Alaska meth distributor arrested, end to “significant trafficking” operation

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KLAWOCK, Alaska (KTUU) - Marking the end of a drug bust that was months in the making, Bradley Grasser, 62, is being accused of possessing methamphetamine “with the intent to distribute.”

In his report on Bradley Grasser, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Rikk Rambo says the drug smuggling and distribution ring operated in Klawock, Alaska on Prince of Wales Island, and on nearby Ketchikan.

Prince of Wales Island is the fourth largest island in the United States after Hawaii, Kodiak, and Puerto Rico, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

One of the confidential sources listed in the report, referred to as CS1, says Grasser was a meth supplier to the area “for approximately 20 years.”

Rambo writes in the report that, through evidence and testimony gathered with Alaska State Troopers as well as Klawock Police, they were able to build a case over the past year and recommend charges of “conspiracy to distribute.”

Investigation into “significant trafficking” tip
The investigation included several intercepted packages, each confirmed to contain meth via field testing. It began in July when a confidential source told authorities that Grasser was involved in “significant methamphetamine trafficking” on the island.

In the report, DEA agent Rambo paints a picture of Grasser’s operation. According to evidence, Grasser would mail cash to a source.

The source would then either mail Grasser the meth “parcels” or else deliver them via courier. In one of the piece of testimony included in the report from a second source, referred to as CS2, the source would then personally delivered a meth shipment weighing eight pounds.

The relatively large move was delivered by sea in a shipping container, guarded by what CS2 believed to be “Mexican Nationals” armed with machine guns and “semi auto assault carbine/machine pistols” similar to Uzi submachine guns.

Though Grasser had been moving meth into Alaska via his Washington connection for years, the case against him only began to materialize in 2016 after an informant decided to go on the record.

Authorities intercept drug shipments
Dating back to February of 2016, there were roughly twelve parcels shipped from Grasser or his surrogates to Annette in Washington.

Several of these packages, containing on average 15 ounces of meth, were intercepted via a collaboration with Alaska State Troopers and United States Postal Service Inspectors (USPIS).

The confidential source says with each cash payment that Grasser sent without receiving a corresponding package, his behavior became more and more erratic. However, according to the report, he kept sending for more.

The source says in the report that by August of 2016, Grasser was “freaking out” and suspecting his co-conspirators of intercepting his shipments.

USPIS says that at least some of the parcels sent by Grasser and his surrogates contained “loose cash/US currency” corresponding with the amount of meth Grasser ordered. These packages were allowed to proceed to their destination, however the meth parcels were seized by USPIS.

Allegations of murder
Out of these dozen tracked payments in 2016 by Grasser surrogates, one surrogate responsible for payments listed in Agent Rambo’s report raised a red flag due to informant testimony.

In January and May, Micki Decker of Craig, Alaska sent “parcels” to Annette. Noted in Rambo’s report, Decker died in May of last year “under suspicious circumstances.” The Alaska State Troopers verify her death to be May 25, less than two weeks after sending a payment in May to the Washington connection.

In the report, CS2 told investigators that “[Grasser] killed [Decker] and was observed to be covered in blood immediately after Decker’s death.”

In the Alaska State Trooper Dispatch of that incident, they state that Prince of Wales troopers responded to a car accident at Mile 9.5 of the Klawock-Hollis Highway. Troopers say Decker was driving east when she “left the roadway and hit a tree” while not wearing her seat belt.

While Decker died in the accident, a dog in the vehicle survived, according to the report.

This in and of itself isn’t especially suspicious, other than the close proximity of the drug payment and the incident. However in the report, CS2 made the claim that Grasser was involved in Decker’s death.

Megan Peters with the Alaska State Troopers said in an email that the case of Decker’s death is closed, determined to be a “single vehicle fatality with no one else involved.” It was unclear whether troopers were aware of the allegation from CS2.

Flight risk and arrest
By December of 2016, a source said Grasser began getting more suspicious with the absence of the meth shipments.

However, instead of suspecting those who actually intercepted the packages, USPIS, Grasser began to again doubt his surrogates. Grasser “angrily discussed the package and its ‘missing’ status,” according to the unnamed source, CS2.

At the beginning of January, updated troopers for the last time. They said Grasser planned to travel from Ketchikan to Seattle, to “purchase a multi-pound quantity of methamphetamine” directly from Annette’s source, who Grasser described to CS2 as “Mexicans.”

After the purchase, Grasser told the informant that he planned to ship the package via a commercial barge, and return to Ketchikan independently.

The confidential source said that Grasser planned to take a ferry to Washington on January 11.

Rather than risk Grasser fleeing the state and disappearing, authorities decided to move on him, making the arrest on January 11 for probable cause with the official complaint being “conspiracy to distribute, or possess with intent to distribute, 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.”

Jodie Underwood, a spokesperson with the Drug Enforcement Administration, said the Department of Justice prohibits them from releasing any information outside of the public record.

I reached out to Grasser's attorney, public defender Jamie McGrady, but they have not replied as of this filing. Grasser is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Wednesday in Juneau Courtroom 1.



 
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