropriate relationship with a confidential informant. 

“The people are asking to dismiss those three cases,” said Karen Catalona, a prosecutor, on Friday, citing an inability to “sustain the burden of proof” because Hayes was a key witness who may now be compromised.   

The case against Josue Fabricio Alvarez-Rivera and his co-defendants was built, in part, on information from one of Hayes’ informants. 

A confidential source told Hayes about the drug activity of the defendants in the case, according to her search warrant affidavit. 

“I received information from a Confidential Reliable Informant (CRI) about a couple (boyfriend and girlfriend) who live somewhere in an unknown apartment … in Oakland,” Hayes wrote of the defendants.

Hayes used that information to begin surveilling the suspects in Oakland and San Francisco and eventually to get a warrant to search an apartment allegedly linked to the defendants where drugs were discovered. 

It’s unclear if the confidential source used by Hayes is the same one Hayes is alleged to have had a relationship with. 

Alvarez-Rivera was arrested and charged in April after police seized 10 pounds of fentanyl from several locations. The co-defendants—Gabriela Estrada and Anderson Hernandez-Ruiz—had pending drug sale cases when they were arrested, but had been released from jail on their own recognizance.

“Taking drug dealers like the alleged suspects in this case off the streets is critical to disrupting the flow and sale of deadly drugs on our streets,” Jenkins said in a press release at the time. 

A photo of San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Officer Christina Hayes was obtained by The Standard in court documents.

The dismissal of the case against Alvarez-Rivera and his co-defendants was part of a bundle of cases dismissed this week over the same troubled police officer. 

Hayes, 42, was taken off the streets June 20 by chief’s orders pending the investigation into her alleged inappropriate activities. The 16-year veteran has worked in narcotics since at least 2018.

“The clients are happy. I’m not sure about the District Attorney’s Office,” said Alexander Golovets, the defense attorney for Alvarez-Rivera.

Still, DA spokesperson Randy Quezada said prosecutors could refile the charges if Hayes is able to testify in the future. That will depend on the outcome of Hayes’ disciplinary case. 

Friday morning’s dismissals were just three among at least 22 that have been dismissed this week by prosecutors, according to numerous defense attorneys who have had cases dismissed due to Hayes’ involvement in the case. The dismissals could dent Jenkins’ and San Francisco’s efforts to reduce the open-air drug-dealing plaguing the city.

Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at

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