On Friday morning, a jury convicted a homeless man of "willfully and unlawfully creating a public nuisance" after he piled belongings on a sidewalk and displayed signs near a school advertising "Free Fentanyl 4 New Users."
46-year-old Joseph Moore was convicted today, according to a release from the SF District Attorney's Office, two months after he was arrested at his encampment across the street from Stella Maris Academy in the Inner Richmond.
The encampment had reportedly been a nuisance for months at Geary Boulevard and Ninth Avenue, but it was Moore's signs advertising "Free Fentanyl 4 New Users" and "Meth for Stolen Items" that were the last straw. He was arrested October 20, and a jury convicted him on the public nuisance charge after a brief trial.
The DA's office says Moore faces up to six months in county jail.
Prosecutors said that Moore's signs were visible from 5th and 6th grade classrooms at Stella Maris, and could have been seen by any of the children walking in and out of the K-8 school. They further argued that Moore's encampment blocked much of the sidewalk, and blocked access to a public e-bike station as well.
"This verdict sends a clear message that Mr. Moore's conduct will not be condoned in San Francisco," said DA Brooke Jenkins in a statement. "While San Francisco remains a compassionate city we understand that we must prioritize and protect our children and their surroundings."
"I would like to thank the jury for their thoughtful consideration of the law in evaluating Mr. Moore's offensive actions," said Assistant District Attorney Rachel Schneider in a statement. "This verdict recognizes that his conduct impacted the whole community."
At the time of Moore's arrest we learned that he was on the sex-offender registry for a crime in 1997, when he would have been 20 years old. That crime was listed as lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, and he was released from prison in 2002.
Moore was vocal about his fentanyl and meth signs to the media at the time of his arrest, assuring reporters that the offers were, indeed, real.
Supervisor Connie Chan, in whose district Moore was camping, said at the time, "A person who threatens the safety of our community has no place on our streets."
Moore is due back in court next week, on December 27, for sentencing.
Top images: @RefuseRefuseSF via Twitter and SFPD