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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

California Oxycodone Dealer convicted for drug conspiracy and witness tampering

Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that on July 1, 2013,  after deliberating for four hours, a jury of four men and eight women found a California gang member guilty of drug conspiracy and witness tampering.

Richard Melvin Corum, a/k/a “Little Man,” 30, a resident of Sacramento, California, was tried before U.S. District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess in Juneau, Alaska.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney’s James Barkeley and Jack Schmidt, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established Corum was a source of supply of oxycodone since April 2010 through January 2011, for a large scale drug conspiracy which operated between California and Alaska.  Corum, a reported member of the criminal street gang “Bloods,” supplied oxycodone pills to the drug trafficking conspiracy, who would then utilize drug couriers to transport the pills to Juneau, Alaska, for subsequent distribution.  In November 2010, due to heavy law enforcement interdiction at the Seattle-Tacoma airport of drug couriers, Corum and other members of the conspiracy decided to utilize commercial package delivery services instead of drug couriers in order to evade law enforcement detection. 

In November 2010, Corum recruited his cousin and his girlfriend to fly to Juneau to distribute pills for the conspiracy.  In early December 2010, Corum’s cousin flew to Juneau to receive packages of oxycodone for subsequent sale in the Juneau area.  Members of the conspiracy in California then received the pills obtained by Corum and shipped the pills to Corum’s cousin.  Corum and other members of the conspiracy would direct Corum’s cousin to local dealers in the Juneau area to distribute the pills and collect drug proceeds.  Corum’s cousin then took the drug proceeds and deposited them into the new bank account of Arianna Dixon, Corum’s girlfriend, which had been opened days before Corum’s cousin travelled to Juneau as a member of the conspiracy.

Corum was indicted for drug conspiracy on February 21, 2012, and arrested by law enforcement on March 2, 2012.  During this time, other members of the conspiracy had been previously arrested and prosecuted for their roles in the drug conspiracy.  As a result, a number of individuals were witnesses to Corum’s involvement in the drug conspiracy and agreed to testify against him.  Corum was scheduled for trial in Anchorage in June 2012, for drug conspiracy, and then learned of the identities of those who were going to testify against him through the discovery process.  On June 24, 2012, Corum assaulted one of the witnesses against him at the Anchorage Jail Center with the intent to prevent the witness from testifying against him.  The incident was captured on video.  

Judge Burgess has scheduled sentencing for October 17, 2013, in Juneau.  The law provides for a sentence up to 30 years on each count, a fine of $2,000,000 and a mandatory minimum of 6 years to life of supervised release on the drug conspiracy count and a fine of $250,000 and up to five years of supervised release on the witness tampering charge.

Ms. Loeffler commended the Drug Enforcement Administration’s D-22 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force; Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations; The State of Alaska Criminal Laboratory; Port of Seattle Police Department; and the Juneau Police Department - Drug Metro Unit for the successful investigation leading to the prosecution of Corum.

Updated January 29, 2015