homer drug trafficker convicted by federal jury
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a Homer resident was found guilty in federal court in Anchorage of one count of conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
On July 1, 2011, Kostas Bairamis, 22, a former resident of Homer, Alaska, was convicted by a federal jury. According to Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Sayers-Fay, who prosecuted the case, the evidence showed that Bairamis began buying methamphetamine from an Anchorage source weekly beginning in late summer 2008. Bairamis began by buying ounces of methamphetamine, but escalated to four- and eight-ounce quantities as time went on. In August 2009, Bairamis persuaded the same source to “front” him one pound and nine ounces of methamphetamine, for which he agreed to pay approximately $78,600. However, Bairamis repaid $20,000 of the drug debt, and could not repay the rest. Fearing retribution, Bairamis fled to Greece for a month, and later returned and repaid the drug debt by giving his source the title to a 2008 Cadillac Escalade that was worth approximately $41,000. Bairamis had previously purchased the Escalade – and other luxury vehicles – with drug-trafficking proceeds.
Sayers-Fay advised that the best evidence against Bairamis was his own words. For example, the jury reviewed a letter Bairamis wrote in which he admitted distributing “mabe [sic] a key of clear and 4 to 6 zips of brown.” Testimony established that “key” is short for kilogram, while “clear” is slang for methamphetamine and “brown” is slang for heroin. The jury also heard Bairamis boast that he “sold more than Ben before these pound and a-half ever came,” which was a reference to Bandar Al Thani, an inmate currently incarcerated in federal prison on drug trafficking charges, and to approximately one and a-half pounds of methamphetamine that Bairamis purchased for distribution in August 2009. The jury also heard Bairamis’ calls to Al Thani in prison, wherein Bairamis admitted buying this large amount of methamphetamine from an Anchorage source, being initially unable to pay it back, being scared, and then ultimately surrendering the Escalade title in payment. Finally, the jury heard Bairamis bragging that when asked where his comes from, he responds as follows: “ I’m a dope dealer. Dope, dope, dope, dope dealer. The dope boy.”
The jury returned its guilty verdict in twenty-five minutes. In a separate verdict, the jury found that the 2008 Cadillac Escalade was to be forfeited, as it was drug-trafficking proceeds and property that had been used to facilitate the drug-trafficking conspiracy.
Bairamis faces a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment for this offense. The United States anticipates that sentencing will proceed in September 2011, although an exact date has not yet been set.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the investigation that culminated in Bairamis’ drug-trafficking conviction, with substantial assistance from the Alaska State Troopers.