Multi-agency investigation in Kodiak leads to federal charges against 13 individuals

The Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS CI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Kodiak Police, the Alaska State Troopers (AST), the Anchorage Airport Police, and the Anchorage Police Department (APD) for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of the above individuals.
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today the conclusion of a multi-agency investigation and prosecution of 13 individuals from Kodiak, Alaska, for drug trafficking, money laundering, and firearms related charges.

In the summer of 2016, in response to community outrage over significant drug use, drug trafficking, and other drug related crimes in Kodiak, the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) led an operation with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and launched an investigation into drug trafficking activities in Kodiak.

The investigation revealed that drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine were imported to Kodiak through common carriers and also transported by human couriers on airplanes. These drugs were sold and intended to be sold in the Kodiak community. The investigation also revealed several individuals in illegal possession of firearms. In addition, there were individuals convicted of money laundering counts for sending payment for illegal drugs to sources of supply located outside of Kodiak through banks and money exchanges.

The investigation led to the conviction of 13 defendants for drug trafficking, money laundering, and firearms crimes that originated in Kodiak. Not all of the convicted defendants conspired or associated with one another.

• Christopher Arndt, 40, of Kodiak, was sentenced on March 7, 2019, to serve nine years in prison, followed by four years of supervised release, after he was convicted of one count of drug conspiracy and one count of money laundering conspiracy.

• Wahyu Sanjoyo, a/k/a, “Mike,” a/k/a, “Kodiak Mike,” 37, of Kodiak, was sentenced on Aug. 6, 2018, to serve 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, after he was convicted of one count of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute and one count of possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.

• Jose Rodriguez, a/k/a, “Bird,” 31, of Kodiak, was sentenced on April 5, 2019, to serve five years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, after he was convicted of one count of attempted possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.

• Ann Nava Vega, 41, of Chula Vista, California, was sentenced on Dec. 7, 2017, to serve 59 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, after she was convicted of one count of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.

• Nathan Gambrell, 44, of Kodiak, was sentenced on Dec. 20, 2017, to time served, followed by three years of supervised release, after he was convicted of one count of felon in possession of a firearm. Gambrell subsequently violated the terms of his supervised release and was re-sentenced to a term of 11 months in prison.

• Joshua Cislo, 33, of Kalispell, Montana, was sentenced on Jan. 26, 2018, to serve two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after he was convicted of one count of drug conspiracy.

• Leonard Parker Taylor, 49, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced on Jan. 29, 2018, to serve 27 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after he was convicted of one count of drug conspiracy.

• James Gerrity, 31, of Kodiak, was sentenced on March 8, 2018, to serve 21 months in prison, followed by four years of supervised release, after he was convicted of one count of drug conspiracy.

• Santos Lopez, 42, of Kodiak, was sentenced on March 9, 2018, to serve 46 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, after he was convicted of four counts of drug distribution.

• Joshua Herald, 37, of Kodiak, was sentenced on April 9, 2018, to serve three years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, after he was convicted of one count of drug conspiracy and one count of money laundering conspiracy.

• Lorie Wenzel, 58, of Lodi, California, was sentenced on April 6, 2018, to serve three years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after she was convicted of one count of money laundering conspiracy.

• Josie Harvey, 33, of Renton, Washington, was sentenced on Sept. 9, 2018, to time served, followed by three years of supervised release, after she was convicted of one count of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.

• Leigh Ann Massengill, 44, of Anchorage, was sentenced on April 9, 2019, to serve 57 months in prison,followed by four years of supervised release, after she was convicted of one count of drug conspiracy and one count of money laundering conspiracy.

“The rural areas of Alaska are every bit as devastated by drug abuse as the cities,” said U.S. Attorney Schroder. “However, a coordinated investigation by a dedicated group of investigators and prosecutors can make a real difference in a small town. Law enforcement professionals stepped in to make the community safer. They continue to work tirelessly to stem the tide of drug trafficking in Kodiak and elsewhere.”

“The Coast Guard Investigative Service is thankful for the collaborative effort from multiple agencies during this investigation,” said Randy Thompson, CGIS Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Northwest region. “We are committed to continuing our partnerships into the future to make Alaska a safer place to live.”

“This collection of criminals has been trafficking drugs and bringing devastation to the Kodiak area for years” said Justin Campbell, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Seattle Field Office. “The role of IRS CI in narcotics investigations is to follow the money. The laundering of profits from unlawful drug sales is as important and essential to drug dealers’ operations as the distribution of their illegal drugs. We are proud to provide our financial expertise as we work alongside our law enforcement partners to bring criminals to justice."

The Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS CI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Kodiak Police, the Alaska State Troopers (AST), the Anchorage Airport Police, and the Anchorage Police Department (APD) for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of the above individuals. These cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Cavanaugh.