U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Alaska
District of Alaska
For Immediate Release
May 6, 2011
Karen L. Loeffler, United States Attorney
Contact: Director of Community Relations
Seven Members of Fairbanks Drug Conspiracy Indicted
Over $100,000, Firearms, Cocaine, Crack, Heroin, Marijuana, Ecstasy,
and Other Property Seized During Two–Year Investigation
Anchorage, Alaska — United States Attorney Karen Loeffler announced today that seven Fairbanks residents were indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage for one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug offense and one count of maintaining drug involved premises. Also, there is a criminal forfeiture allegation to forfeit drug proceeds and facilitation. The four–count indictment names Brandon Haynes, 25, Willie Wilson, 26, Donte Edwards, 21, Anthony Gadsden, 36, Joe Powell, 25, Natasha Wolfe, 21, and Joleen Malamute, 27, all of Fairbanks, as the defendants.
According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to distribute cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and marijuana over a two–year period and they possessed over 500 grams of cocaine and other drugs with intent to distribute. The indictment also alleges that the defendants possessed over two kilograms of cocaine, two firearms, over $50,000 in cash and other drug paraphernalia when police served a search warrant on the residence in February 2010. The indictment requests forfeiture of property of the conspiracy’s drug proceeds, including over $66,000 cash, a 12–gauge shotgun, a .38 caliber revolver, body armor, jewelry and vehicles. While serving the arrest warrants recently, investigators seized another $56,000 in cash together with more illegal drugs and other assets.
Special Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Crail, who is prosecuting the case, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of 40 years in prison, a fine of $1 million, or both. Under federal sentencing statutes, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
The ATF, the Alaska Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit and other members of local law enforcement conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. Ms. Crail is a Fairbanks Assistant District Attorney designated to prosecute the case federally as a result of cooperation between the District Attorney’s and U.S. Attorney’s Offices.
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.