News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2006

Two Anchorage Men Convicted of Conspiring to Traffic Powder Cocaine, Crack Cocaine and Ecstasy

ANCHORAGE, AK - Acting U.S. Attorney Deborah M. Smith announced today that Byron Williams, 40, and Roderick Williams, 36, both from Anchorage, were convicted of conspiracy to distribute powder cocaine, cocaine base (known as "crack" cocaine) and ecstasy as well as other related crimes following a five day jury trial in United States District Court. The jury found that the two men conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of powder cocaine, 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, and quantities of the drug Ecstasy between January 12, 2004 and December 15, 2005. Both men face sentences of 20 years to life in prison when they are sentenced before United States District Court Judge Ralph Beistline in September 2006. They also face a minimum of 4 years of supervised release and fines up to $4,000,000.

Evidence at trial established that Byron Williams and Roderick Williams conspired with each other as well as other individuals during the spring and summer of 2005 to transport powder cocaine from Seattle to Anchorage using mostly female drug couriers. The drug couriers hid the cocaine on their bodies and flew between Anchorage and Seattle on commercial airline flights. Byron Williams and a female courier transporting approximately a half kilogram of powder cocaine for the conspiracy were arrested on August 13, 2005 at the Ted Stevens International Airport by agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the officers of the Anchorage Police Department Drug Task Force. Roderick Williams was arrested later after the federal grand jury returned an indictment against Byron Williams and Roderick Williams alleging their roles in the conspiracy. Evidence at trial established that the men, and others, would sell the powder cocaine the conspiracy transported from Seattle and would manufacture and sell crack cocaine. Evidence at trial also established that Byron Williams came to the attention of Anchorage Police when he was observed by an alert officer tossing approximately 137 grams of crack cocaine from a vehicle during the early morning hours of April 21, 2004.

The jury also convicted both men of attempting to posses with intent to distribute powder cocaine and with maintaining separate drug involved locations in Anchorage. Byron Williams was also convicted of possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine on April 21, 2004; attempting to posses with intent to distribute quantities of powder cocaine and ecstasy on July 19, 2005; attempting to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of powder cocaine on August 13, 2005; and maintaining a drug involved location in Anchorage between January 12, 2004 and August 13, 2005. Paula Roberds, 21, also from Anchorage, was convicted of maintaining a drug involved location in Anchorage with Roderick Williams between July 28, 2005 and December 15, 2005. Paula Roberds faces up to 20 years in prison for her conviction when she is sentenced in September 2006 as well as up to 5 years of supervised release and a fine up to $500,000.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Anchorage Police Department. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office.