Alaska Man Sentenced to 90 Months for Role in Drug Conspiracy and Money Laundering
Anchorage, Alaska – Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that Brandon Johnson, 37, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Beistline to serve 90 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy that brought controlled substances, including heroin and methamphetamine, into Alaska.
Brandon Johnson was indicted with multiple co-conspirators including Hakim Giddins, Shakin Giddins, Markin Giddins, Tara McNutt, Kourtney Davis, and Briana Herndon. According to court documents, from 2014 to 2016, McNutt, Davis, and Herndon opened various mailboxes with Alaska addresses for the purpose of receiving heroin from California. This heroin was received and distributed in Alaska by Hakim Giddins and his co-conspirators. Brandon Johnson himself possessed heroin for distribution. As part of this case, Brandon Johnson also pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
During this same time frame, Brandon Johnson and others also entered into an agreement to launder the proceeds obtained from the distribution of drugs brought into Alaska by the conspiracy. The cash proceeds from the sale of these drugs was laundered by making deposits into bank accounts located in Alaska in other people’s names. This money was then withdrawn in California. Cash was also shipped in bulk from Alaska to California. Hakim Giddins directed Brandon Johnson and others to make bank deposits on his behalf with money that he knew had come from drug trafficking. Hakim Giddins believed that by having the deposit made that way it would conceal his connection to the money as well as to the true source of the money.
Brandon Johnson is a twice-convicted felon who came to Alaska from California. In California he was convicted of burglary and imposed a suspended sentence. Shortly thereafter Johnson committed another burglary and was convicted and received a nine year sentence. Johnson later moved to Nevada where he committed another felony grand larceny and burglary.
Multiple conspirators were indicted for criminal conduct related to this drug conspiracy. The following defendants have pleaded guilty to criminal charges and have been sentenced to the following prison terms in the past three month:
• Brandon Johnson, sentenced to 90 months in prison on July 24, 2017
• Hakim Giddins, sentenced to 16 years in prison on May 24, 2017
• Shakin Giddins, sentenced to 6 years in prison on May 25, 2017
• Markin Giddins, sentenced to 5 years in prison on May 16, 2017
• Tara McNutt, sentenced to 42 months in prison on June 8, 2017
• Kourtney Davis, sentenced to 18 months in prison on May 16, 2017
• Briana Herndon, sentenced to 9 months in prison on May 24, 2017
The Alaska case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephan A. Collins of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska, and was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Anchorage Police Department (APD).