Leader Of Meth For Mail Ring Pleads Guilty To 16 Counts Of Drug Dealing And Fraud
Anchorage, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that an Anchorage man pled guilty in federal court in Anchorage to 16 counts of drug dealing and fraud.
Jonathon Escalante, a/k/a “Superman”, 45, of Anchorage, pled guilty in front of Chief United States District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline.
According to pleadings filed in the case, from September 2013 through September 2014, Escalante was the leader of a mail theft ring in Anchorage. Escalante recruited others to help him commit the crimes of Possession of Stolen Mail, Bank Fraud, Credit Card Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Possession of a Counterfeit Security. Escalante and his co-conspirators used checks, credit cards and personal identification information stolen from the mail and from vehicle break-ins to obtain funds and merchandise to which they were not entitled. Escalante recruited his co-conspirators by providing them with methamphetamine and a portion of the items and cash obtained from the stolen checks and credit cards. Escalante and his co-conspirators obtained over $40,000 in cash and retail goods during the course of this scheme. The scheme covered all of Anchorage from Eagle River to Hillside, from the Jewel Lake area to Muldoon, and even as far south as Soldotna.
In addition to the mail theft ring, Escalante was also a drug dealer who sold methamphetamine throughout Anchorage. Escalante carried a 9mm Ruger pistol for protection while committing all of these crimes. Escalante had three prior felony convictions for similar types of fraud and was thus prohibited, as are all felons, from possessing a firearm. Escalante possessed one of the pistols while shooting at a victim from whom he had stolen a motorcycle.
Three of Escalante’s co-conspirators have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing. A fourth co-conspirator is scheduled to change her plea on April 7, 2015.
Escalante faces a mandatory minimum five years in prison and a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Steward together with Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Bennett who is a Municipality of Anchorage Prosecutor working with the U.S. Attorney’s office to assist in the prosecution of recidivist and violent criminals in the Anchorage area.
Ms. Loeffler commends the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, assisted by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, and Firearms and the Anchorage Police Department for the investigation of this case.