On January 14th, 2021, the Sacramento Police Department North Gang Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at an apartment located on Quay Court, which is located in the Greenhaven-area. During service of the warrant, officers contacted 25-year-old James Smith and his girlfriend, 21-year old Chyna Hill.

The investigation led to the discovery of several illegally possessed assault weapons with extended magazines, handguns, and $1,100 in cash.

Officers also located 15 Employment Development Department (EDD) debit cards with various names on them and a red notebook.  In the notebook, officers located a list of 55 different individual profiles with names, dates of birth, social security numbers, usernames, and passwords associated with EDD accounts.

An examination of the EDD accounts revealed that Hill and Smith received over $550,000 in fraudulent EDD funds.

On February 19, 2021, Sacramento Police Department SWAT team and Sacramento District Attorney’s Office Investigators arrested Hill and Smith. They were charged with two counts of being in possession of assault weapons, 23 counts of unemployment insurance fraud, 13 counts of possession of stolen property, and one count of possessing identifying information with the intent to defraud more than 10 persons. Smith was also charged with two counts of possessing firearms as a felon and one count of possessing ammunition as a felon.

Smith, who is a validated gang member, has also suffered a prior strike conviction for residential burglary.

“By taking these guns off the streets, our officers have made our city safer for the community and our officers. These investigations are important, as they not only address violence occurring in our community, but also can lead to other serious crimes,” said Sacramento Police Department Chief Daniel Hahn. “The Sacramento Police Department is committed to protecting our community and reducing gun violence.”

“Unfortunately, the circumstances of this arrest, as shocking as they might be, do not represent an outlier in EDD fraud investigations. Law enforcement personnel are frequently discovering EDD fraud associated with violent criminal activity as well as drugs and weapons offenses. In some cases, it is clear that the EDD fraud is providing a direct catalyst for the violence or funding the means to carry it out,” said District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.

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