Sterling man sentenced in drug, money-laundering operation

Mark Norman Hanes, 52, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

A Sterling man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in a drug and money laundering conspiracy, according to a Friday press release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.

Mark Norman Hanes, 52, was sentenced to eight years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his role in distributing methamphetamine and heroin throughout Southcentral Alaska. Documents filed in the case between mid-2014 and Jan. 14, 2015 show that 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 connected to the larger money-laundering conspiracy.

During a search of Hanes’ property, law enforcement found about 1 pound of methamphetamine and about a half-pound of heroin in a safe in his bedroom. The safe also contained more than $5,000 in cash, a loaded Glock handgun and an envelope containing a U-Haul magnetic security card and two keys, according to the release. Written on the outside of the envelope was “Casey, Emergency Only!” Located in the storage locker was more methamphetamine and heroin as well as $148,000 in cash.

Hanes was not present at the time of the search. Hanes had traveled to Mexico a week before the search and remained there until his arrest in September of 2017. In January of 2015, Hanes possessed more than 400 doses of methamphetamine and more than 2,000 doses of heroin.

The FBI Safe Streets Task Force and IRS Criminal Investigations conducted the investigation and the case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon.

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