Nine people indicted for conspiring to smuggle drugs into Lemon Creek Correctional Center

Indictment sheds light on attempt to bring drugs into jail

Lemon Creek Correctional Center pictured on Friday, April 13, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

A Juneau grand jury indicted nine people on drug charges for conspiring to get drugs into Lemon Creek Correctional Center, according to an indictment dated April 19.

 

The indictment lists in detail the steps that led to an attempted smuggling of drugs into LCCC on Dec. 16, 2017. Four of the people indicted were already in custody at the time of the crime, an Alaska Department of Law Spokesperson said, and two are still at large.

The charging documents shed light on a plan to bring methamphetamine, heroin and Suboxone into the prison. There’s also mention of drugs coming to town on an airplane, according to the indictment, though it’s not clear if those are the drugs that were brought into the prison. There’s quite a bit of jargon included, as investigators determined terms including “movies,” “soup” and “painting” are all used as names for drugs, according to the document.

Those indicted are: Jerry Andrew Active, 29; Amanda Natkong, 33; Chad L. Kreftmeyer, 30; Buck Robert Mills, 39; Brendon Wesley Adam Valdez, 26; John C. Negley, 46; Roberta J. White, 42; Tamra R. Fuhr, 25; and Susan Paulsen, 58.

Active was sentenced to 359 years in jail in 2015 for the beating deaths of an elderly couple and multiple sexual assaults, according to media reports at the time. Active was found guilty of 10 felonies in 2013, including two counts of first-degree murder.

According to a release from the Department of Law, Mills and Fuhr have warrants out for their arrest.

Department of Law Criminal Division Director John Skidmore said via email Wednesday that Active, Kreftmeyer, Mills and Valdez were in custody at the time of the crime.

Paulsen was arrested in Anacortes, Washington and is awaiting extradition, according to the release. Natkong and White have been released on their own recognizance, Skidmore said, as Natkong had no criminal history and White’s criminal history is old. Skidmore said White’s criminal history predates the state’s current assessment tool that evaluates whether a person should be released or remain in custody.

Eight of the nine (all except White) were indicted on two counts of second-degree drug misconduct, two counts of third-degree drug misconduct and three counts of first-degree promoting contraband. White was indicted on one count of third-degree drug misconduct and one count of first-degree promoting contraband.

The indictment alleges that the co-conspirators arranged for a jail visitation between Natkong and Valdez, the latter of whom was an inmate at LCCC. A week before the meeting, according to the document, Active told Natkong to call Negley for some “movies” and “soup,” which investigators believe to be references to narcotics.

Over the following week, according to the indictment, the nine engaged in a series of wire transfers, which included payments for methamphetamine, heroin and Suboxone. Suboxone is a name brand of buprenorphine, which has been used in recent years to help people in recovery from opioid addiction.

On the evening of Dec. 15, 2017, prosecutors allege, messages between Paulsen and Kraftmeyer referred to “pictures” and “paintings,” saying that the paintings in town are not of great quality but someone was coming in on a plane that night with better quality of “paintings.”

The next day, the indictment reads, Negly and White picked up Natkong, gave her “movies” and Fuhr also gave drugs to Natkong before dropping her off at the jail. Law enforcement officials intersected Natkong as she walked into LCCC that day and found her in possession of more than 2.5 grams of controlled substances, according to charging documents.

The release states that a maximum sentence of 10 years for second-degree drug misconduct, and there’s a maximum of five years sentence for each additional charge in the indictment as well.

The Alaska State Troopers carried out the investigation, the release reads. According to online court records, the Office of Special Prosecutions from the Department of Law is prosecuting this case.


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


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