U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Alaska
(907) 271-5071
June 8, 2015

Fairbanks Drug Dealer Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison

ANCHORAGE, AK—U.S. Attorney Karen K. Loeffler announced that Etienne Q. Devoe, 42, of Fairbanks, Alaska, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Ralph R. Beistline to 126 months in prison to be followed by a five year term of supervised release for conspiring to distribute cocaine and heroin, and conspiring to launder the proceeds from the sale of those drugs.

According to the evidence at trial, Devoe was a drug dealer located in Fairbanks, Alaska. Between May 2, 2013, and June 13, 2013, law enforcement captured phone calls and text messages between Devoe and his co-conspirator, Steven N. Taylor. In those calls, Devoe and Taylor discussed their ongoing drug trafficking relationship. As part of that relationship, Taylor supplied cocaine and heroin to Devoe for distribution in and around the Fairbanks area. Devoe paid for those drugs by sending Taylor money through a checking account at a local bank.

On June 20, 2013, Fairbanks police responded to shooting at a rented house on Gillem Way. Devoe was found hiding in an upstairs bedroom closet at the residence, which he shared with his girlfriend. Also located in the residence were drug trafficking supplies, including packaging materials and an adulterant commonly used to cut cocaine prior to its resale.

This is Devoe’s second federal conviction for a drug trafficking offense. In February 2012, Devoe was found in possession of approximately six ounces of cocaine, along with packaging material. He was convicted of Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute and sentenced to 57 months’ imprisonment. The case number for that matter is 4:14-cr-00002-RRB.

At sentencing, Judge Beistline told the defendant it was “time to grow up,” commenting on the defendant’s long criminal history, which includes four convictions for domestic violence offenses, three convictions for driving-related offenses, two prior drug convictions, and a conviction for giving false statements to law enforcement. Judge Beistline also noted that the defendant has “no legitimate work history, and . . . eight children raised by other people.” There is “no indication [in your past] of a desire to obey the law or become a positive member of the community,” said Judge Beistline.

The sentence was also driven by the need to punish the defendant for the harm caused by his drug dealing. On several occasions, Judge Beistline commented on the fact that the defendant’s drug dealing “prey[ed] on others,” and “destroy[ed] the community.” The sentence of more than 10 years in federal prison was intended “to protect the public from drug dealers” like the defendant.

Devoe was indicted on June 16, 2014. Other defendants named in the Indictment include Taylor, James Brown, Sr., Leonard D. Charles, Shawn Cortez Cloyd, Timothy W. Northcutt, Joshua J. Haynes, Gabrielle P. Haynes, and Joseph E. Irving. Those defendants have been sentenced as follows:

Defendant

Crime of Conviction

Sentence

Joseph E. Irving

Pled guilty to money laundering conspiracy

21-months’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release

Gabrielle P. Haynes

Pled guilty to drug conspiracy

18-months’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release

Leonard D. Charles

Pled guilty to drug conspiracy

60-months’ imprisonment, five years’ supervised release

James Brown, Sr.

Pled guilty to drug conspiracy

56-months’ imprisonment, five years’ supervised release

Sean Cortez Cloyd

Pled guilty to drug conspiracy

36-months’ imprisonment, five years’ supervised release

Timothy W. Norcutt

Pled guilty to drug conspiracy and money laundering

72-months’ imprisonment, five years’ supervised release

Steven N. Taylor

Pled guilty to drug conspiracy and money laundering

Not yet sentenced

Joshua J. Haynes

Pled guilty to drug conspiracy

Not yet sentenced

“Drug trafficking is a harmful business,” stated Special Agent in Charge Teri Alexander of IRS Criminal Investigations. “Those who profit from the manufacturing and distribution of illicit substances will attract the vigilant watchful eye of IRS Special Agents who will use their unique financial investigative skills to dismantle criminal enterprises lurking in our communities.”

“It is time for Etienne Devoe to reap the legal consequences for his continued disregard for the law,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Douglas James. “As a result of his illegal actions, he has received over 10 years in prison, a fitting punishment for the crimes he has committed.”

The case was the product of an investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, to include the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, Anchorage Police Department, Fairbanks Police Department, Alaska State Troopers, and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly Cavanaugh, Kyle Reardon, and Timothy Edmonds prosecuted the case.

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