Seven Members of Poly-Drug Conspiracy Indicted by Federal Grand Jury for Drug Trafficking and International Money Laundering
Two Individuals, Including a Former Corrections Officer, Charged Separately in Related Conspiracy to Bring Drugs and Contraband into the Anchorage Jail
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 30, 2010|
ANCHORAGE, AK—United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today, July 30, 2010, that the grand jury returned two separate indictments charging drug conspiracy and related crimes. The indictments were the result of a two-year investigation initiated by the DEA and the Alaska State Troopers Mat-Su Narcotics Unit; the investigation was joined by numerous agencies, including the FBI, APD, IRS, ICE, ATF, and the Anchorage Airport Police.
The first indictment charges Daniel Isaac Meza, a/k/a Wilber Daniel Meza, age 35, Edwin Giovanni Enriquez, a/k/a "Cat," age 32, Billy Walter Fuller, age 40, Brandy Leanne Barnes, age 26, Michael George Raab, age 44, Debbie Beisinaiz, age 41, and Cori Jean Hillar, age 38, with conspiring to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, more than 50 grams of actual methamphetamine, more than one kilogram of heroin, and a quantity of oxycodone. Individual members of the conspiracy were also charged with either distribution, attempted distribution, or possession with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin on 24 distinct occasions. Additionally, Meza and Raab were each charged with multiple counts of international money laundering relating to drug trafficking. The indictment alleges that the two sent drug proceeds to Mexico, Colombia, and El Salvador on 21 occasions.
According to this indictment, Meza and Enriquez imported cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and oxycontin into Alaska, where these substances were distributed by a network of associates that included all of the other conspirators. The indictment alleges that Meza used hollowed-out Coleman coolers to smuggle narcotics into Alaska, and would transport money out of Alaska by wire transfer or by physical transportation of bulk currency concealed in electronic equipment. The indictment further alleges that over 100 grams of heroin were found in Meza's freezer in July of 2010, and that this heroin was only part of more than a kilogram of heroin that Meza distributed at an earlier time. The indictment states that Meza and Enriquez's subordinates directly sold cocaine or methamphetamine obtained from Meza's organization to individuals working with law enforcement on more than twenty occasions.
Brandi Barnes is also charged in a separate indictment with conspiring with Patrick Sherman, a/k/a "2.5", age 46, while Sherman was a corrections officer at the Anchorage Correctional Complex. The indictment alleges that on numerous occasions, Sherman received pre-packaged controlled substances from Barnes and others, and delivered the narcotics to a conspirator who was jailed in the Anchorage Correctional Complex for re-sale within the jail to inmates. The Department of Corrections, Anchorage Correctional Complex Security Department assisted with the investigation of Sherman.
Most of the defendants were arraigned this week in federal court on the charges. Barnes was arrested in Washington state yesterday. Raab remains at large, and investigators are seeking information on his whereabouts. Assistant United States Attorney Craig M. Warner, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum ten years imprisonment, for the conspiracy charged in the first indictment, as well as a $4,000,000 fine and up to five years supervised release following service of a prison sentence. With regard to the separate indictment for conspiracy to distribute within the jail, the law provides for a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and three years supervised release.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.