Cocaine trafficker sentenced to life without parole
Anchorage, AK – U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that Otagus Demond Coverson, who resides in Washington state but frequented Anchorage, was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to life in prison without parole. In July 2011, jurors convicted Coverson of attempting to possess five kilograms or more of cocaine with intent to distribute. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess imposed the sentence on Coverson, 39.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Sayers-Fay, who represented the United States at sentencing, advised that the trial evidence showed that Coverson was the intended recipient of 8.9 kilograms of cocaine that members of law enforcement intercepted from co-conspirators in Oregon, following a traffic stop. Law enforcement officials replaced the cocaine with sham and ultimately delivered it to Coverson’s Alaska apartment, per his instructions. After opening the package and discovering the sham, Coverson jumped from a second story window to elude law enforcement, injuring himself in the process. The government presented additional evidence at sentencing concerning prior packages of cocaine that Coverson had received from this same source.
Coverson has three prior felony drug convictions as an adult and sentencing documents showed that he has also previously been convicted of manslaughter and assault. Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(A)(1) provides that offenders who traffic serious quantities of drugs, including more than five kilograms of cocaine, after two or more prior convictions for a felony drug offense become final “shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of life imprisonment without release.”
Ms. Loeffler commends the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration in both Alaska and Seattle, the Port of Seattle Police Department, the Anchorage Police Department, Alaska State Troopers, and the Internal Revenue Service, all of whom collaborated on the investigation that culminated in Coverson’s life sentence.