Anchorage Drug Traffickers Indicted by Federal Grand Jury
ANCHORAGE, AK—United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a federal grand jury returned a 16-count indictment against eight Anchorage-area individuals charging them with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, multiple counts of distribution of methamphetamine and heroin, and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and various firearms offenses. The indictment also contains multiple allegations seeking forfeiture of illegal items and proceeds acquired and used during the course of the alleged crimes.
According to the indictment filed on January 22, 2015, and documents filed in support of several arrest warrants issued in the case, Toa Ly (aka “Tony”) was the owner of the Fashion Nails salon on 500 Muldoon Road in Anchorage, Alaska. Between August 2014 and January 2015, law enforcement engaged in a series of undercover drug transactions with Ly, purchasing methamphetamine from him directly on at least two occasions. In other transactions, Ly would refer law enforcement to either Pao Lee (aka “Ninja”) or Murville Lavelle Lampkin (aka “Lamar”), who then distributed either methamphetamine or heroin at Ly’s direction.
On November 8, 2014, Robert Lee Rast Jr., Rennie Marie Davis, and Adam Michael Cornelison met with Ly at Fashion Nails. After leaving the business, law enforcement attempted to stop the vehicles driven by Rast and Davis, and Cornelison. Rast and Davis complied; Cornelison fled and was forced off the road by police after a chase.
Located in Rast and Davis’ vehicle was approximately one pound of methamphetamine, and two ounces of heroin. Deposit slips showing recent deposits into Ly’s Wells Fargo account were also located. In Cornelison’s vehicle was approximately one pound of marijuana and a Glock handgun. Possession of the handgun by Cornelison is illegal given his multiple prior felony convictions.
Payments for the drugs obtained from Ly or his associates were made either directly, or through deposits into bank accounts controlled by Ly that were opened in the name of the Fashion Nails salon, or other businesses registered in Ly’s name. The investigation revealed more than $200,000 in suspected drug proceeds deposited into Ly’s accounts by coconspirators and others between January 2014 and August 14, 2014.
Ly was arrested in Seattle, Washington on January 14, 2015. On that same day, law enforcement executed five search warrants at locations connected to this case. Agents seized approximately one pound of methamphetamine, approximately one-half pound of heroin, $148,000 in cash, and multiple firearms from a residence and storage locker connected to Mark Norman Hanes and Susan Jan Bradshaw.
Lee and Lampkin were also arrested on January 14, 2015. Lee was arrested after being stopped at a Wells Fargo with money to deposit into Ly’s account, and more than 5 grams of methamphetamine in his possession. Lampkin was arrested after being found in possession of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. Both men made their initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McCoy on January 15, 2015, and were ordered detained.
Ly made his initial appearance before a United States Magistrate in Seattle, and was ordered detained pending his return to Anchorage by the United States Marshal. The remaining defendants are not yet in United States custody.
The investigation is ongoing.
The case was the product of an extensive joint investigation by the Anchorage Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, the Anchorage Police Department’s Special Assignment Unit and Vice Unit, Alaska State Troopers, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), and Criminal Investigators from the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Reardon is prosecuting the case.
If convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with the Intent to Distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of not less than 10 years in prison and up to life, a term of supervised release of not less than five years, and a $10,000,000 fine. Each conviction for Distribution of Controlled Substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841 carry sentences as high as life in prison, a five-year term of supervised release, and a $10,000,000 fine. Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Offense carries a mandatory five-year sentence that must be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed. A conviction for Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956 carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, and a five-year term of supervised release. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.