Berkeley police arrest 3 with heroin, loaded assault rifle

Image via Facebook.
Image via Facebook

A recent Berkeley Police Department probation search in Oakland netted heroin, counterfeit money, cocaine and two firearms, one of which was an assault rifle, and the other of which was a handgun that had been reported stolen in Vallejo, according to court documents.

On Jan. 3, Berkeley officers served a search warrant in the 9800 block of MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland at the apartment of Javon Coggins and Yasmine Johnson. They also served a probation search of Heshimu Courtney, who was inside their home when police arrived.

Inside the apartment, police found a loaded black assault rifle, an unloaded Phoenix Arms .22 caliber handgun, and .44 grams of loose suspected heroin, according to court papers. The handgun had been reported to the Vallejo Police Department in 2012 as stolen.

During the search, police also found pictures of Coggins and Johnson posing with the assault rifle, according to court documents. Officers found more photographs on Courtney’s cellphone, which depicted him holding the assault rifle and handgun, said police.


According to court papers, a search of Courtney also turned up “a piece of suspected cocaine wrapped in knotted cellophane,” as well as 11 counterfeit $100 bills.

All three were taken to the Berkeley Jail for booking. During a search prior to his incarceration, police reportedly found what appeared to be .38 grams of cocaine packaged in knotted cellophane on Coggins.

Another woman, who was found with Coggins in a vehicle outside when police initially arrived, was discovered with marijuana and four altered credit or gift cards. She was arrested but was not charged with the others, and no longer appears to be in custody.

Coggins, Johnson and Courtney have been charged by the Alameda County district attorney’s office with one count of unlawful possession of heroin while armed with a loaded firearm, and a second count related to the possession of heroin. The first count includes a special allegation that would require prison time if convicted.

They were also charged with possession of a firearm, in connection with the assault rifle, and receiving stolen property, in connection with the handgun.

Courtney was charged with one felony count related to possession of cocaine, and Coggins was charged with two counts related to that offense.

Both men were charged with two counts of being in possession of a firearm by a felon with priors, and one count of the possession of ammunition by a felon.

According to court papers, 38-year-old Coggins was convicted in 2011 of possession for sale of cocaine, for which he received probation, and voluntary manslaughter in 1995. He was sent to prison for that crime.

According to news reports, Coggins also was arrested in 2013 in connection with a shooting that sent two people to the hospital with life-threatening injuries in San Francisco’s Bayview District.

Courtney, too, has a prior record, with three drug-related felony convictions in 1990, 1995 and 2006. In the first case, he was sentenced to probation. He received prison terms for the later offenses.

The 42-year-old identifies himself on Facebook as “Swoll the high speed king of Berkeley,” appears to have attended Berkeley High, and has images associated with West Berkeley’s “waterfront” neighborhood on his profile.

Coggins remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $295,000. Courtney is in custody there as well, with a bail of $300,000. Johnson, who is 35, is no longer in custody.

All three were scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Jan. 15 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland.

Berkeleyside provides exclusive coverage of many of Berkeley’s most serious crimes. Read more here.

Related:
Teen arrested after robbery tied to medical cannabis buy (12.12.13)
7 arrests, 3 firearms recovered, during 1 week in Berkeley (11.04.13)
Police arrest Berkeley man with guns after robbery (10.14.13)
Probationer found with 77-plant marijuana grow (08.30.13)

Follow Berkeleyside on Twitter and Facebook. Email us at tips@berkeleyside.com. Get the latest Berkeley news in your inbox with Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.