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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 1, 2018

Washington Man Sentenced for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and Methamphetamine in Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that Zerisenay Gebregiorgis, 36, a Washington resident, was sentenced today in Juneau by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess, to serve 121 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.  Gebregiorgis was previously convicted in December 2017, following a five-day jury trial.  

According to evidence presented at trial, between June 1, 2016, and Aug. 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 Gebregiorgis or deposited into bank accounts controlled by Gebregiorgis. 

According to court documents, Gebregiorgis supplied at least one ounce of methamphetamine and at least 20 ounces of heroin during the course of the conspiracy.  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 back to him via couriers and bank accounts deposits.

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) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated June 1, 2018