Los Angeles Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Court for Drug and Money Laundering Conspiracies
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that Michael Joseph Nicholson, 36, of Los Angeles, California, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess, to 10 years in prison, to be followed by a 5-year term of supervised release, for his role in a drug and money laundering conspiracy that distributed cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine in Anchorage, Alaska.
According to documents filed, Nicholson along with Wendy Del Carmen Recinos, Jonathan Toliver Jr., and Reon Jordan; were part of a drug and money laundering conspiracy that began sometime in August 2016 and continued through December 2017. Among the conspirators there was an agreement to distribute heroin and cocaine in Alaska. Members of the conspiracy flew back and forth between California and Alaska for the purpose of distributing these illegal controlled substances. An Alaskan residence became a base of operations and is where the conspirators stored heroin, cocaine, and other controlled substances with the intent of distributing them in Anchorage. Investigators seized 1.4 kilos of cocaine, 2 pounds of heroin, 43 grams of benzodiazepine, and 76 grams of oxycodone.
During this same time frame, the conspirators used multiple methods to launder their drug proceeds, including deposits into bank accounts, wire transfers and shipments of bulk currency between Alaska and California. The deposited drug proceeds were used to pay travel expenses of the drug trafficking conspiracy.
Approximately $147,998 in U.S. currency, a Rolex “Sky Dweller” wrist watch, and four firearms were seized by the government as property constituting proceeds of the drug trafficking.
On February 4, 2019, Wendy Del Carmen Recinos was sentenced to six years in prison, to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release, for her role in the drug and money laundering conspiracies.
On February 4, 2019, Renee Livingston was sentenced to five years of probation for her role in the money laundering conspiracy.
On March 25, 2019, Jonathan Toliver Jr. was sentenced to five years in prison, to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release, for his role in the drug and money laundering conspiracies.
On March 25, 2019, Reon Jordan was sentenced to five years in prison, to be followed by a four-year term of supervised release, for her role in the drug and money laundering conspiracies.
On July 9, 2019, Nicole Manglona was sentenced to two years in prison, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release, for her role in the money laundering conspiracy.
U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder commends all investigative and prosecutorial officials. “This case is a great example of the interagency cooperation we see every day in Alaska. The law enforcement officers and prosecutors in this case worked diligently to take down a significant drug trafficking operation, but also conducted a financial investigation to disrupt the money laundering aspect of the organization and seize the money, jewelry, and firearms illegally obtained by the defendants.”
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), IRS-Criminal Investigation, Anchorage Police Department Vice Unit, Homeland Security Investigations, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.