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Justice News

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

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wasilla Conspiracy Leader sentenced for Designer Drug Case which resulted in death

Anchorage, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that the leader of a drug conspiracy involving seven defendants was sentenced to 16 years in federal prison. 

Robin Gattis, 20, of Wasilla, Alaska, pled guilty in August 2013 to drug conspiracy, admitting that he imported approximately three kilograms of methylone between October 2011 and July 2012 and distributed it in Alaska.  In a plea agreement filed with the court, Gattis admitted that he was the leader and organizer of the conspiracy, that he directly imported the drugs from China, and that he repeatedly wired money to China or directed others to do so in order to pay for drugs.  He also admitted that he engaged in drug dealing as a livelihood, that he knowingly used persons under age 18 to assist in the crime, that he distributed the drugs to persons under 18, and that he distributed methylone to Matt Scott, who died of a methylone overdose in April 2012 in Anchorage.

The six other co- conspirators have previously pled guilty to federal drug charges stemming from a conspiracy to possess and distribute methylone.  Two have been sentenced, and four are awaiting sentencing.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline imposed the sentence today in Anchorage, Alaska.  Gattis has been in federal custody since his arrest on July 31, 2012.

U.S. Attorney Loeffler warned Alaskans that “People taking these drugs have absolutely no idea what they are ingesting.  They are not made in a laboratory with standards and oversight.  They are made by criminals, and there is no way to tell what is in the powder you’re putting in your body.  A teenage party should not end with death and a grieving family.  These club drugs are touted as safe, and they are not.”

“Designer drugs from China in the hands of young, enterprising drug dealers proved to be deadly in this case,” said Brad Bench, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Seattle, who oversees Alaska investigations. “International shipments are routinely inspected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at sorting facilities around the country to detect illicit packages like the ones shipped to Gattis and his co-conspirators. HSI and its law enforcement partners are committed to pursuing those who use legitimate shipping channels to smuggle drugs into the U.S.”

“By the defendant’s own admission, he engaged in the trafficking of Methylone for a living and as a result a terrible and senseless tragedy has occurred,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Matthew G. Barnes.  “Synthetic drugs are insidious substances that are manufactured in clandestine laboratories and marketed to our youth all in the name of greed.   We are grateful to our partners, Homeland Security Investigations,  Anchorage Police Department, Alaska State Troopers, U.S. Postal Service and the United States Attorney’s Office for their persistence and dedication in obtaining justice.” 

Methylone, a Schedule I controlled substance; also popularly known as “Molly,” “M1,” “MDMC,”and “rolls,” is a synthetic drug similar to ecstasy (“MDMA”),  and is commonly imported  from China via the internet for use in the U.S. particularly at clubs, parties and  other social gatherings such as “raves.”

Ms. Loeffler commends Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Anchorage Police Department, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Mat-Su Drug Unit for the investigation of this case.

Updated January 29, 2015