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Press Release

Fairbanks Drug Dealer Convicted Of Conspiracy

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

Anchorage, Alaska – Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin R. Feldis announced today that after a two–day trial, a federal jury found Etienne Q. Devoe, 42, of Fairbanks, Alaska, guilty of Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Heroin, and Conspiracy to Money Launder.

According to the evidence at trial, Devoe was a drug dealer located in Fairbanks.  Between May 2, 2013, and June 13, 2013, law enforcement captured phone calls and text messages between Devoe and his co-conspirator, Steven N. Taylor.  In those calls, Devoe and Taylor discussed their ongoing drug trafficking relationship.  As part of that relationship, Taylor supplied cocaine and heroin to Devoe for distribution in and around the Fairbanks area.  Devoe paid for those drugs by sending Taylor money through a checking account at a local bank.

On June 20, 2013, Fairbanks police responded to shooting at a rented house on Gillem Way.  Devoe was found hiding in an upstairs bedroom closet at the residence, which he shared with his girlfriend.  Also located in the residence were drug trafficking supplies, including packaging materials and an adulterant commonly used to cut cocaine prior to its resale.

This is Devoe’s second federal conviction for a drug trafficking offense.  In February 2012, Devoe was found in possession of approximately 6 ounces of cocaine, along with packaging material.  He was convicted of Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute and sentenced to 57 months imprisonment.  The case number for that matter is 4:14-cr-00002-RRB.

The case was the product of an investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, FBI Safe Streets Task Force, Anchorage Police Department, Fairbanks Police Department, Alaska State Troopers, and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Police.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kyle Reardon, and Timothy Edmonds prosecuted the case.

Devoe was indicted on June 16, 2014.  Other defendants named in the Indictment include Taylor, James Brown, Sr., Leonard D. Charles, Shawn Cortez Cloyd, Timothy W. Northcutt, Joshua J. Haynes, Gabrielle P. Haynes, and Joseph E. Irving.

Devoe is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Ralph R. Beistline on June 8, 2015

The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and 846, Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances, is not less than five years and up to 40 years imprisonment, a fine of $5,000,000, a four-year term of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.  The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h), Money Laundering Conspiracy, is up to 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $500,000, a five year term of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.  Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

“Drug trafficking is motivated by money.  IRS CI, DEA, and our other law enforcement partners are motivated to protect our communities by clearing our streets of those who distribute and profit from the sale of illicit drugs.  This verdict sends a strong message that the full force of the law will vigorously work together to eradicate drug conspiracies,” said Special Agent in Charge Teri Alexander of IRS Criminal Investigation.

“This verdict is the result of law enforcement working together in bringing a longtime Fairbanks drug trafficker to justice,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Douglas James.  “This significant investigation could not have been done without the collaboration of the many federal, state and local law enforcement partners who are dedicated in dismantling major drug trafficking organizations.”

“The mission of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force was exemplified by this case - Operation Super Bad - which is to identify and target for prosecution criminal enterprises and groups responsible for a myriad of crimes that negatively impact the community.  The guilty verdict for Mr. Devoe represents another violent offender off the streets of Alaska,” said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Kurt S. Ormberg.

Updated March 30, 2015

Drug Trafficking