washington man convicted in federal court of drug trafficking conspiracy
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that on July 13, 2011, a federal jury in Anchorage found a Washington man guilty of one count of attempted possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine, with the intent to distribute.
After deliberating for only one hour, the jury returned the guilty verdict for Otagus Demond Coverson, 37, a resident of Renton, Washington. Coverson was tried before United States District Judge Timothy M. Burgess.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Craig M. Warner, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established that Coverson was apprehended after being monitored and recorded arranging to import nine kilograms of cocaine into Alaska from suppliers in Washington State. The drugs were originally intercepted by the Oregon State Police on July 9, 2009, while being smuggled through Oregon from California. A Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force then replaced the seized cocaine with imitation narcotics, and used a series of undercover operations to identify and arrest each link in the chain of cocaine supply through Oregon and Washington.
That chain of supply led ultimately to the identification of Coverson, a Washington resident who was present in Alaska in July 2009. Coverson was then monitored as he communicated with multiple persons in his supply chain to facilitate the transfer of the cocaine through Seattle to Anchorage. On July 14, 2009, Coverson accepted and opened a postal service parcel matching the description provided to him by his cocaine source in Seattle, and was subsequently arrested.
Judge Burgess scheduled sentencing for October 28, 2011. Due to Coverson’s criminal history and the nature of the offense, the law provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison, and a fine of $8 million, or both.
DEA, including DEA Task Force officers deputized from the the Alaska State Troopers, Anchorage International Airport Police and Fire, Anchorage Police Department, Oregon State Police, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, and Port of Seattle Police, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Coverson.