Leader of California drug ring had apartment in Juneau

Federal investigation seized heroin, meth coming to town between October and January

The house at 8178 Threadneedle St. is seen Wednesday, April 18, 2018. (Alex McCarthy photo | Juneau Empire)

The “primary facilitator” of a drug ring that extended from California to Alaska had an apartment in Juneau, a spokesperson for a California U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The owner of the building disputes the spokesperson’s statement.

 

Alecia Trapps, of Manteca, California, was one of six Californians arrested as part of a year-long investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and partner agencies. Lauren Horwood, public information officer for the Eastern District of California U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Trapps had an address in Juneau: 8178 Threadneedle St., Apt. B. It was one of multiple addresses for Trapps, Horwood said.

Trapps does not currently live in the unit, and building owner Karen Wright said she believed the information provided by the U.S. Attorney’s office was inaccurate and that she has not rented to Trapps.

Trapps, 54, is alleged to be the “primary facilitator” of the drug ring, Horwood said. Trapps was arrested last week along with five others for allegedly conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, heroin or cocaine in Juneau and in Modesto, California, according to a release from the Department of Justice. Trapps was arrested in Modesto, Horwood said.

Horwood said that between October 2017 and January 2018, 5.5 pounds of meth and 1.2 pounds of heroin intended for Trapps in Alaska were seized. Court records allege that the ring operated from Jan. 1, 2015 to April 11, 2018. Horwood said FedEx intercepted some shipments, and some shipments were hand-carried.

[Drug arrests at airport, in California pertain to heroin, meth trafficking in Juneau]

There’s no further information publicly available, Horwood said, on when exactly those interceptions were made and whether they were coming in on plane, ferry or other means. The investigation is underway, and some court documents are still under seal, she said.

“More information may come out as the case progresses,” Horwood wrote in an email. “No targets in Alaska have been named.”

JPD Public Safety Officer Erann Kalwara said JPD’s Drug Enforcement Unit assisted the FBI in “gathering intelligence, conducting surveillance and search warrant service.”

Trapps is the only one of the six defendants to have an Alaska address, Horwood said. The other five defendants who were indicted and arrested are Jimmy Brantley, 40, of Manteca; Carmen Conejo, 51, of Long Beach; Ernest Westley, 60, of Modesto; Sheena Taylor, 41, of Modesto; and Joseph Vasquez, Jr., 32, of Modesto. Trapps, Vasquez, Westley and Brantley were arrested in Modesto, Horwood said, while Taylor was arrested in Fresno and Conejo was arrested in Anaheim.

If convicted, the defendants face between 10 years and life in prison, according to the Department of Justice release. They might also have to pay a fine of up to $10 million. According to the release, authorities seized 45 pounds of meth, four pounds of heroin and three pounds of cocaine during seizures related to the drug ring last week.

Threadneedle Street, located near the Thunder Mountain Mobile Home Park in Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley, was the site of a drug investigation in April 2015, as police and Alaska State Troopers raided a house in the 8100 block.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


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