Former McLaughlin Youth Center Counselor Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison for Distribution of Crack Cocaine
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today, April 8, 2010, that Edward Jamal Mason, a resident of Anchorage, Alaska, was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 120 months for his convictions of distribution of a controlled substance.
Mason, age 31, was sentenced by Chief United States District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline.
According to information presented to the court by Special Assistant United States Attorney Erin White and Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Sayers-Fay, Mason sold crack cocaine, on four occasions, to a confidential informant working for the FBI. The total amount of crack cocaine distributed by the defendant amounted to 124 grams. Two of the drug sales took place in the parking lot of the McLaughlin Youth Center (MYC), while Mason was employed by MYC as a youth counselor. As a counselor for MYC, Mason was responsible for supervising juveniles at the center. During the investigation, the FBI collected audio recordings of phone calls setting up the drug deals and audio recordings of the actual drug transactions. In one instance, the FBI was able to obtain a video recording of Mason selling crack in the parking lot at MYC.
The MYC is operated by the State of Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice. The mission of the Division of Juvenile Justice is to hold juvenile offenders accountable for their behavior, promote the safety and restoration of victims and communities, and assist offenders and their families in developing skills to prevent crime. Residents of McLaughlin Youth Center are provided a comprehensive education program, which is funded through the State Department of Education and administered by the Anchorage School District.
Prior to imposing sentence, Chief Judge Beistline noted the serious nature of Mason’s crimes, especially in light of the fact that the drug deals took place near a school where Mason was employed. Judge Beistline also noted that the statutory mandatory minimum sentence for Mason’s crimes was 120 months.
Ms. Loeffler commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force and the Anchorage Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Mason. Ms. White is a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office who is funded by the Municipality of Anchorage for the purpose of prosecuting gang-related and violent crime cases.