Sterling drug trafficker sentenced to 8 years in prison

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that Mark Norman Hanes, 52, of Sterling, Alaska, was sentenced this week by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason to eight years in prison.

    That sentence will be followed by a three-year term of supervised release for his role in a drug and money laundering conspiracy that distributed methamphetamine and heroin throughout Southcentral Alaska.

    According to documents filed in the case, between mid-2014 and Jan. 14, 2015, Hanes was part of a conspiracy that distributed methamphetamine and heroin throughout Southcentral Alaska. Individuals in Anchorage supplied Hanes with the drugs, driving to meet him near his home in Sterling on at least two occasions to deliver product. Payment for those drugs would then be made through deposits into bank accounts controlled by the conspiracy.

    During a search of Hanes’ property, law enforcement located approximately one pound of methamphetamine and a half-pound of heroin in a safe in his bedroom. Also located in the safe was more than $5,000 in cash, a loaded Glock handgun, and an envelope that contained a U-Haul magnetic security card, and two keys. Written on the outside of the envelope was “Casey, Emergency Only!” Located in the storage locker was methamphetamine and heroin, as well as $148,000 in cash.

    Hanes was not present at the residence at the time of the search, having traveled to Mexico approximately one week prior. Following the search, Hanes stayed in Mexico and remained there until his arrest on or about Sept. 11, 2017.

    In January 2015, Hanes possessed more than 400 doses of methamphetamine and more than 2,000 doses of heroin.

    At sentencing, Judge Gleason noted the large quantity of drugs distributed in this case, and the harm those drugs did in the defendant’s rural community.

    “Drugs destroy so many lives,” said Judge Gleason.

    Judge Gleason also noted that while Hanes was a drug user, the large volume of cash seized in this case made it clear that his dealing was not driven by his addiction, but rather, was driven by a profit motive.

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