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Press Release

Wasilla Ring Leader of drug conspicacy pleads guilty to drug charges in designer drug case which resulted in death

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

Anchorage, Alaska-U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that the leader of a drug conspiracy involving seven South-central Alaska residents pled guilty in federal court.  The six other co-conspirators have previously pled guilty to federal drug charges stemming from a conspiracy to possess and distribute methylone.

Methylone, a Schedule I controlled substance; a/k/a “Molly,” “M1”and “rolls,” is a synthetic drug  similar to MDMA (a/k/a “ecstasy”) 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.” 

Robin Gattis, 20, of Wasilla, Alaska, pled guilty today in Anchorage to Count 1 of the Indictment, drug conspiracy, admitting that he imported approximately three kilograms of methylone between October 2011 and July 2012.  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 MGS, who died of a methylone overdose in April 2012 in Anchorage.  Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline scheduled Gattis’ sentencing for November 6, 2013.    Gattis has been in federal custody since his arrest on July 31, 2012.

All of the defendants, Robin Gattis, Chad Cameron, 18, of Palmer, Alaska; Stephen Kimbrell, 20, of Soldotna, Alaska; Kevin Rupp, 21, of Anchorage, Alaska; Shane O’Hare, 23, of Wasilla, Alaska; Bren Marx, 20, of Palmer, Alaska; and Haylee Hays, 19, of Anchorage, Alaska, have pled guilty to charges stemming from their agreement to import methylone from China to Alaska and distribute it between September 2011 and July 2012.  The seven defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2012.

In January 2013, Haylee Hays pled guilty to international money laundering as charged in Count 21 of the Indictment.  Hays admitted that she wired money to China to pay for a methylone shipment in July 2012.  Hays is scheduled for sentencing in January 2014.

In January 2013, Bren Marx pled guilty to Count 3 of the Indictment, admitting that he attempted to possess methylone in February 2012.  Marx was living with Gattis and Rupp in Wasilla when U.S. Customs intercepted a package containing 22 grams of methylone that was being shipped from China to Gattis.  Marx and Gattis were arrested after the package was delivered, and Marx was found to be in possession of additional methylone from a prior shipment.  Marx was sentenced to five years of probation in April 2013.

Stephen Kimbrell pled guilty to two counts of the indictment in February 2013 and admitted that he attempted to possess 850 grams of methylone in July 2012.  Gattis, Kimbrell, Hays, and others had wired money to China to pay for an 850 gram package of methylone.    Kimbrell also pled guilty to international money laundering, admitting that he wired money to China to help pay for the drugs.  He is scheduled for sentencing in August 2013.

Shane O’Hare pled guilty to possession of methylone with intent to distribute in February 2013, admitting that he repeatedly allowed Robin Gattis to ship drugs from China to O’Hare’s mailbox at the UPS Store in Wasilla.  O’Hare admitted that he received multiple packages that he knew contained methylone, and delivered them to Gattis for further distribution.  He is scheduled to be sentenced in January 2014.

Chad Cameron pled guilty in March 2013 to one count of attempted possession of a controlled substance.  Cameron Admitted driving Gattis to Kenai on July 30, 2012, to pick up the package containing 850 grams of methylone that had been shipped to Stephen Kimbrell.  The package had been intercepted by U.S. Customs, and Gattis, Cameron, and Kimbrell were arrested.  Cameron also admitted wiring money to China at Gattis’ direction to pay for methylone on two occasions.  On one of those occasions, Cameron was under 18 years of age.  Cameron is scheduled for sentencing in August 2013. 

Kevin Rupp pled guilty in March 2013 to one count, admitting that he knowingly possessed methylone with the intent to distribute.  Rupp admitted that he drove Gattis to Wasilla in April 2012 to pick up a package containing methylone from O’Hare.  He also admitted to transporting Gattis and the drugs back to Anchorage to the condo he shared with MGS.  Rupp was also present in February 2012 when a package of methylone was delivered to the house he shared with Gattis and Marx in Wasilla.  Rupp is scheduled for sentencing in August 2013.

According to the indictment, after MGS died in April 2012, Gattis emailed the supplier in China, advising them of MGS death and asked them for a refund.  However, the indictment alleges that less than a month later, Gattis was ordering more methylone from the same supplier.  A federal investigation began after the death of MGS in April 2012, and culminated when two more packages were intercepted in June and July 2012.

Gattis and the other defendants each face up to 20 years of imprisonment on the drug conspiracy, possession, and money laundering charges. 

 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