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Press Release

Palmer Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Role in Heroin Related Death

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

Anchorage, Alaska – Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that a Palmer man was sentenced today in federal court for multiple drug offenses, including distributing heroin that resulted in the death of a young man who used the heroin.


Hiram Luis Ducasse, Jr., 27, of Palmer, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason to 20 years in prison, followed by six years of supervised release.  Ducasse pleaded guilty on June 20, 2017, to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin, and possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute. 


According to court documents, Ducasse distributed heroin to Michael Chalender, who subsequently died as a result of a heroin overdose.  On Nov. 30, 2015, Ducasse agreed to meet Chalender at a Wasilla gas station, where Ducasse sold him a half gram of heroin for $100.  The next morning, on Dec. 1, 2015, Chalender was found deceased in bed at his father’s house.  The cause of death was determined to have been a heroin overdose.  The investigation further revealed that, on Dec. 2, 2015, on a recorded telephone conversation, Ducasse admitted to having sold Chalender the heroin and denied altering it in any way, saying he “didn’t want anything to come back on me” and that he just gets his heroin from someone else, and gives it to his customers unchanged.  Ducasse admitted to selling heroin, including the heroin that resulted in Chalender’s death. 


During a search of Ducasse’s residence, law enforcement officers found distributable amounts of heroin, $8000, a firearm, and packaging materials that included small purple glassine baggies imprinted with black spiders, identical to the baggie that Ducasse sold to Chalender.


At the time of this offense, Ducasse was still on felony probation after having previously been convicted of a drug distribution felony in 2014 with the State of Alaska, in which he was caught distributing heroin at the same gas station in Wasilla.


The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Alaska State Troopers Mat-Su Drug Enforcement Unit conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution in this case.

Updated October 2, 2017