Three Anchorage Residents arraigned on Federal Drug Conspiracy Indictment
Anchorage, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that three Anchorage men were arraigned on charges involving an alleged drug trafficking conspiracy, distribution of controlled substances, attempt to possess with intent to distribute heroin, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Jared Thomas Bowers, 23, Christopher Thomas Mejia, 24, and Rhadames Marmolejos Jr., 20, entered not guilty pleas to the eleven-count indictment.
The indictment charges all three defendants with participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin. Mejia and Bowers face additional charges for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and Marmolejos Jr. has been charged with eight counts of distribution of a controlled substance.
Special Assistant United States Attorney Erin W. Bradley, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison, with a potential life sentence for a conviction of drug trafficking conspiracy. Each defendant also faces a potential fine of up to ten million dollars. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison with a potential life sentence, and a fine of up to $250,000. The remaining charges in the indictment carry maximum sentences of twenty years in prison and fines of up to one million dollars. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the individual defendants.
Ms. Loeffler commends the Drug Enforcement Administration for the investigation of this case. All defendants remain incarcerated pending trial in this case.An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.