General · February 8, 2021 0

Two Men Sentenced for Drug Trafficking Conspiracy in Kodiak

Two Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking Conspiracy in Kodiak

The pair was responsible for introduction of over a kilo of methamphetamine into the community of Kodiak

Anchorage, AL (STL.News) U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced Carlito Marcilino Velasco, 61 of Juneau and Don Irenio Castro Santiago II, 37, a citizen of the Philippines residing in Anchorage, have been sentenced by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess to federal prison for their roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy in Kodiak.

According to court documents, Velasco and Santiago II allegedly devised a plan involving themselves and others to possess and distribute methamphetamine in Kodiak.  During the drug conspiracy, Velasco travelled to California to purchase methamphetamine from sources in California for distribution in Alaska.  Velasco then packaged and mailed the methamphetamine via United States Postal Service (USPS) to Juneau, where a co-conspirator repackaged it and then mailed it via USPS to Santiago II in Kodiak.  Santiago II received the parcel, distributed the methamphetamine, and collected drug proceeds from the sale of the methamphetamine in Kodiak.  Santiago II subsequently mailed the drug proceeds back to Juneau in a parcel, and the proceeds were later used by Velasco to purchase more methamphetamine for subsequent distributions.

Additional Court documents detail that on or about June 4, 2019, U.S. Postal Inspectors identified, intercepted, and seized a suspicious package mailed from Juneau to Kodiak.  Further inspection of the package revealed approximately 233.45 grams of methamphetamine hidden inside a coffee bag.  Law Enforcement Officers removed the original narcotics and installed two tracking devices in the package.

On June 6, the parcel was delivered to a residential parcel locker in Kodiak, where Velasco and Santiago II retrieved the package, and left in a vehicle.  A short time later, Velasco and Santiago II opened the package, and upon realizing there was a tracking device, hid the parcel under a nearby pile of lumber.  Law Enforcement Officers of the South East Alaska Cities Against Drugs (SEACAD) Taskforce apprehended both men.  They have remained in custody since their arrest.  Velasco and Santiago II purportedly successfully imported four other packages into Kodiak in the same manner, introducing over 680 grams of methamphetamine into the small community of Kodiak.

Velasco was sentenced to 120 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, after previously pleading guilty to drug trafficking conspiracy in January 2020.  Velasco has a lengthy criminal history, with prior felony convictions for drug trafficking, murder, and domestic violence.  In imposing the sentence, Judge Burgess noted the serious of the offense, and the need to protect the public given Velasco’s violent criminal history.

On December 10, 2020, Santiago II was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release, after previously pleading guilty to drug trafficking conspiracy in February 2020.  Santiago could face deportation upon the completion of his sentence.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (USCGIS), Alaska State Troopers (AST), the Juneau Police Department (JPD), and Kodiak Police Department (KPD), in support of Alaska’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program, and the South East Alaska Cities Against Drugs (SEACAD) Taskforce, contributed to the investigation leading to the successful prosecution in this case.  Established in 2018, the Alaska HIDTA Program enhances and coordinates efforts among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, providing equipment, technology, and additional resources to combat drug trafficking and its harmful consequences in critical regions of Alaska.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack S. Schmidt.

This case is also part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Alaska Rural Alaska Anti-Violence Enforcement Network (RAAVEN) Initiative’s ongoing efforts to increase engagement, coordination, and action on public safety in Alaska Native communities.

SOURCE: USDOJ.Today

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