Hoonah resident gets 5 years for drug, weapons misconduct

Gary D. Chamblin and codefendant arrested last year for "one-pot" meth lab
Gary D. Chamblin, 49, appears in Juneau Superior Court on Tuesday for his sentencing hearing on drug and weapons misconduct.

A Hoonah resident was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in jail with six years suspended for manufacturing methamphetamine at the Hoonah Cold Storage warehouse last year.

Gary D. Chamblin, 49, additionally received five years with three years suspended for an unrelated weapons misconduct conviction for firing a gun on a boat with other people onboard.

That means his composite sentence for the two cases is 14 years with nine years suspended, which is five years to serve in prison (one year of the time to serve is concurrent with the other case, or served at the same time, while all the suspended jail time is consecutive). He will also be on probation for five years after his release.

Chamblin and his codefendant were arrested in October 2012 as they were cooking meth in plastic soda bottles, which is what law enforcement refers to as “one-pot” labs since it’s confined to one container.

An affidavit stated that Hoonah police were tipped off to the operation and caught them red-handed at the warehouse, where Chamblin was a longtime employee.

Chamblin admitted he supplied the pseudoephedrine to make the drug, and codefendant — David B. Pierce, 36 — completed the chemical process, according to charging documents.

When Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg said he wondered how much methamphetamine was manufactured and spread around Hoonah before they were caught, Chamblin told him that this incident was the first time. He and Pierce didn’t know each other that well, and it all happened very quickly, he added.

“It was definitely a mistake,” he said.

His defense attorney Julie Willoughby noted Chamblin struggles with substance abuse, which is what led him to this kind of trouble.

Chamblin pleaded guilty last month, as did Pierce. Pierce, who is scheduled to be sentenced next week, is facing additional charges since Alaska State Troopers say an investigation revealed that he purchased more than double the legal allowable amount of pseudoephedrine in a 30-day period from various pharmacies in Juneau.

Troopers additionally alleged Pierce used Juneau residents Jennifer Hartsock, Benjamin Parson, Lindsey Yandell, Danelle Barlow and Clarissa Paulo to obtain the pseudoephedrine. Those defendants have all been charged with drug-related crimes, and their cases are still pending in court with the exception of Paulo, whose case was dismissed last week.

As Chamblin was incarcerated on drug charges, he was also charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon and possessing a weapon while intoxicated in connection to a prior incident in August 2012.

Chamblin explained in court that a gun he was carrying went off as he was leaving a boat, and that it was an accident. His attorney in that case, Assistant Public Defender Timothy Ayer, stressed that his client never intended for the gun to go off. The bullet struck a cooling line, and no one was injured.

Editor’s Note: The Empire incorrectly stated Clarissa Paulo’s case was still pending in court. The state dismissed the case against her last week. For more information on Paulo’s case, please see the story that was published in the Empire on May 17: http://juneauempire.com/local/2013-05-16/cases-challenge-legality-anti-smurfing-statute.

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



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