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2 more charged in Juneau oxy ring conspiracy

Alleged drug ring leader arrested in Minneapolis

Posted: March 8, 2012 - 1:09am

The husband of a Juneau woman who pleaded guilty last month to laundering money as part of a Sacramento-to-Juneau oxycodone drug ring conspiracy has been charged and arrested on the same federal offenses, according to court documents.

Juneau resident Brent Maki, 31, was arrested March 1 after being indicted last month for federal drug conspiracy and money laundering charges.

He is accused of knowingly conspiring with others to distribute, and to possess with the intent to distribute, oxycodone between September 2009 and November 2010. The indictment states he knowingly conducted financial transactions with the drug money through True North Federal Credit Union and Wells Fargo Bank.

He pleaded not guilty in federal court in Juneau on Monday. His trial is scheduled for early May.

Brent Maki is the husband of SallyJean Maki, 26, who admitted last month she deposited about $25,000 in drug money into a Juneau bank account owned by Milan Thomas, who claimed them as business receipts for his fraudulent business front called Southeast Alaska Tour Company. That was from July 2010 to August 2011. She has a sentencing hearing scheduled for May.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt confirmed they are married but are going through a divorce.

SallyJean Maki was one of six defendants indicted by a federal grand jury in October of last year for knowingly and intentionally conspiring with each other to distribute oxycodone, a violation of U.S. law that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The other five defendants were from Sacramento.

Court records show the amount of cash deposits from drug money that passed through three of the bank accounts held by the group totaled a little over $1 million. Authorities estimate that at least some 11,000 pills were sold, according to court records.

Schmidt says that’s only what was documented, and the ring was going on for a long time, so the total number of drugs involved over the years is significantly higher.

“It’s probably a lot more than that, three or four times more than that,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday.

The oxycodone pills were from Sacramento, and Schmidt speculates they were probably from doctors, or people selling their prescriptions.

“That’s the only logical conclusion since they are a controlled substance,” he said.

One of the drug ring’s alleged leaders, Milan Thomas, had successfully eluded police, but was arrested in Minneapolis on Feb. 29. It is not clear from court records when he is due in court or if he has a lawyer.

Another Juneau resident, Jason Rivera, 25, is newly implicated in the conspiracy. He was charged the same date as Brent Maki, Feb. 21, but in a separate indictment.

Rivera faces one count of drug conspiracy for knowingly conspiring with others to distribute and possess oxycodone between June 2009 and June 2010.

Rivera pleaded not guilty to the charge on Monday in Juneau federal court, and is scheduled to go to trial the same day as Brent Maki in May. Rivera is represented by Josephson and Associates of Anchorage.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska, a judge ordered that both Rivera and Maki be detained in federal custody pending trial.

The release states that the Drug Enforcement Agency, D-22 High Intensity Drug Interdiction Task Force in Seattle, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, Port of Seattle Police Department and Juneau Police Department Metro Drug Unit conducted the investigations leading to the indictments in this case.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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