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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 18, 2016

Anchorage Man sentenced to 84 months in prison for role in large-scale money laundering conspiracy

Anchorage, Alaska-U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that an Anchorage man has been sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess to serve 84 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars earned from the sale of large quantities of heroin and cocaine by local drug dealers.   

David Edward Frazier, of Anchorage, previously pled guilty to conspiring with others launder the proceeds of drug trafficking.  As part of his guilty plea, Frazier admitted that he sold nearly three kilograms of heroin and ten kilograms of cocaine and then delivered the cash from those sales back to his supplier in order to continue their drug trafficking operation. 

Following his release from prison, Frazier will be on supervised for three years.  As part of the sentence, Judge Burgess entered a money judgment against Frazier for $743,000 – the total amount of drug money laundered during the conspiracy.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie C. Courter, who prosecuted the case, the conspiracy began in March 2013 and continued until June 2013.  During that time, Frazier acquired drugs, mainly heroin and cocaine, from a local drug supplier and then worked with a partner to sell the drugs to others.  Frazier was “fronted” the drugs by his source, meaning that he obtained the drugs essentially “on credit.”  He then sold the drugs and returned the cash proceeds to his supplier in order to continue their drug enterprise.  Over the course of just three months in 2013, Frazier and his partner acquired nearly three kilograms of heroin and more than ten kilograms of cocaine from their supplier.  The wholesale value of the drugs sold exceeded $660,000, with the conspirators earning an additional $80,000 in profit.    

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Burgess called Frazier’s actions extremely serious, noting that Frazier sold nearly $250,000 worth of heroin and cocaine each month for three months.  Judge Burgess also found Frazier’s criminal history to be significant, pointing out that Frazier’s record included at least 15 adult criminal convictions. 

The sentencing hearing is related to a string of indictments returned in late 2014 and early 2015 as part of ongoing efforts to dismantle and prosecute several large scale drug trafficking rings with ties to Alaska, California, Texas, Arizona, and Mexico.  To date, the following individuals have been sentenced as part of these efforts:

  • Timothy Alex, an Anchorage drug distributor, previously sentenced to 108 months in prison;
  • Daniel Harris, an Anchorage drug distributor, previously sentenced to 135 months in prison;
  • Jose Ramon Canales, of Texas, previously sentenced to 70 months in prison for laundering drug money out of the United States and into Mexico;
  • Omar Alejandro Alfaro, of Texas, previously sentenced to 84 months in prison for drug trafficking;
  • Genaro Gutierrez-Reyes, of California, previously sentenced to 18 months in prison for laundering drug money out of the United States and into Mexico;
  • Jorge Armando Zaragoza-Soto, of Mexico, previously sentenced to 96 months in prison for drug trafficking;
  • Geronimo Arellano Velarde, of California, previously sentenced to 120 months in prison for drug trafficking;
  • Jasmin Sanchez, of California, previously sentenced to 60 months in prison for drug trafficking; and
  • Tomas Gutierrez Ayala, of California, previously sentenced to 75 months in prison for drug trafficking.

Several other defendants are set to be sentenced in the coming months for their roles in trafficking heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine to Alaska and then transporting the cash proceeds of their trafficking activities back to Mexico.

This and the related cases were investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Loeffler praised the work of the law enforcement agencies involved, including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Anchorage Police Department (APD), the Alaska State Troopers (AST), and the Anchorage Airport Police Department.  Additional assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Western District of Texas, the Eastern and Central Districts of California, and the District of Arizona, as well as federal agents in all three states.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated April 27, 2016