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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Additional Charges Filed Against Defense Attorney and Client for Smuggling Drugs into Anchorage Prison

Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that a 25-count superseding indictment has been filed against a criminal defense attorney and her client for allegedly smuggling drugs into the State of Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC) Anchorage Correctional Complex (ACC) for distribution to inmates.

Kit Lee Karjala, 55, a criminal defense attorney in Anchorage, and her client, Christopher Brandon Miller, aka “Mellow,” 34, who is currently an inmate at ACC, have both been named in the superseding indictment.  Karjala and Miller are both charged with drug conspiracy, conspiracy to provide contraband in prison, money laundering conspiracy, as well as additional drug and money laundering charges.  The charges filed today supersede the original 2-count indictment filed in this case.

According to court documents, the drug conspiracy began in June 2016 and continued until May 2017.  Karjala allegedly passed drugs to co-conspirator inmates, including Miller, during in-person attorney-client visits.  Because Karjala was an attorney and represented to DOC that these meetings were professional visits, DOC permitted her to meet with Miller and the other co-conspirator inmate in rooms with no physical barriers separating Karjala from the inmate she was visiting.  During these visits, Karjala would hand a package of drugs to the inmate and the inmate would then hide the drugs inside his body.  After Karjala delivered the drugs, the inmate would then smuggle the drugs back to his jail cell, where the inmate would later distribute the drugs to other ACC inmates for profit. 

The superseding indictment also alleges that Karjala and Miller conspired to conduct financial transactions involving drug proceeds, which were designed to promote the drug conspiracy and to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of those drug proceeds. 

In addition, a separate indictment has been filed against Karjala for intentionally failing to appear for a bail review hearing that was scheduled for June 19, 2018, as was required by her conditions of release related to the initial charges.  A warrant has been issued for Karjala’s arrest.  

If the public has any information regarding Karjala’s whereabouts, please call the FBI at (907) 276-4441.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and the Alaska State Troopers (AST) conducted the investigation, with substantial assistance from DOC, leading to the charges in this case.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea W. Hattan.

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.

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Updated June 21, 2018