A Juneau man was indicted Thursday on federal charges, for allegedly assaulting a witness against a California man convicted earlier this year of illegally supplying a prescription painkiller to drug dealers.
In a Friday statement, U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler’s office says 21-year-old Mason T. Baker faces one count of retaliating against a witness, related to the case against Sacramento, Calif. man Richard Corum.
“According to the indictment, on July 3, 2013, Baker assaulted Individual A causing him/her bodily injury, in order to retaliate against Individual A for providing testimony in the trial of United States v. Richard Corum,” prosecutors wrote.
Corum was convicted this summer of witness tampering, as well as taking part in a conspiracy to supply drug dealers with the drug Oxycontin. Prosecutors say the conspirators bought Oxycontin for $13 per pill then sold it for $30 to $60, netting millions of dollars from the four-year scheme from 2007 through 2011.
Corum's attorney admitted that the defendant had punched one of the witnesses against him in the case, but claimed the blow was in self-defense.
If convicted, Baker could face either or both a 30-year prison term or a $250,000 fine.
Loeffler’s office credited the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and Alaska State Troopers with cooperating in the investigation against Baker.