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Press Release

Colorado Man sentenced to 186 months prison in Methamphetamine Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska-B U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a man from Colorado was sentenced in federal court in Fairbanks for his role in a Fairbanks drug conspiracy. 

Mario Gutierrez, 40, from Northglenn, Colorado, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Ralph R. Beistline.  Gutierrez received a sentence of 186 months prison and three years of supervised release.  Gutierrez had previously pled guilty to an indictment charging him with one count of drug conspiracy and one count of money laundering.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Cavanaugh, who prosecuted the case, between August 2009 and November 2011, Gutierrez sent methamphetamine from the Denver, Colorado, area to a co- conspirator located in Fairbanks.  The co-conspirator would pay for the methamphetamine by depositing cash into Gutierrez’s Wells Fargo bank account at bank branches in Fairbanks, and Gutierrez would withdraw the money in Colorado.  Between July 2009 and August 2010, $347,000 in cash had been deposited into Gutierrez’s Wells Fargo bank account at bank branches in Fairbanks.

Prior to imposing the sentence, Judge Biestline said this was a large scale methamphetamine distribution scheme perpetrated on the Fairbanks community.  

In October 2012, Gutierrez’ co-conspirator Jess Baird of Fairbanks was sentenced in Fairbanks by Judge Beistline to 91 months prison and three years of supervised release for his role in the money laundering and drug trafficking conspiracy.

“The sentencing’s of Mario Gutierrez and his associate, Jess Baird, should let criminals who traffic methamphetamines in our communities know that their prison sentences will reflect the harm they inflict,” said Kenneth J. Hines, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in Alaska. “The people of Fairbanks should know that the IRS remains committed to the federal law enforcement team fighting the scourge that is meth.”

            Ms. Loeffler commended the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Postal Service, the North Pole and Fairbanks Police Departments, and Alaska State Troopers for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Gutierrez.

Updated January 29, 2015