wasilla couple indicted by federal grand jury on drug charges and money laundering
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that on July 28, 2010, husband and wife, Trace Rae Thoms, 46, and Jennifer Anne Thoms, 36, residents of Wasilla, Alaska, were arraigned in federal court in Anchorage on charges of conspiracy to grow marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, maintaining a place to grow marijuana, and conspiracy to launder more than $1 million in proceeds obtained from the distribution of marijuana.
Both defendants were charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on July 23, 2010. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of both real and personal property the couple owns and used during the alleged offenses, to include property located at 7974 Scarlet Circle, Wasilla, Alaska, jewelry, snow machines, and vehicles.
According to the indictment, both Trace Thoms and Jennifer Thoms are alleged to have conspired with one another to grow marijuana for a period of approximately six years and during that time to have laundered over $1 million in drug proceeds through two businesses that the couple ran, Ace the Painter and Plow Now, as well as through other financial transactions.
Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service--Criminal Investigations and officers from the Alaska State troopers arrested the couple on July 27, 2010. The Court ordered the detention of the defendants pending further proceedings.
Assistant United States Attorney Stephan A. Collins, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of possibly life in prison for Trace Thoms, with a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years imprisonment, and up to forty years imprisonment for Jennifer Thoms,with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment. They also face a potential fine of $4 million. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
The DEA, IRS–CI, and Alaska State Troopers conducted the investigation leading to 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.