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Press Release

Former marathon runner and Olympic hopeful sentenced to eight years in prison

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

Anchorage, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a Palmer, Alaska, man was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 96 months in prison for one count of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute and one count of felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Brandon Wayne Moen (a.k.a. “Scooter”), 28, from Palmer, Alaska, was sentenced today by U.S.   District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess, to 96 months’ prison and 5 years’ supervised release.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle G. French, who prosecuted the case, Alaska State Troopers arrested Moen in June 2012, for an outstanding State of Alaska arrest warrant issued based on allegations of a felony probation violation.  When the Troopers placed Moen under arrest, they discovered a loaded Ruger .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol and $2,599 in United States currency in Moen’s attire.

Troopers impounded the vehicle Moen was in at the time of his arrest and a drug detection dog subsequently alerted to the odor of controlled substances in Moens’ vehicle.  A search warrant was obtained and the Troopers found and seized various items from the vehicle, including methamphetamine, a bulletproof vest, syringes, hundreds of unused gram-sized baggies used for distributing narcotics, four grams of heroin, a digital scale, a pistol magazine, ammunition, and a tattoo gun.  DEA laboratory testing determined that the methamphetamine he possessed was 99.4% pure.

According to an April 6, 2008, Central Illinois sports article, Moen was an elite athlete whose talent could not be “fully appreciated by a review of his stellar times and margins of victory.”  Moen’s long-term goal was to break the 1:05:00 half marathon mark and qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trial Marathon.  Moen was piling up marathon victories at that time and running 80 to 90 miles a week.

His counsel, Assistant Federal Defender Jamie McGrady, said Moen turned to drug use and became addicted after the tragic suicide of his bother.  Ms. McGrady observed and stated in a court filing that “Mr. Moen can serve as a cautionary tale to others in prison and working on sobriety – his was a rare talent, and it was wasted because of his drug abuse.”  At sentencing, Ms. McGrady also noted that Moen’s arrest probably saved his life.

In sentencing Moen, Judge Burgess emphasized that this was an opportunity for Moen to retake control of his life. 

“Although Mr. Moen has a chance to rebuild his life,” U.S. Attorney Loeffler notes, “the destruction and waste of enormous talent caused by using drugs is sad and cannot be undone.  While our entire community as a whole suffers from the corrosive harm caused by illegal narcotics, Mr. Moen is yet another reminder that the harm and resulting consequences occur at a very tangible individual and personal level.”

Ms. Loeffler commends the Alaska State Troopers and especially the Trooper’s Mat-Su Drug Unit, the ATF and the DEA who conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Moen.

Updated January 29, 2015