Federal, State And Municipal Partnership Targets Fentanyl Traffickers
Series of Indictments Highlight Alaska’s Criminal Enforcement of Fentanyl and Opioids
Contact: Public Information Officer
ANCHORAGE - On September 12, 2017, a federal grand jury in Anchorage returned a series of indictments charging individuals with fentanyl trafficking and other criminal offenses. Fentanyl, sometimes known on the street as “Grey Death,” is a powerful opioid that is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin. The Drug Enforcement (DEA) has issued nationwide alerts on fentanyl as a threat to health and public safety, as well as to law enforcement officers, who were warned by DEA two months ago to take extreme precautions when handling fentanyl, because exposure to an amount equivalent to a few grains of sand can result in death.
In the recently indicted cases, Sergio Jauna Devoe, 27, of Anchorage, was charged with possession with the intent to distribute quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl, on or about May 5, 2017. Devoe was also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted, Devoe faces a mandatory minimum ten-year sentence, with a maximum of life imprisonment.
Misty G. Thomas, 25, of Anchorage, was charged with possession with the intent to distribute quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl, on or about Oct. 6, Oct. 7, and Nov. 9, 2016. If convicted, Thomas faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. Thomas was also charged in a separate indictment for fraudulent activity in connection with identification documents. According to the indictment, on or about Feb. 18, 2017, Thomas knowingly posed as “E.B.” to a Fred Meyer employee, a licensed dealer of firearms, and used E.B.’s identification to falsely purchase three firearms. If convicted, Thomas faces a maximum of ten years in prison on the firearm charges, as well as a mandatory consecutive two-year sentence based on the theft of “E.B.’s” identity to purchase the firearms.
Finally, Charles Jeffery Mosley, Jr., 36, of Anchorage, was charged with possession with the intent to distribute over 100 grams of heroin, on or about July 12, 2017. Mosley was also charged for being a felon in possession of a firearm, and for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Mosley faces a mandatory minimum ten-year sentence.
Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder stated, “For Americans under the age of 50, drug overdoses are the leading cause of death. The trafficking of fentanyl can only worsen this tragedy. We are thankful to be able to work collaboratively with our state and local partners - not just in prosecuting the traffickers of opioids, but also in finding solutions to this epidemic. These solutions include prevention and education efforts, as well as task forces that include medical and health professionals.”
These cases are being handled by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney James Stinson, who is an Anchorage municipal prosecutor. Since 2007, the Municipality of Anchorage has assigned prosecutors to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to work on cases that have direct impact on the safety of Anchorage residents, such as drugs, guns, and violent crime. The Anchorage District Attorney’s Office also participated in the prosecution and referral of the cases, which were investigated by the Anchorage Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.