SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and Meth in Southeast Alaska


June 09, 2018
Saturday AM

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - Zerisenay Gebregiorgis, 36, a Washington resident, was sentenced on June 1, 2018 in Juneau by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess, to serve 121 months (10 years, 1 month) in prison for conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.  Gebregiorgis was previously convicted in December 2017, following a five-day jury trial.  The sentencing announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder.

Madison Lumber & Hardware - Ketchikan, Alaska (TrueValue)

According to evidence presented at trial, between June 1, 2016, and Aug. 16, 2016, Gebregiorgis and others planned to distribute large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine in the communities of Ketchikan and Sitka.  Gebregiorgis supplied drugs to drug couriers, who carried the drugs inside their bodies to other co-conspirators in Ketchikan and Sitka for subsequent distribution.  Drug proceeds were then given to the couriers to be carried back to Seattle to be delivered to Gebregiorgis or deposited into bank accounts controlled by Gebregiorgis. 

The female courier was identified by the Alaska State Troopers on 08/16/16, as Shammar Lynn Ferguson, age 32 of Washington State. The Sitka Police Department located Ferguson at the Sitka residence of Larry Johnson Jr, age 41 of Sitka, and Evelyn Calhoun, age 29 of Sitka. In December 2016, the Sitka Superior Court sentenced Shammar Ferguson to 23 months in jail for possessing heroin and methamphetamine valued at over $42,000. This was Ferguson’s fourth felony conviction. The Sitka Court also sentenced Lawrence Johnson Jr. to serve six months in jail. This was his first conviction.

According to court documents, Gebregiorgis supplied at least one ounce of methamphetamine and at least 20 ounces of heroin during the course of the conspiracy.  Gebregiorgis directed every aspect of the conspiracy, to include directing the amounts of drugs sent to Alaska, the couriers who carried the drugs, the travel for those couriers, and delivery of drug proceeds back to him via couriers and bank accounts deposits.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the members of the Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs Taskforce (SEACAD), specifically the members from the Alaska State Troopers (AST), Ketchikan Police Department (KPD), and the Sitka Police Department (SPD) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt.



More Arrests in Meth and Heroin Smuggling Case
SitNews - August 17, 2016 

Meth and heroin smuggling leads to arrest
SitNews - August 17, 2016 


Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews



Source of News:

U.S. Department of justice



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