former mclaughlin youth center counselor pleads guilty to a Multiple-Count drug distribution indictment
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today, January 21, 2010, that Edward Jamal Mason, a resident of Anchorage, Alaska, pleaded guilty in federal court to a four-count indictment charging distribution of controlled substances.
Mason, age 31, pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of a controlled substance in or near a school and two counts of distribution of a controlled substance. The defendant entered his guilty pleas before Chief United States District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline.
In connection with the guilty pleas, Special Assistant United States Attorney Erin White advised the court that on four separate occasions during 2008, Mason sold crack cocaine to an informant working for the FBI. Two of those drug deals took place near the McLaughlin Youth Center (MYC), where Mason was working as a counselor. As a counselor for MYC, Mason was responsible for supervising juveniles at the center. The MYC is operated by the State of Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice. During the investigation, the FBI collected audio recordings of phone calls setting up the drug deals and audio recordings of the actual drug transactions.
Judge Beistline announced that Mason’s sentencing will take place on April 5, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. The law provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, with a potential maximum sentence of life in prison. Mason also faces a potential fine of 8 million dollars. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Judge Beistline remanded Mason into custody, pending sentencing.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force and the Anchorage Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the convictions in this case. Ms. White is one of two prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office who are funded by the Municipality of Anchorage for the purpose of prosecuting gang-related and violent crime cases.