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.

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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)

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  • Chris J

    Criminals are so stupid. Go back to jail. Repeat.

  • guest

    Inside the apartment, police found a loaded black assault rifle,

    What kind of rifle? What features made this rifle an “assault” rifle? Why do they list the brand and caliber of the handgun but then just say “assault rifle” when it comes to the big, scary gun?

  • tex2

    In addition to this assault rifle, Amway has financially assaulted 10s of millions of people. For the details, google “stop the amway tool scam wordpress”

  • guest

    Good work BPD! We need to ramp up the number of probation searches on a regular basis. They seem to always find something.

  • suckatash

    Great reporting. Thanks Emilie.

  • Completely_Serious


    Can we get an understanding of why BPD is doing work in Oakland? I’m curious.

  • Whoa Mule

    Was any evidence found that the suspects were eating at ‘In-N-Out’ Burger?

  • Heather_W_62

    LOL… I thought it was funny that it’s described as black, but nothing else.

  • Whoa Mule

    Chief Mehan addressed this issue at a neighborhood meeting a year ago after new reports of BPD entering Oakland. There is a joint powers agreement that allows BPD to follow an investigation to its conclusion, even if that calls for them to enter Oakland. So, the investigation must have begun in Berkeley and after gathering evidence and getting a warrant, the BPD entered Oakland.

  • emraguso

    We were told very generally last year by the BPD spokeswoman that “it is not uncommon for narcotics investigations to take us into other jurisdictions in the region, as drug dealing operations don’t necessarily follow jurisdictional lines.”

  • emraguso

    The only descriptions provided in the documents were a “.22 caliber Phoenix Arms handgun and [a] 7.62 assault rifle.”

  • angry_moderate

    Scary stuff! The most common 7.62 caliber automatic rifle is the AK-47.

  • batardo

    Actually 7.62mm is .30 inches, which is by far the most common rifle caliber for just about anything .. like .308, 30-06, etc.

    So, let’s just quit with the “scary” stuff, mmmkay?