Sterling, Alaska Drug Dealer Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison
Search of Defendant’s Property Located Meth, Heroin, Guns, and $148,000 in Cash
Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that Susan Jan Bradshaw, 55, of Sterling, Alaska, was sentenced by United States District Judge Sharon L. Gleason to 4 years in prison, followed by a three-year term of supervised release, for her role in a drug and money laundering conspiracy throughout Southcentral Alaska. Also, Bradshaw agreed to forfeit more than $150,000 in cash. Mark Norman Hanes was a co-conspirator and sentenced to federal prison in July 2019.
“It doesn’t matter whether drug dealers and money launderers are in the cities or rural parts of our state, we will find them and prosecute them. Investigating drug distribution rings requires a team effort, including tracking the money,” said U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder.
According to documents filed in the case, between mid-2014 and January 14, 2015, Bradshaw and Hanes were part of a conspiracy that distributed methamphetamine and heroin throughout Southcentral Alaska. Individuals in Anchorage supplied Bradshaw and Hanes with the drugs, driving to meet them at the home they shared in Sterling on at least two occasions to deliver product. Payment for those drugs would then be made through deposits into bank accounts controlled by the conspiracy.
During a search of Bradshaw and Hanes’ property on January 14, 2015, law enforcement located approximately one pound of methamphetamine and a half-pound of heroin in a safe in their bedroom. Also located in the safe was more than $5,000 in cash, a loaded Glock handgun, and an envelope that contained a U-Haul magnetic security card, and two keys. Written on the outside of the envelope in Bradshaw’s handwriting was “Casey, Emergency Only!” Located in the storage locker was methamphetamine and heroin, as well as $148,000 in cash.
Notebooks found during the search contained entries in Bradshaw’s hand-writing in which she kept track of drug debts. In addition, the notebooks contained diary entries in which she encouraged Hanes to continue selling drugs in order to make enough money for them to retire to Mexico.
Bradshaw and Hanes were not present at their residence at the time of the search, having traveled to Mexico approximately one week prior. Following the search, they stayed in Mexico and remained there until they were arrested on or about September 11, 2017.
Personal use amounts of methamphetamine and heroin are defined in federal regulations as one gram, see 28 C.F.R. § 76.2(h); however, use amounts of heroin can be as little at 1/10 gram. As a result, in the defendants’ possession in January 2015, were more than 400 doses of methamphetamine and more than 2,000 doses of heroin. Throughout the course of the conspiracy in this case, Bradshaw and Hanes likely distributed tens of thousands of doses of drugs throughout Southcentral Alaska.
At sentencing, Judge Gleason noted that Bradshaw’s culpability was significant given that she had no prior criminal history and did not appear to have any substance abuse issues, and was driven by a profit motive to distribute drugs into her community.
“No community is immune from the devastation caused by meth and heroin,” said IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Justin Campbell. “IRS-Criminal Investigation will continue to work with our partners to ensure that those who profit from selling these illegal drugs in our communities are held accountable whether they reside in Anchorage or in Sterling, AK.”
This case was investigated and prosecuted by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon.