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Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that Simon Douglas Smith, 35, formerly of Sturgis, Michigan, was sentenced today in federal court to 24 years in prison.
Smith pled guilty in 2013 to manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. He was arrested by Anchorage Police Department officers in May 2010, when several firearms and a “one pot” meth lab were found in his car. He was arrested a month later, in June 2010, by Alaska State Troopers, who discovered another one-pot meth lab and another gun. Investigators learned that Smith’s girlfriend, Nichole M. Millsaps, 26, had disappeared just before the first arrest. Smith was indicted on federal meth manufacture and weapons charges in December 2010, and was subsequently charged by the State of Alaska with the murder of Nichole Millsaps.
United States District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess found that Smith was responsible for manufacturing “substantially more than 50 grams” of actual methamphetamine between July 2009, when he arrived in Alaska, and June 2010. Evidence presented at a December 2014 hearing established that Smith used numerous individuals to purchase cold medicine on his behalf to avoid limits and reporting requirements imposed by state and federal law. Judge Burgess found that Smith was a manager and supervisor of a criminal organization that involved five or more persons and was otherwise extensive, and that he engaged in drug dealing as a livelihood.
Judge Burgess described Smith as the “Johnny Appleseed” of the one-pot meth lab in Alaska, not only cooking meth for his own use but also teaching others how to cook, even after he was in jail. The judge described the impact as “exponential” and pointed to numerous lives destroyed by Smith’s actions. Smith has “the opposite of the Midas touch,” since everyone he touched was harmed. Judge Burgess commented that Smith “blazed a trail filled with misery, tragedy, and ruin.”
Smith was scheduled for sentencing on February 7, 2014, but requested a postponement. The following day, February 8, 2014, Nichole Millsaps’ remains were found in the area of Indian, Alaska, near where she and Smith had been camping in May 2010. Millsaps was shot once in the right rear of the head. A .32 derringer was found buried at the base of a tree approximately 30 feet from where Millsaps’ remains were discovered.
Smith still faces murder charges in the Superior Court of the State of Alaska. Under state law he could be sentenced to up to 99 years for first or second degree murder. Judge Burgess declined to consider the death of Ms. Millsaps when he imposed sentence, noting that there was a separate state process for the murder charge pending in State court. Judge Burgess did describe Smith as extremely dangerous and stated that the community needed protection from him for a very long time.
This case was investigated by the Alaska State Troopers; the Alaska Bureau of Investigation; the Mat-Su Drug Unit; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and the Anchorage Police Department.