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Press Release

Washington Resident Sentenced To 10 Years For Drug Trafficking, Possession Of A Firearm In Furtherance Of A Drug Trafficking Crime, And Being A Felon In Possession Of A Firearm

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

Anchorage, Alaska B U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a former Washington resident was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment for drug trafficking, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Layten Scott Banchero, 29, a resident of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess in Juneau to 120 months of imprisonment followed by a five year term of supervised release.  On April 6, 2015, Banchero pled guilty to a drug trafficking conspiracy, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt, who prosecuted the case, on or about May 11, 2014, Banchero entered into a drug trafficking conspiracy with other co-conspirators to bring methamphetamine and heroin from the lower 48 to Ketchikan, Alaska using various transportation methods.  On June 13, 2014, Ketchikan Police were investigating another individual for a drug offense which subsequently led them to Banchero, who was residing in a local hotel room.  During that contact, officers obtained a search warrant for Banchero’s room.  Banchero was found to be in possession of 83.71 grams of actual methamphetamine and 30.1 grams of heroin, drug ledgers, a large amount of U.S. currency, and a loaded .357 magnum pistol.  Banchero has a number of felony convictions from Washington and is prohibited from possessing firearms.  During the investigation, it was discovered that Banchero had secured a local storage locker and law enforcement executed several warrants at that location.  Officer’s discovered a number of other firearms and $24,000 in U.S. currency.  Law enforcement seized a total of $38,533 in U.S. currency that was obtained from the sale of drugs and was forfeited as part of Banchero’s plea, along with the firearms seized from his storage locker and his room.

In sentencing Banchero, Judge Burgess noted the seriousness of the crime, the extensive criminal history of the defendant, deterrence of the defendant and others, and a need to protect the public as the reasons for sentence he imposed.

Ms. Loeffler commended the Drug Enforcement Administration, Ketchikan Police Department, and the Alaska State Troopers who conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution in this case.

Updated August 21, 2015

Drug Trafficking