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Press Release

Fairbanks Man Sentenced to 87 Months in Federal Prison on Distribution of “Pure” Methamphetamine

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

Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that 33-year-old Christopher Thomas Howard, a/k/a Indy, of Fairbanks, Alaska, has been sentenced on charges of distributing over 74.9 grams of “pure” methamphetamine (“ice”).

Court records state that Howard distributed large quantities of methamphetamine in Fairbanks while on supervised release from an 87-month sentence (later reduced to 70) that the federal court imposed in 2012 for being a felon in possession of a firearm and attempted distribution of large quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine. Howard was arrested pursuant to a Criminal Complaint and then indicted on April 25, 2019.

According to the indictment, Howard distributed over 5 grams of ice to one individual on Nov. 15, 2018, and again on Dec. 6, 2018. On Jan. 3, 2019, Howard increased his distribution to over 50 grams of ice to the same individual stating “the meth was pure and not cut” and that he would be getting more soon. Lab reports indicate the quantity from the last buy in January was 55.2 grams of 98% pure methamphetamine.

The government argued that even relatively small amounts of meth can have disastrous impacts on Fairbanks and rural communities due to the smaller population and higher rates of drug abuse and addiction. Five grams of meth in Fairbanks harms a disproportionately larger segment of the population and is further amplified when the meth is pure. In fact, in imposing an 87-month sentence, Senior District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline emphasized that selling pure methamphetamine is nothing to be proud of and recognized Howard’s prior violent criminal history as justifying the sentence.    

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Alaska State Troopers, and the Fairbanks and North Pole Police Departments conducted the investigation leading to the sentence in this case.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Tansey.


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Updated October 22, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 19-074