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Justice News

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

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Two men indicted for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin

Anchorage, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that two men have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they conspired to distribute large quantities of methamphetamine and heroin. 

Branden Lee Anastasio, 24, of Anchorage, Alaska, and Ernie Benny Juarez, Jr., 34, of Stockton, California, were named in both counts of the two-count indictment.  The first count charges Anastasio and Juarez with conspiring to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine and 100 grams or more of heroin.  The second charges both men with actually possessing the narcotics with the intent to distribute them to others.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Courter, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that both men face a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence on the methamphetamine charges, with a maximum sentence of up to life in prison.  The law also provides for a fine of up to $10 million dollars.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant. 

The United States Postal Inspection Service led the investigation that resulted in the indictment in this case. 

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated January 29, 2015