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Following Friday’s drug-related federal indictment of Assistant District Attorney Robert Roland, the San Francisco DA’s office is reviewing the line prosecutor’s cases. According to the indictment, Roland, 34, arranged for a man he was prosecuting in a felony drug case to get diversion, in exchange for ecstasy and methamphetamine. On Friday he was arrested, appeared before a magistrate judge, and was released on $200,000 bond. District Attorney Kamala Harris’ office was “assisting” with the federal investigation, and sent Roland on indefinite unpaid leave on June 3, said spokeswoman Debbie Mesloh. “We’ve launched an internal investigation,” she added. Neither Roland nor his attorney Joseph Morehead could immediately be reached for comment Friday. But according to the Associated Press, Morehead said he suspects others being prosecuted in federal court for drug sales offered up the allegations in exchange for leniency. “He has been falsely accused.” The assistant DA was hired under former DA Terence Hallinan in 2000, and according to Mesloh, was working in preliminary hearings when the alleged crimes took place from June 2003 to January 2004. He has most recently worked in the office’s domestic violence unit. According to the indictment, one of Roland’s friends from high school, Eric Shaw, asked the prosecutor to help Shaw’s friend Ryan Nyberg, who was facing charges in superior court related to drug distribution. Roland allegedly “undertook” the prosecution against Nyberg. Both Nyberg and Shaw allegedly provided Roland with meth and ecstasy, or MDMA, in return for the prosecutor’s help. Roland “arranged for and agreed to a diversion disposition,” according to the indictment. Roland and Shaw are charged with conspiring to extort property under color of official right, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. Roland is also charged with three counts of making false statements to federal authorities. Shaw and a third defendant, Stephanie Sitkewich, are charged with conspiracy to import and distribute MDMA from Europe, and Sitkewich is charged with importing more than 5,000 tablets of MDMA. In a written statement Friday, District Attorney Harris focused on changes she had made since taking over the office in January 2004. Mesloh said she believed that under current office policy, if line prosecutors want to go outside established guidelines for disposition, they must check with the head of their prosecution team. “Under this administration, we have implemented internal controls including a strong chain of command to ensure consistency with case handling,” Harris said in her statement.

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