Washington Man Convicted for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and Methamphetamine in Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that, on Dec. 6, 2017, a federal jury in Juneau convicted Zerisenay Gebregiorgis, 35, a Washington resident, of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.
The evidence presented at trial showed that, between June 1, 2016, and August 16, 2016, Gebregiorgis and others planned to distribute large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine in the communities of Ketchikan and Sitka. Gebregiorgis supplied drugs to drug couriers, who carried the drugs inside their bodies to other co-conspirators in Ketchikan and Sitka for subsequent distribution. Drug proceeds were then given to the couriers to be carried back to Seattle to be delivered to the defendant or deposited into bank accounts controlled by Gebregiorgis.
According to evidence presented at trial, Gebregiorgis trafficked at least 100 grams or more of heroin and 50 grams or less of methamphetamine. Gebregiorgis directed every aspect of the conspiracy, to include directing the amounts of drugs sent to Alaska, the couriers who carried the drugs, the travel for those couriers, and delivery of drug proceeds of the conspiracy back to him via couriers and bank accounts deposits.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 5, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. in Juneau. The law provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years up to a maximum of 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $5 million dollars, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based on the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant. The defendant is detained pending sentencing.
Mr. Schroder commends the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the members of the Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs Taskforce (SEACAD), specifically the members from the Alaska State Troopers (AST), Ketchikan Police Department (KPD), and the Sitka Police Department (SPD) for the investigation of this case.