News and Press Releases

Defendant Attempted to Ship Nine Kilos of Cocaine to Alaska Co-Conspirator

November 30, 2009

PAUL DENNIS NAGAN, 41, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to nine years in prison and five years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine. NAGAN was arrested in July 2009, as one of the middle men in a conspiracy to move cocaine to Alaska. At sentencing U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said NAGAN “has simply been a career criminal.”

According to records in the case, and statements at the sentencing hearing, the cocaine conspiracy came to light after an Oregon State Patrol Officer made a routine traffic stop and determined the car contained a nine kilogram shipment of cocaine. Law enforcement officers arrested conspirators as the cocaine was supposed to be delivered from one courier to the next. NAGAN was arrested in Western Washington with a backpack filled with $230,000. He was taken into custody as he arrived to meet another courier who was to hand over the cocaine.

NAGAN has a lengthy criminal history, with approximately 45 different convictions over the last 23 years. He has convictions for drug possession, illegal weapons possession, assault, resisting arrest, and theft. At sentencing Assistant United States Attorney Aravind Swaminathan argued that NAGAN was not a minor participant in the drug ring saying NAGAN is “well acquainted with drug trafficking; he has been involved in drug trafficking for 23 years.”

Judge Robart expressed dismay that NAGAN was involved in cocaine distribution given one of his son’s drug addiction. “His own son’s drug issues ought to heighten his awareness of the harm he is doing when transmitting kilo quantities of cocaine,” Judge Robart said. He recommended that NAGAN get intensive drug treatment while in prison.

The case was investigated by the Oregon State Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Aravind Swaminathan.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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